With the defeat of the US and the comeback of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the infamous “jihad versus McWorld” (tribalism versus globalism) debate has erupted once again. In my opinion, we have more important questions to answer, at present.
Does the triumph of the Taliban represent a triumph of Islam? Are the Talibanis “the hard core face of islamic fundamentalism”? Let’s have a look.
China, the country which occupies the headlines every other day for their atrocities against the Uyghur Muslims, has shown a remarkable shift in its attitude towards the Taliban.
When the Taliban took over Afghanistan for the first time in 1996, China refused to recognise their rule and shut down its embassy for years on end.
This time around, Beijing has been among the first to embrace the Taliban. And, the relation is not just one-sided. The Taliban has also shown willingness to work with China and reassured it that it will not “interfere in China’s internal affairs”.
Fighting against the world’s strongest army is not a game for the naive. Not only does it require a militar, but also huge financial support. Naturally, a question arises: how does the Taliban support itself?
Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium. Most of the poppy growing takes place in areas controlled by the Taliban and it is believed to be an important source of their income.
Isn’t opium, a drug, considered to be haram (sinful) in Islam? Can haram money ever lead to any good?
Islam is a religion that promotes education, irrespective of gender. Seeking knowledge is an important dimension of the Islamic faith. In fact, it is obligatory upon every Muslim.
Then, how can those who restrict women from gaining knowledge, become the vanguard of Islam?
I think by now it’s clear that the Taliban has more to do with power and politics, than Islam. Then why do the Talibanis depict themselves as hardcore Muslims? The answer is simple: to gain support.
The basic objective of any militant group around the world is to gain popularity and support for their cause. Here, the Taliban has used Islam to gain sympathy and support from Muslims around the world.
For them, it’s merely a tool to rise to power and an element to lend legitimacy to their illegitimate intentions and actions.
Unfortunately, to some extent, the Taliban have succeeded in gaining support among the Muslims. These shortsighted people are celebrating the Taliban’s victory and willfully ignoring the gut-wrenching images coming from Afghanistan.
I can only hope that the future of Afghanistan will not be as bloody as its past.