Afghanistan crisis is about power struggle, not about Islam: MSO

New Delhi: The takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban by force is purely the power struggle; it has nothing to do with Islam and that to project it as the victory of an Islamic side will be nothing but misguiding Indian Muslim youths. The Taliban have nothing to do with the Ahle Sunnat or Sufi ideology and they follow the Deobandi pattern of Islamic teachings that are mostly taught in a number of madarsas in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was made clear in a webinar organised by the Muslim Youth Organisation (MSO), the largest organisation of Muslim youths in India.

Dr Akhlaq Usmani, adjunct faculty at Haridev Joshi University of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Dr Moinuddin Ahmad, news editor at Indiatimes.com (Times of India Group), were invited as expert guests for the webinar. Dr Shujat Ali Qadri, the president of MSO, moderated the programme.

Dr Usmani said that in India, propaganda is being spread that the Taliban belong to the Ahle Sunnat ideology, which is popularly known as the Sufi or Barelvi ideology. “The core ideology of the Taliban is Deobandi,” he made it clear. He also said that key Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, that eye to take reins of leadership of world Muslims, are keenly watching the developments in Afghanistan.

Dr Usmani also explained that the arrival of Taliban would pose dangers to the peace in West Asia and South Asia. “The rule of Taliban will not only pose threats for Jammu and Kashmir in India, they could be potential trouble-makers in Xinjiang, China, and neighbouring countries of Afghanistan like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and even in Pakistan, the chief backer of the Taliban. So, the jubilation in Pakistan on the victory of Taliban is self-deceiving. The people who come to power by guns always remain dangerous, even to the nations and people who back them,” Dr Usmani said.

Dr Moinuddin said that the Taliban must be seen through the prism of their history. “In their previous rule in 1990’s, they were known for their atrocities on Afghans. Though, there are Islamic governments in various countries, but none can be compared to the Islamist regime of the Taliban. Etymologically, the Taliban mean students, but it’s not necessary that students are always educated also. Most of us ourselves haven’t learnt our lessons properly while we were students. The Taliban follow the Hanafi School of Thought (which is followed by almost all sub groups of Indians Muslims like Deobandi, Barelvi, etc). And while we call them Deobandi, we must keep in mind that they have been taught in Deobandi madarsas in Pakistan and Afghanistan, not in India.”

Moderator Dr Qadri also questioned the role of Pakistan while commenting on the future of the region after the Taliban takeover. He said that Pakistan might burn its own hands while handling the Taliban.

Many viewers of the webinar put up their questions that were answered by both the guest experts.

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