The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
As the intra-Afghan talks in Doha remain deadlocked, Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has justified a series of terror attacks against Afghan security forces by saying that soon after Prophet Muhammad's death, the first Islamic caliph Abu Bakr Siddique waged jihad against Muslims. He also cited a saying of Prophet Muhammad that Muslims who support an oppressor, such as the Afghan army supporting American troops, has left Islam.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with Taliban Deputy Emir Mullah Baradar in Doha
In an interview published by the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the Afghan Taliban organization), Zabihullah Mujahid rejected arguments that Afghan security forces are Muslims and that jihad against them cannot be justified. The Taliban spokesman also rejected a contention that the elected democratic government of Afghanistan is an Islamic government, saying that the "word of Allah" is yet to reign supreme in the country.
"The obligation of jihad remains and shall continue to remain until the 'word of Allah' reigns supreme, an Islamic government is established and the mujahideen and Afghans collectively feel a sense of assurance," Zabihullah Mujahid stated in the interview. The Taliban spokesman declared that a corrupt government cannot also be an Islamic government and cited a fatwa (Islamic decree) saying that anyone supporting "corruption" should be killed.
Widening the scope of shari'a rulings, Zabihullah Mujahid went on to say that any Muslim cooperating with non-Muslims, e.g., by cooperating with Americans and with other Western countries in Afghanistan, can be killed. It should be noted that after fighting the Afghan Taliban for 20 years, the U.S. signed a peace deal with them in Doha on February 29, 2020.
However, the Afghan Taliban spokesman's interview leaves no theoretical difference between the Islamic State (ISIS) and the Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban). Also, Zabihullah Mujahid says that even if the U.S. troops left Afghanistan, jihad cannot cease until an Islamic government is established. The current intra-Afghan talks in Doha are deadlocked over the Taliban's demand of establishing a pure Islamic government.
Following is the text of the interview:
Afghans Had Two Obligations To Execute; One, To Force Out Foreign Forces;... And Two, To Re-Establish An Islamic Government"
"Host Mawlawi Ahmadullah Waseeq: Respected readers of Al-Emarah website. May peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon you all. Following the signing of the landmark 'Termination of Occupation Agreement' between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the United States of America in the capital of Qatar, Doha, on the 29th February of the current year, a number of parties have raised objections about the war against Kabul administration forces at a time when the Islamic Emirate has entered into a ceasefire with American forces. We have conducted an interview with the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the honorable Zabihullah Mujahid, to answer these questions and objections.
"Question: Honorable Zabihullah Mujahid, a number of people have raised objections following the signing an agreement with America and subsequent withdrawal process and ceasefire with disbelieving forces, under what justification is war being waged against Kabul forces whom are both Afghans and Muslims? Specifically, how can this be termed a lawful struggle?
"Answer [by Zabihullah Mujahid]: In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful... I extend my sincere greetings to all listeners and followers of Al-Emarah Studio. It is an indisputable fact that Afghanistan was gripped by two distinct problems following the American occupation; the first issue – a foreign transgression or attack transpired as disbelieving forces invaded a Muslim land [after 9/11], used its arsenal to begin a cycle of oppression and bombardments, and physically occupied our homeland. The second issue – Afghanistan owned an Islamic government, an Islamic system established and operating under the fatwa and decree of religious scholars and clergy of Afghanistan in the framework of an 'Islamic Emirate.' This 'Emirate' [the Taliban organization] was seemingly removed from the scene in the face of an onslaught as our cities were colonized by unbelievers and our country directly occupied.
"At that instance, the Afghans had two obligations to execute; one, to force out foreign forces and compel them to end the occupation of Afghanistan; and two, to re-establish an Islamic government. Now that the Americans acknowledged realities, entered negotiations and signed an agreement under the terms of which all foreign forces will withdraw all their troops, then such [an agreement signed in Doha] resolved one aspect of the aforementioned distinct problem.
"Second is the aim or goal of jihad, which is the establishment of Islamic rule described as 'raising the word of Allah' in the books of Shari'a [Islamic jurisprudence], an objective that is yet to be attained. Therefore, until 'raising the word of Allah' reigns supreme on land and until the rule of Islam takes hold in our homeland, jihad continues to remain mandatory and Afghans obligated to wage jihad until such an eventuality. All questions or objections raised in this regard are thus unsound and mostly posed by those who are not versed in Islamic terminology and academia and are not Islamic scholars by profession.
