Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Reaction Against Religious Scholars’ Gathering

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Reaction Against Religious Scholars’ Gathering

On Monday, more than 2,000 Afghan religious scholars gathered in Kabul to examine the status of ongoing war in Afghanistan from Islamic viewpoint. After some discussions they issued a collective fatwa outlawing the current war in the country while since 2001, Afghanistan has been suffering from violence imposed by militants, who often use suicide bombers and claim that their struggle is a holy war. The religious scholars stressed in their statement that “war in its all types is forbidden under the Islamic law and it is nothing except shedding the blood of Muslims whereasthe real victims are innocent Afghan men, women, and children.
It follows the recent Ulema meeting when Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesian were gathered in Jakarta to discuss the roots and reasons of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and to find a durable peace solution for the conflicts of war-torn country. The Islamic scholars of three countries had issued a declaration on the war and peace in Afghanistan, in which they promulgated their opposition against the terrorism and violent extremism and had declared their support for any peace offer, efforts and declarations in ending war and bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, the Ulema peace efforts have been responded with shedding their bloods on Monday. Sharply after the fatwa against the ongoing war in the country, a deadly explosion happened near the gathering of religious scholars which was arranged at Loya Jirga place, the Grand Assembly tent, close to Kabul Polytechnic University. As reflected in the local media,“The suicide attack happened outside the Loya Jirga ten when religious scholars were leaving the gathering.”Less than an hour before explosion, theymade theirdeclaration proclaiming that the “true victims” of the nearly 17-year-old war are innocent Afghan men, women, and children and the ongoing war in Afghanistan is illegal and has no root in Shari’a law. According to the initial information, the explosion left 14 people dead and 17 others wounded. Among the causalities, a renowned religious scholar from Qandahar province, Abdul Haq Akhnzada was recognized as martyred.
The Taliban has denied involvement in Monday’s attack but the Takfiri group claimed the attack via their Amaq propaganda agency. They released two short statements on the attack. In the first, Amaq claimed that the dead or wounded totaled about 40 people but later they claimed that the casualty count had risen to 70 people. Both the Taliban and IS have stepped up their headline-grabbing assaults on the heavily fortified capital in recent months. Taliban gunmen are blamed in killing of Imams and other religious officials in the past but the ISIS are more interested in attacks against worshippers, especially on the Shiite religious group.Recently, over 70 people were killed including five children, 21 women and nearly 120 others wounded in the attack, which was carried out at the doorway of an identity card distribution and voters’ registration center in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi area.
As usual, many countries and international organization including USA, Iran, Pakistan and the United Nation condemned the suicide attack that targeted the congregation of religious scholars for peace. they expressed grief at the loss of precious innocent lives in this barbaric act of terrorism. “The USA Secretary-General reiterates that no cause can justify such violence.  Targeting civilians in this way is a clear violation of international law and international human rights law,” said a statement issued by his Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. Thus, a few days ago the U.S. Department of State (DOS) had warned its International Religious Freedom for 2017 Report that the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) are increasingly killing and threatening clerics in Afghanistan for preaching messages contrary to their version of Islam.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has strongly condemned the terrorist attack near a gathering of top clerics in the Afghan capital of Kabul. He added that the terrorists did not want the Afghan clerics to convey their message of peace, humanity, mercy, compassion as well as the message of fighting hostility, violence and terrorism to the country’s people and other nations, PressTV Reported.Accordingly, Islamabad expressed their feeling of sorrow and sympathy with government and people of Afghanistan.
The suicide attacks in Afghanistan are frequently condemned in word as fanatical and immoral, especially when civilians are killed, but in practice the condition has been deteriorating and the insurgent groups view the tactic as their most effective weapon. Suicide attacks, explosions for killing people, insurgency, different types of corruption, kidnapping have been increasing under Islamic name but in Islam it isfirmly counted as big sins and against the order of the Almighty Allah. If a person intentionally kills someone, he must be penalized by death. Executing, financing and supporting such acts are against Sharia law,” said a separate statement tweeted by the government. Fighting in the name of jihad in Afghanistan, where the majority of the population is Muslim, has “no legitimacy” in Islam.
To sum up, the Ulema peace efforts were widely appreciated by Afghan peoplebutthe government are widely blamed for being irresponsibleor failed in devising fundamental measures to protect people from repeated cruel attacks. If the insurgentsare Muslim, they should pay respect to the voice of Islamic scholars, worshipers and the Ramadan fast keepers. We hope that all parts of conflicts pay respects to the decision of Ulema and stop the killing of civilians which are against Islam. If they are really fighting for Muslims or the country, they should not ignore the voice 2,000 scholars calling them not to kill innocent civilians.

Mohammad Zahir Akbari is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammadzahirakbari@gmail.com

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