Monday, August 23, 2010

The Taliban: In its own words

The Taliban does not believe in a deliberative political process, least of all in democracy. Ahmed Rashid, the Pakistani reporter and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and Britain's Daily Telegraph, interviewed Taliban Mullah Wakil on the matter before 2001, when the Taliban still ruled most of Afghanistan. Wakil was a close confidant of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader sometimes referred to by his Arabic title, Amir ul-Momineen, or commander of the faithful. Wakil said:

"Decisions are based on the advice of the Amir ul- Momineen. For us consultation is not necessary. We believe that this is in line with the Sharia. We abide by the Amir's view even if he alone takes this view. There will not be a head of state. Instead there will be an Amir al- Momineen. Mullah Omar will be the highest authority and the government will not be able to implement any decision to which he does not agree. General elections are incompatible with Sharia and therefore we reject them."

Wakil's interpretation of Sharia law, like the most of the Taliban's interpretation of Sharia, is inaccurate, or at least drastically out of line with most Islamic interpretations of Sharia. But it prevails in Taliban ideology.

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