"The obligation of jihad remains and shall continue to remain until the 'word of Allah' reigns supreme, an Islamic government is established and the mujahideen and Afghans collectively feel a sense of assurance that their goal for which they sacrificed so much is achieved – but until such an outcome, jihad shall remain lawful and shall continue, Allah willing."
"How Is It Possible For A System To Be Islamic Yet Be The Most Corrupt..."; "America Does Not Go From Place To Place To Establish Islamic Governments"
"Question: Majority of media outlets at this very moment are asking, is the current system of the Kabul administration not Islamic? What system are you fighting against?"
"Answer: I again reiterate that these are not professional questions. We want to clarify that the Kabul administration [i.e., the elected Afghan government] is not an Islamic government, and not even an Afghan child would accept the notion that America invaded Afghanistan to establish Islamic governance. It is incontrovertible that America is the architect of the current administration, so how can one claim in good conscious [sic, conscience] that America created an Islamic government?
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad shakes hands with Mullah Baradar in Doha.
"Ask anyone across the globe, does America intervene in countries to establish Islamic rule or does it intervene to bring about systems based on western models and beliefs? Accordingly, we unequivocally state that the Kabul administration has been erected to safeguard American interest, a point repeatedly highlighted by the heads of Kabul that they are fighting for the security of Washington and New York, ergo, a system constructed for the security of Washington, for the security of New York, can never be classified as Islamic.
"Secondly, if we look at the makeup of the administration [i.e., the Afghan government], all officials from top to bottom lack the most basic fundamental knowledge of Islam, and all workers from top to bottom are solely proficient in corruption – in moral corruption, in administrative corruption and in political corruption – to the extent that even their foreign donors acknowledge that this administration has maintained top three position[s] as the most corrupt nation in the world over the course of the past two decades.
"Such a system can therefore never be called Islamic and labelling it such is a crime and an insult to an Islamic system. How is it possible for a system to be Islamic yet be the most corrupt in the world? Such claims are nonsensical. America does not go from place to place to establish Islamic governments, they only install their slaves to pursue their interests and objectives."
"[Afghan Security] Forces In Our Country, In Spite Of Professing Islam And Being Born To Muslims Parents, Have Served And Supported Invaders For The Past Two Decades"
"[Zabihullah Mujahid continues:] Another issue is assertions by some media and individuals that the current fighting is intra-Muslim killing, meaning that Kabul administration forces are Muslims that must not be killed. This question can be easily answered in the context of Shari'ah. A nation during the time of [the first Islamic caliph] Abu Bakr Siddique refused paying zakat (alms giving). They had accepted all tenets of Islam and did not reject zakat either but refused to pay zakat to Abu Bakr Siddique and sought to distribute it among their own people.
"Abu Bakr Siddique declared jihad against them but was initially opposed by other Sahabah [i.e., the companions of Prophet Muhammad] including Umar Farooq who questioned waging jihad against a people that professed Islam. Abu Bakr Siddique responded by saying that he will wage jihad against them based on this exact Kalimah (declaration of faith) because it is the sine qua non of this Kalimah that all its rulings be implemented. Thereafter, jihad began with some of them killed and others pursuing repentance, yet Abu Bakr Siddique waged jihad in spite of the fact that these people professed their faith [in Islam].
"Another issue clarified by fuqaha (Islamic jurists) is the matter of capital punishment for Muslims. For example, a Muslim kills another person and this murder is proven in a court of law; such a person will face capital punishment and his faith in Islam will not exempt him from such a fate. Another case is of a Muslim whom, God forbid, commits adultery and his crime is proven in a court of law, then such a person will face rajm (stoning) punishment. Even though he is a Muslim, yet he will still face the harshest forms of punishment by being stoned to death, because Islam has proscribed such for him.
"The Kabul administration forces in our country, in spite of professing Islam and being born to Muslims parents, have served and supported invaders for the past two decades, and I will clarify this matter with two examples. A hadith [sayings and deeds of Muhammad] states:... If a person accompanies in support of an oppressor while knowing full well that such strengthens the oppressor, then he has left the fold of Islam. Meaning that support to an oppressor takes one out of the fold of Islam, and this is a ruling of this hadith. Now you be the judge, is America an oppressor or an oppressed? And these people who have supported America for two decades, have they accompanied America or not? Did they work to aid America or not?"
