In an August 16, 2021 article in the Egyptian daily Al-Watan, liberal thinker Dr. Khaled Montaser, a physician and media figure, castigates those who rejoiced at the Taliban's rise to power in Afghanistan and saw it as a victory for Islam and the Muslims. The Taliban, he says, is a fascist religious movement that seeks to kill joy and is hostile to life and humanity themselves, as evident from its ban on Covid and polio vaccines. This movement is incapable of establishing a modern state, he concludes.
Khaled Mintaser (Source: Al-Watan, Egypt)
The following are translated excerpts from his article:
"I started expecting the Taliban to advance towards any part of Afghanistan the day they killed Afghan comedian Nazar Mohammad and mutilated his body to intimidate [others]. Horror indeed intensified, and the murderers won. Nazar, known as Khasha Zwan, was known to his friends as a lover of comedy who posted funny videos on Youtube. He lived in Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold. He was surprised [in his home], abducted, tied and [forced into] a vehicle. A video circulated later shows Taliban soldiers slapping him and laughing, and another video showed them mutilating his body!
"The killing of humor marks the beginning of the path of deterioration and destruction… The Taliban's first and most important decision was to remove pictures of women from billboards, smash store windows mannikins and of course mandate the wearing of the chador, the Afghan niqab. Religious fascism intensified, until they reached the point of killing joy and then proceeded to kill life itself by forbidding Afghans to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
"In March, [2021, Afghan] officials reported that Taliban gunmen had killed three women in Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan who worked vaccinating [the populace] against polio… In June , five members of the polio vaccination teams were killed and four were wounded in a series of coordinated attacks in three different places in eastern Afghanistan.
"The Afghan media reports that the Taliban in Paktia in the east of the country has [now] banned the Covid-19 vaccine as well. The Afghan Shamshad television channel quoted Wilayat Khan Ahmadzai, head of the local public health department, as saying that, since taking over the area last week, the Taliban has banned getting the vaccine at the local hospital. The unit in charge of vaccines has been closed down for at least three days, and people are told that the vaccine is forbidden…
"Is this unreasonable behavior the Taliban's way of becoming more liberated and civilized? Can those who are hostile to humanity and life be part of the modern [world]?
"The disaster is that some of our young people are writing [with admiration] of the Taliban's great victory, their takeover of Kabul and their invasion of Kandahar! Do they think that [the acts of] exiling people, stoning them, killing and perpetrating massacres herald the establishment of a [modern] state, the building of a nation and the revival of the homeland?!
"Whoever believes that what is happening in Afghanistan is a victory for Islam and the Muslims needs to have his head and his intelligence examined."
 Al-Watan (Egypt), August 16, 2021.