Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, June 24th, 2021

A Glimpse at Famous Book of Hafiz Mansoor: the Seven-Headed Demon


A Glimpse at Famous Book of Hafiz Mansoor:  the Seven-Headed Demon

Hafiz Mansoor is one of reformist figure of Afghanistan popular amidst young generation for his intellectual thoughts and benevolent characteristics. One of his popular scholarly books is “the Seven-Headed Demon” referring to seven main barriers of political development in Afghanistan. Many political writers of Afghanistan think that lack of a national government is a factual cause of political backwardness, but Hafiz Mansoor try to divulge the root barriers of national state. Many Afghan writers did not egress from their ethnic boundary but Hafiz Mansoor is a unique personality who showed great audacity who commenced criticism from himself.  Many Afghan writers have no consensus about factors of national backwardness attribute it to everything other than himself and his ethnic group. They attribute weakness toward different factors such as social structure, political geography, economic weaknesses and especially foreign factors, but Hafiz seeks solution in national level. According to Hafiz Mansoor, we will not be able to reach national state unless successfully cross from five crises including identity crisis, legitimacy crisis, integrity crisis, distribution crisis and participation crisis. In addition, competitive election, peaceful transition of power, independency of three principal institutions and establishment of functional government are of the other components of political development.
Most Afghan writers think that foreign countries such as Arab, Great Britain and Russia in the past, but United States and Pakistan at the present play effective role. This group of researcher thinks since 16th century onward, the world economy was divided into centers and peripheries. The plunder of weak countries gave rise to development of centered countries and so the plundered countries remained undeveloped. Unlike these researchers, Hafiz Mansoor attributes the failure and political backwardness to internal factors. He argues that human history shows that many countries were occupied by foreigners, but sooner or later they were able to heal the wounds of war and stand on their own feet; why the people of Afghanistan are unable to establish an effective administration after the retreat of the invading forces, and why their hands are always extended to the foreigners? It is true that Afghanistan, because of its geographical position, has frequently suffered from foreign aggression but a serious question remains unanswered that why the inhabitants of this country have been the forerunners of foreign aggression in some cases. In the other word, Afghanistan is not the only country that was aggressed by the colonialist regimes, but its condition is not incomparable to others. Why the legacy of colonialist regime is different in Afghanistan? If we neglect this question, we would never be able to bring changes.
The second factor of political backwardness which usually termed as “colorful flowers” is ethnic diversity. It is usually likened to colorful flowers which each have specific scent and color, but according to Mansoor the realistic human life is more complicated to be organized with literary metaphors. As we cannot take off ferocity from a leopard with respect and honoring, we cannot neglect the vulnerability of ethnic diversity by optimism. However, the nature of ethnic diversity is not that bad but when it is combined with inequality and political monopolies, then it will change to division and distrust factor in a country. It was about thousand years ago that Aristotle, a famous Greek philosopher, warned about implication of monopolies and inequality as internal conflicts factor, but we try to solve it with words and slogan.   
The third factor as he termed is political Islam; though it is not a new idea, his reformist approach and his new concept such as “terrorism of thoughts” seems meaningful.” He used this term, for a Kabul university professor who had called Usma bin Ladan as martyred with arguing that anyone is killed by American is martyred. Anyway, Mansoor does not absolutely deny Islam but stress on reformation while the western views think that the entry of religion into the political arena is synonymous with return to the middle Ages. What is not doubt about is destructive role of radical interpretation from Islam which is not only refused now but had been refused by the head of religious leaders nearly 14 centuries ago. For example, Imam Ali, the forth caliph of Islam or first Imam of Shia not only fought against radical Muslims but also was martyred in that way.
The forth factor as it was termed Pashtun as big brother; this term has taken from a book titled “the Second Saqqavi” was published during Mujahideen. According to this book, the main cause of the crisis and unrest in Afghanistan is non-recognition of the right of the “big brother”. As it was explained, the silence of Pashtun figures about this book has added to importance of that book because it was believed that the content of the book is acceptable by all of them. Based on this book, the first Saqqavi, Habibullah Kalakani, destroyed the country and then the second Saqqavi, Rabbani and Maasoud, followed his footstep. The first Saqawi perished the new blossom of civilization but the second Saqawi destroyed the fifty years of political structure and exprience. As the age of second Saqwawi was longer, its implication was also more destructive.
The fifth factor is the landlocked and mountainous feature of Afghanistan. Only 5% of Afghanistan is cultivable. The yearly income of each Afghan is around 200$. The natural economic has been around 1/2 %. It seems that Afghanistan was a poor country from very long ago but the rulers provided their needs through plunder of other countries.  In recent centuries, after losing their power, it became dependent to economic assistance of other countries. This dependency was not confined to the government officials but also ethnic elders. Because of economic requirement they were compelled to accept the legitimate or illegitimate demand of foreign countries. The dependency of Taliban to its supporter is a good example for this killing their people to make others happy.  According to political scholars, the economic growth is the most important precondition for political development. So, if we want to reach stable democracy, we need to rescue from chronic poverty. The next factors which were mentioned are retrogressive role of tribe and religious latency which are beyond the patience of this brief piece.

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

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