September 20, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9556

International Union Of Muslim Scholars To Taliban Delegation: We Appreciate Your Jihad, Will Help You As Much As We Can In Establishing Islamic Rule

September 20, 2021
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 9556

On September 18, 2021, the top leadership of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), which is sponsored by the Qatari Regime,[1] hosted in the organization's headquarters in Doha a delegation on behalf of the Taliban's government in Afghanistan, headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Sher Mohammad 'Abbas Stanikzai, which also included Taliban political bureau member  Al-Mawlawi Muti' Al-Haqq, political bureau English-language spokesperson Suhail Shaheen and another bureau spokesperson, Muhammad Na'eem. In the course of the meeting, IUMS officials, including the organization's head Ahmad Al-Raissouni and its secretary-general 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi, praised the Taliban government for its jihad and offered to extend it any help it needed in the management of state affairs. Deputy Foreign Minister Stanikzai thanked the IUMS for its support and asked for the guidance of its members in establishing an Islamic regime.

The meeting took place one week after the IUMS sent a letter congratulating Taliban leader Sheikh Al-Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund on his appointment as "prime minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan." The letter expressed hope that Afghanistan's "new government will present a model of righteous Islamic rule, like the rule established by the Prophet Muhammad and his successors, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs," and stressed the readiness of the IUMS to "fully cooperate [with the new government] and assist it in any way it can."[2]

In fact, since the Taliban's takeover of Kabul, the IUMS has praised the movement extensively. Immediately after the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from the country, its head Al-Raissouni issued a statement congratulating the Taliban on "its jihad against the American forces," which said: "The IUMS is glad and optimistic, and congratulates the Afghan people and its leadership, and particularly the Taliban, on these moves and on the new stage that has begun or is beginning to take shape at this time in Afghanistan... The expulsion of the invading American and European forces is an Afghan achievement arrived at by virtue of jihad, steadfastness, and sacrifice, and for this we thank the Taliban..." [3]  In addition, many articles praising the movement and its jihad were published on the IUMS website.[4]

It should be noted that Qatar, which presents itself as a fair and neutral intermediary in talks between the Taliban and the West, effectively supports the Taliban, and has been the location of many meetings between Taliban leaders and other elements that are sponsored by Qatar and support terror, not only the IUMS but also Hamas.[5]

The following are details about the meeting between the IUMS officials and the Taliban government delegation.

IUMS Head Ahmad Al-Raissouni: We Appreciate Your Jihad And Will Support You

IUMS head Sheikh Ahmad Al-Raissouni greeted the delegation and said: "We are brothers, and our hearts are with you, hour by hour. We are glad to be holding this meeting here [in Doha], and our homes are open to you as well. We thank you again for your faith in us and for your esteem. We too appreciate your jihad and your [religious] knowledge, for you are religious scholars and we share the responsibility of [dispensing religious] knowledge." Al-Raissouni stressed that the IUMS would  act to meet any suggestion of the Afghan government and Taliban movement by holding conferences and symposia so that the Taliban could benefit from the experience of others in education, politics and economics.  IUMS Secretary-General 'Ali Al-Qaradaghi likewise congratulated the delegation and clarified that "everyone is overjoyed at the Taliban's victories, which are the victories of all Muslims." [6]

The meeting at the IUMS headquarters in Doha (Source:, September 18, 2021)

Taliban Delegation Head Stanikzai: We Wish To Establish Islamic Rule With IUMS Guidance

Sher Mohammad 'Abbas Stanikzai, deputy foreign minister in the Taliban government, who headed the delegation, said at the meeting: "We are proud to be here because we are meeting with the most senior religious scholars of the IUMS. The purpose of the visit is to thank the IUMS [scholars] face to face for the letter [they sent] to the Prime Minister of the Emirate [Al-Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund] and for congratulating him and his new government…" Stanikzai added that "Afghanistan  needs the advice and guidance of the [IUMS] scholars," and clarified that "the Afghan state suffers from the fact that all the previous governments left a country that is collapsing economically and 70% of whose population is living under the poverty line. We also suffer from the hostility of the [global] media and from constraints on the economic level." He noted that "Afghanistan's success is everybody's success," and that the Taliban feels the burden of responsibility and wishes to establish an Islamic regime that will not be at odds with the international community.  

He added: "We wish to establish this [rule] with the assistance and guidance of our scholars in all areas."  He thanked the IUMS for supporting the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan  and cooperating with it, and asked for its help in building and preserving the Afghan state. He stressed that "the IUMS letter conveys recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, not only on the part of the religious scholars of the Muslim world but on the part of the entire Islamic nation."[7]  


[1] The IUMS, founded in 2004 by Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradawi, who also headed it until several years ago, is sponsored by Qatar and Turkey. Dr. Ahmad Al-Raissouni, who replaced Al-Qaradawi as IUMS head in November 2018, told Al-Jazeera in an interview that Qatar has supported the organization since its inception and that Turkey now funds it as well, and said: "There is nothing wrong with that and we don't hide it. On the contrary, we are proud of it and we urge all the countries to follow in the footsteps of those two." Senior IUMS members have for years been promoting extremist, anti-Western and antisemitic discourse, which has included even calls for suicide attacks. For MEMRI publications on the IUMS, see Appendix of following MEMRI report: Special Dispatch No. 9208 – Facebook Shuts Down Account Of International Union Of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), Which Frequently Calls For Terror And Jihad, March 2, 2021.

[2], September 12, 2021.

[5] For example, on August 15, 2021, the day the Taliban took over Kabul, journalists identified with Hamas circulated on social media photos from a meeting between Hamas leaders and a Taliban delegation that had taken place in Doha in May 2021. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9505 - Qatar's Protégés – Hamas Officials, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Jazeera Reporters – Praise Taliban's 'Jihad' And 'Victory'; Journalists, Liberals In Response: They Should Move To Kabul – August 19, 2021.

[6], August 19, 2021.

[7], September 19, 2021;, September 18, 2021.

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