"Established Books Of [Islamic] Jurisprudence Make It Unequivocally Clear That Those [Muslims] Who Have Aided And Cooperated With Unbelievers Can Be Killed"
"[Zabihullah Mujahid continues:] The ruling of this hadith takes these people out of the fold of Islam, even though [the Sunni Islamic jurist] Imam Abu Hanifa is cautious in the ruling of excommunication and we do not label them apostates, yet fighting them is lawful and the noblest of actions. A rule in an authoritative book of Hanafi jurisprudence, Fatawa Hindiyya, states:... The oppressor and their backers who participate with them in oppression and corruption can be killed and the killer shall be rewarded immensely by Allah for killing the oppressors and the people of corruption. Now, is there any other greater corruption than aiding and supporting invaders?
"Those who aid in killing their own people, and although they may profess faith, they can be killed, and such actions entail rewards. One more subject found on page 250 of another authoritative book of jurisprudence, Fatawa Kamilya, states:
"'... If unbelievers triumph and occupy a country, and a group of Muslims arise to help and support these infidels, begin killing Muslims, usurping their wealth, praise their (infidels') goodwill, and begin aiding the... (infidels) against Muslims, then what is their ruling?
"'The question is answered: It is absolutely clear that their ruling is the same as those... [for] the people of Darul Harb (land of war), the infidels, in a sense, that they shall be killed, and their wealth seized.'
"Our established books of jurisprudence make it unequivocally clear that those [Muslims] who have aided and cooperated with unbelievers can be killed and their wealth confiscated. However, if they repent and disavow their actions, they can be pardoned by the Muslims. That they are Muslims, we cannot take their faith away from them, but we can still kill them for their actions.
"Accordingly, all troops and workers serving in the Kabul administration have waged a war against Muslims for the past twenty years. They are not ordinary folks but a bunch of criminals and mercenaries who have opposed Islam, and despite their proclamation of faith, their killing is not prohibited. So long as they do not repent and accept an Islamic system and continue to operate as an obstacle hindering the establishment of an Islamic system, they shall continue to be killed until that time and there is no prohibition in such a course of action."
"American Invaders Are Still Present In Our Country... Even If They Are Removed From The Equation, The Objective Of An Islamic System As A Result Of Our Jihad Is Still Not Attained"
"Question: A number of people are clutching onto comments of foreign-based [Islamic] scholars as justification and proof. For example, the President of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Ahmad Al-Raysuni answered a question posed by a news channel stating that the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan is unlawful. What is your response to this and other such opinions?"
"Answer: What I can definitively say in this regard is that scholars based outside Afghanistan do not possess complete knowledge about Afghan circumstances and realities. They foremost need to be informed and witness the situation of Afghanistan in person. This same honorable sheikh (Ahmad al-Raysuni) supports our jihad against the American occupiers, but the initiation of our jihad has not reached its end-stage because American invaders are still present in our country and are continuing their support for their servile forces, yet even if they are removed from the equation, the objective of an Islamic system as a result of our jihad is still not attained.
"Jihad becomes lawful due to its lawful objective of an Islamic system, sans which jihad itself would be unlawful. Our goal is the establishment of an Islamic government, and we cannot abdicate our responsibility midway. Another thing worth considering is that these same scholars are not well informed about the Afghan plight and once informed, they would undoubtedly alter their position.
"[Media] Outlets that approach scholars with such questions do it in a misleading manner, for example, what is your opinion about the killing of Muslims? Of course, no one allows such abomination and all prohibit it unanimously. But if you ask their opinion about the killing of a Muslim who has aided America for twenty years and is opposing the establishment of an Islamic system, then perhaps you might find a different answer.
"You will find the answer to be that of permissibility, anyone opposing an Islamic system can be eliminated, and this is a well-established Islamic ruling. Although we respect this union and its scholars, we respectfully oppose their view. These questions have been posed when they are not completely aware of the Afghan situation whereas a prerequisite for issuing Islamic rulings is that the person issuing the fatwa or decree must have complete knowledge of that particular circumstance."
Source: AlemarahEnglish.net (Afghanistan), October 24, 2020. The original English of the interview has been lightly edited for clarity and standardization.