Article On Afghan Taliban's Urdu-Language Website Accuses West Of Double Standard For Free Speech, Criticizes Twitter For Suspending Accounts Celebrating Suicide Bombers

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November 22, 2022

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An article published recently on the Urdu-language website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA, i.e., the Afghan Taliban) accused the West of applying a double standard to free speech by blocking pro-Taliban Twitter and Facebook accounts.

In the article, titled "Shameless Meanness And Narrow-Mindedness,"[1] the writer Syed Abdul Razzaq went on to say that the double standard is a result of the Afghan Taliban defeating the U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan after two decades of war.

"The world has its own vision. It violated the honor of Afghanistan for 20 years so that it could do whatever it wanted here. But the Afghan people, with their unparalleled bravery and courage, did not allow it [and defeated the U.S. military] and with the help of Allah stopped them in their path. Consequently, the world changed its color and wanted to offer poison in the cup of milk," Razzaq added.

The publication of the article followed the decision of Twitter's management to block thousands of accounts that tweeted "#Fidayan," a hashtag referring to suicide bombers.

Excerpts from the article are given below:

"Thousands Of Twitter Accounts On Social Media That Tweeted The Hashtag #Fidayan Have Been Banned By The [Twitter] Administration"

"A few days ago, Afghan youths ran a hashtag in praise of their worthy sons who sacrificed their flower-like youth for the preservation of the religion of Islam, who sacrificed the most beloved thing on earth for the survival of the religion of Prophet Muhammad, who tied bombs and explosives to their bodies and saved the status of the homeland, Islam, and eastern culture and civilization with the pieces of their bodies.

"The hashtag, which was known as '#Fidayan' was trending in just half an hour due to the immense love and devotion of the Afghan people and became the top trending [hashtag] in Afghanistan. The way the Afghan people supported the hashtag in favor of their worthy children and the love and acceptance they gave was remarkable and such a sentiment has not been seen in the contemporary world...

"It is also distinguished in the sense that this love and devotion will be preserved in history, Allah willing – but the sad thing is that the world did not allow the war-torn, oppressed Afghans to express their happiness and express their devotion to their children, and they were banned on social media.

"In view of the international principles, the Afghan nation has the right to freedom of opinion and expression of conscience like other nations. As per the accepted international principles, Afghan people are entitled [to decide] whom to support or whom to block; they have the right to praise someone and can also condemn and criticize. However, the world did not abide by the accepted principles and restricted them [on social media].

"According to reports, thousands of Twitter accounts have been banned by the administration on social media that tweeted the hashtag #Fidayan. And even the accounts that benefited from their favor [and were not banned] – their followers were reduced to zero or negligible numbers. Individuals who have requested to restore their accounts have been told that they have violated the community guidelines and their accounts cannot be restored. Such individuals have said that they want to use this deceptive and charming global slogan that everyone in the world has the right to 'freedom of expression.' But it did not reach the ears of those who talk about freedom..."

"This Author, Just For Fun, Posted A Poem With The Name 'Omar' [Referring To Mullah Muhammad Omar, The Founder Of Afghan Taliban]; Due To This Name The [Facebook] Administration Removed That ID Within Seconds"

"This is not the first time restrictions have been placed on social media. Before this, such restrictions were imposed on popular apps, Facebook and WhatsApp, and remain so. Restrictions are so much on Facebook that last year this author, just for fun, posted a poem containing the name 'Omar' [referring to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the founder of the Afghan Taliban]; due to this name, the [Facebook] administration removed that ID within seconds. Similarly, there are countless other names and words that have been blacklisted by Facebook.

"The surprising thing here is that... The world is constantly accusing the new government of Afghanistan of being a major obstacle to freedom of expression, that the current Afghan government has prevented people from expressing facts freely. And to prove this, they sometimes present in the media a woman or a man from among the 40 million people in Afghanistan, and that person cries that he was prevented from speaking about something.

"Who is this man? To which city does this woman belong? As a result of the investigation, it is revealed that this man was actually just making accusations for some benefit and he was getting good money from the world for this conspiracy; or this woman wants to go to Europe and America, but no opportunity is available, therefore, she shows her false victimhood so that the Western master will be kind and arrange a visa for her.

"Even if we accept that a few individuals were threatened by the Afghan government and such a [government] action was deemed a crime, then will it not be double crime, rather a multiple double crime, that the accounts of thousands of individuals are shut down for disagreeable views and their right to expression is curbed?"

"The Question Is: What Is The Standard For Freedom Of Expression? Which Freedom Is Trustworthy And Which Is Not? Is There Any Acceptable Law For This?"

"The question is: What is the standard for freedom of expression? Which freedom is trustworthy and which is not? Is there any acceptable law for this? On the one hand, there seems to be such an open exemption that when a law is made in Islamic countries to deal with the blasphemy of the prominent figures of Islam, the world creates a ruckus, saying that the right to freedom has been taken away.

"On the other hand, narrow-mindedness and meanness is such that they cannot allow us to write someone's name [Mullah Muhammad Omar]. This is a double standard, where there is a raid on human rights, where there is extreme of meanness, narrow-mindedness, and inferiority...

"Here, another point is very interesting: Whenever the world criticizes the new government of Afghanistan, it argues that this government of Afghanistan is not giving the Afghan people their rights and therefore, it is necessary to deliver the rights to the Afghan people. It is a very sad and oppressed nation. The way the world speaks, indicates that it has a lot of goodwill and sympathy toward the Afghan people, it seems that the Afghan people are the most beloved people on earth.

"But on the other hand, the plight is that when these oppressed people express their joy and happiness in words and chants about something, it is not acceptable to them for a moment. Finally, why is there this open contradiction in words and deeds? After all, why is there friendship in conversation with this oppressed nation and open enmity in character?

"In fact, the standard here is already set. The world has its own vision. It violated the honor of Afghanistan for 20 years so that it could do whatever it wanted here. But the Afghan people, with their unparalleled bravery and courage, did not allow it [and defeated the U.S. military] and with the help of Allah stopped them in their path. Consequently, the world changed its color and wanted to offer poison in the cup of milk. And they tried to deceive in the name of freedom and rights, etc. but nobody was caught in their web.

"Therefore, expressing their brazenness, they imposed restrictions [on social media]. But they forgot that just as this self-respecting millat [nation] did not retreat in the battlefield, similarly, it is going to stay steadfast in the intellectual and ideological field too, Allah willing."

 

[1] Alemarahurdu.af/%d8%b4%d8%b1%d9%85%d9%86%d8%a7%da%a9-%da%a9%d9%85-%d8%b8%d8%b1%d9%81%db%8c-%d8%a7%d9%88%d8%b1-%d8%aa%d9%86%da%af-%d9%86%d8%b8%d8%b1%db%8c/, November 2, 2022.

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