The Taliban’s Demise On the Significance of Reason in Islam [Archives:2001/47/Focus]

November 19 2001

By: Hassan Al-Haifi
What has come to be a tragic consequence of their own choosing, it appears that the fate of Taliban in Afghanistan, especially in the Holy Month of Ramadhan, requires us as Moslems to reevaluate the tragic aftermath of the fateful day of September 11, 2001 and to explore what can be learned from the pitiful tragic finale for Taliban that the Afghan crisis seems to have arrived to.
It is recognized that the Afghani people are a proud and freedom loving people and it is somewhat understandable that the kind of Islamic rhetoric called for and stringently imposed by the Taliban regime has backfired against the seemingly pious, but somewhat dubious regime, the Taliban and their friends imposed upon the poor Afghani people. One would think that the Afghanis were desperately yearning for the break from the endless calamities that have befallen them, stemming from all the different ideologies and convictions that have tried to forcefully impose themselves on the proud Afghan people.
If we recall the great fight put up by the Afghani people against the Communists and their mentors the Soviet Union, perhaps we can also understand that the Taliban did not in fact provide anything of an improvement over the Communist regime, in quite a lot of similar ways.
As much as the Taliban tried to convince us that they are a religious order of sorts, the truth of the matter is that their image was just too corny and too insistent on the exaggerated application of surface renditions of Islam that have outlived their use. Moreover their neglect of common sense and reason was almost deplorable.
The Taliban seemed to have adapted Islam to a creed for mercenaries to wear, whenever unemployment and desperation sets the young element of Moslem countries on the loose to earn a livelihood and a chance to let out their frustrations from the repression that most Moslem countries are subjected to. The truth of the matter is that judging from what we have perceived from all the radio, television and satellite broadcasting that floods the air, it is clear that the Taliban were just unaccepted by their Afghani subjects, whether Tajeki, Uzbeki, Balucchi or Pashtuni. This also goes for their neighbors, including the overwhelming majority of the Pakistanis, whose former regimes contracted for some of the rich oil sponsors of the Taliban to put them on the helms in Kabul and provide them intelligence, personnel and logistical support. To most people, it is still a mystery to discern the wisdom of this kind of Islamic politics and this vast waste of financial and human resources, but there is no telling what might be really prodding Moslem states to behave so irrationally at times, without ever even apologizing to God and the Moslem people throughout the world, who are craving for the day when the leaders of Moslem nations, in general, will start to behave rationally and in a manner that reflects a logical comprehension of how best to serve the interests of Moslem people at home and throughout the rest of the Moslem World.
It is often that this column has urged Moslems to start solving the problems of the Moslem World by first looking inward to straighten ourselves out, before we start to counter the dangers posed by our enemies outside the Moslem World. It is really pathetic that we have to rely on non – Moslems to start telling us that, hey you guys what you are doing is really non – Islamic, because Islam is this way and that way, etc. What happened to us? Are we going to have Christian missionaries to come and teach us just what our religion is really all about?
We know in our history that we have had elements of the sort that Taliban projected, and oftentimes they were dealt with severely by most of the Moslem states that encountered them throughout history, because they were indeed a real menace to the Moslem society, in addition to all the havoc and destruction they brought about for no apparent logical and religious reasons one can perceive. It started at the dawn of Islam, when the Khawarij, started to question the wisdom of the greatest companions of the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and them) and to carry out heinous crimes, disrupting the peace of the Moslems everywhere, and introducing concepts and practices that were the exact kind of concepts and practices that Islam was actually here to overcome and eliminate.
Thus, it is the same for Taliban, who came out of nowhere to try to impose a rigid interpretation of Islam, that has exceeded by far what the mind and the heart is really willing to come to reason with. We fail to understand what the Taliban and their sponsors can see how they have really served the religion of Islam, the Moslem nation, and themselves by deviating so far from the real tolerant and merciful renditions of Islam they should have really practiced, if they wanted to achieve any objectives worth achieving.
Moreover, in a world where religion has become less and less time consuming for most non – Moslem societies and where Moslem societies have been exploited to their last drop of blood, by people who have exploited their religious sympathies for their own purposes, without giving these people any worthwhile return, it seems unfair to project such a corny and rigid image of Islam, that defies any sense of realism and appreciation of human feelings and moral suasions and expect sensible people to come out and say, This is the Islam we want.
In looking at the jubilation of the Afghani people from being relieved of the oppression of the Taliban, we are quite confident that the Islam, which the Taliban projected for the Afghanis and most sensible Moslems of the world, was just not acceptable and in fact non-Islamic.
We would hope that the lessons of Afghanistan, will start teaching our rich fellow Moslems to start channeling their resources for goodwill, which they wish to undertake, in so many other more philanthropic and cultural activities that enhance the mind and the living standards of Moslems everywhere, to avoid having Moslems depend on non – Moslems for subsistence, let alone for sustenance, and now to come and teach us our religion!
What the Afghani crisis has clearly shown most sensible Moslems is that we really have a lot of work to do to clean up shop from all the misguided fanatics and irrational people of “goodwill” that insist on keeping the clock in the Islamic world not synchronized with the times we are actually killing rather than living. For that our enemies could ask no more.
May your Ramadhan be blessed with the mercy and enlightenment of Allah!