The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On October 20, 2021, pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media outlets disparaged the Taliban for collaborating with the so-called enemies of Islam, including Russia and Iran, to advance its interests at the expense of Muslims and for Sufis to practice their rituals, which are considered polytheistic by Sufis. The content coincided with Russia-hosted talks on Afghanistan involving senior representatives of the Taliban.
Du'at Al-Falah, a pro-ISIS media group, published a poster with a heading that read "Taliban of Apostasy and Treachery," which accused the de facto government of Afghanistan of openly revealing its apostasy by consorting with unbelievers and oppressing Muslims in order to maintain control of Afghanistan.
Pledging that ISIS will continue fighting the Taliban, the poster reads: "The Taliban of today is not like the Taliban of yesterday, which concealed its real face [...] Now, it brags about its apostasy and treachery and consorts with the unbelievers and hypocrites [...] and fights against every monotheist Muslim and against monotheism and its followers, to please the Crusaders, unbelievers, and polytheists. All of this to be recognized as a government and to [secure] a piece of land that it could impose its influence over it, and control [the destinies] of Muslims there. Yet, Allah will foil their plans and will not extend His support to them as they walk this path. And the soldiers of the Caliphate, they are on the lookout for them [i.e., the Taliban], they will pursue them and monitor them [...]"
Additionally, Tafa'ul Mustamirr ("Constant Reaction"), a pro-ISIS Telegram channel, circulated a photo of Taliban Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi speaking to Russian journalists. The channel captioned the photo with the following: "While Russia is bombing markets in northern Syria, a Taliban leader speaks to you from Russia the friend!"
Pro-ISIS Telegram channel, Bayda' Al-Muwahhideen, similarly circulated a photo of Taliban representatives reportedly meeting with Iranian officials in an office in Herat, Afghanistan, where a picture of the slain IRGC-Qods Force Commander Qasem Soleimani is displayed in the background.
Circling Soleimani's picture, the channel commented on the photo by accusing the Taliban of pursuing a Shi'ite agenda.
The channel also shared a video clip of a Sufi ritual in Afghanistan. The caption with the post accused Taliban of allowing "people of misguidance," such as Sufis, to practice their rituals.
The post read: "Under the rule of the Taliban, the people of falsehood and misguidance are able to breath and practice sins like these mystical Sufis! The grave-worshipers and Rafidites [i.e., rejectionists, a derogatory term for Shi'ites] are nurtured under the Taliban."