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Taliban represents neither Islam nor Muslims

A Talibani Afghanistan is a travesty of humanity that has grown to be a Frankenstein's monster.

india Updated: May 06, 2006 13:50 IST

Disregarding all appeals of amnesty and ignoring all voices of sanity, the mad mullahs of the Taliban once again murdered an innocent Indian, K Suryanarayan, like they had MK Kutty earlier.

These are the same torturers of humanity who rejected outright all norms and values to go ahead with the desecration of the Bamiyan Buddha statues.

Of course, there are narrow and often petty national interests in the building and rebuilding of Afghanistan, but Surya and Kutty will never return.

There are a few condolence messages by people who matter. The governments of both the countries have again pledged to fight the terrorists, but what will happen to the children of the massacred men? Has anybody thought about that?

Nevertheless, seeing from a wider angle, it is time not to criticise the Indian government but to back it.

Should the Hamid Karzai government not efface the Taliban members who are in the treacherous business of taking innocent human lives? There are many other questions to be asked, including the use of force, by India.

The Taliban believes that history began with the emergence of Islam in the sixth century and that any evidence of civilisation prior to that is to be wiped out.

The Taliban is ruthless and the whole world knows that its members do not spare any victims.

It's only wishful thinking that negotiations with these brutes could have saved the innocent Indians. The Indian government was able to save some drivers in Iraq, but the situation is worse in the land of the Taliban.

Perhaps one could presume that the security risk to the Indians working abroad has increased after India became a close ally of the US.

The truth is that the killing of Indians by the Taliban is not because of the India-US friendship as India has been on the hit list of pan-Islamic zealots long before it cemented its friendship with the US.

Remember the Osama Bin Laden quote terming India as an enemy of Islam in 2000? Through the gory murders of Suryanarayan and Kutty, the Taliban wants to convey that it is against all developmental work. It also wants to create a hostage phobia.

May be there are undercurrents in the Pakistani regime, which also thinks that its presence would be negated if Indians rebuild the America-based Afghanistan.

But all Indians, as individuals and as a nation, must not at any cost give in to the pressure. We, as a nation, are still paying the heavy price of releasing Masood Azhar in return for hostages of the kidnapped IC-814 flight in December 1999.

Unless Islamic countries come out to condemn this madness as un-Islamic and isolate fanatics acting in the name of religion, such incidents would serve only to strengthen the dogmatism of all those who ignore the issue as being internal.

The Taliban is not defending true faith. On the contrary, it is grievously undermining it. A Talibani Afghanistan is a travesty of humanity that has grown to be a Frankenstein's monster, which cannot be controlled by its sponsors anymore.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the only three countries that had recognised the erstwhile Taliban - the current imbroglio casts a special responsibility on them, too.

According to Alia Zargar, who lives in the Taliban-controlled area and is also with the Afghan Women's Network, the conscious Muslim population is also concerned about the violation of human rights of all Afghans.

Writes Zargar in an April 23, 2006, release: "However, we note that even today, in the Karzai-ruled regime, women and girls are singled out by the Taliban authorities as not having the right to work or attend school."

Kabul has become the largest prison for women in the world. Perverted, unseemly and unprofitable are the Taliban's governing agenda of turning its back on modernity along with the abolition of music cassettes, television and photography.

There is the imposition of antediluvian codes about dress as also appearance in regard to men and women, not to mention the zealous diktat against even elementary education. About 80 per cent of girls in Afghanistan are still illiterate today.

M Atyab Siddiqui, an eminent lawyer and human rights activist, lamented: "What is quite inexplicable is how the world has watched with contemptuous indifference the retrogressive measures that the Taliban imposed against its own people.

"The current act of bigoted hate can provoke a bloody backlash outside Afghanistan. It is a crime against humanity. It is a crime against Islam."

What if there is a backlash in India against the innocent Afghans living here? But Indians will never indulge in such barbaric acts.

Afghanistan, once a beautiful land of fresh and dry fruits, oriental cities and liberal monarchs like Zahir Shah, is hurtling towards the position of a failed state and a point of no return owing to the Taliban's misdeeds.

The Taliban is getting desperate probably as it meets resistance regarding its anti-human policies and ideas. Such obsessions have urged it to take drastic steps such as these to draw the world's attention.

To be forewarned is forearmed. It is obligatory on the part of every right-thinking Muslim to treat it as his pious duty to explain to his non-Muslim brethren that the Taliban represents neither Islam nor Muslims - but only itself. Frankly speaking, it is not a question of religion but of murdering innocents and pre-Islamic traditions.

The mullah zealots of Afghanistan seem not to have read or interpreted Islam properly as the holy Quran states: "Do not harm innocents, whatever faith they belong to. Kidnapping is an un-Islamic act."

There has been widespread condemnation against Suryanarayan's killing from renowned religious organisations, including women's organisations, like Darul Uloom Deoband, Jamat-e-Islami-e-Hind, Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, Jamia Nizamia, Sabeel-al-Falah, Darul Uloom Hyderabad and Mazahir-e-Uloom.

(Firoz Bakht Ahmed is a commentator on social, political and religious issues.)