The Afghan Taliban, who have reportedly stepped up attacks against Islamic clerics who disagree with them, on Tuesday denounced the so-called Islamic Scholars’ conferences in Asia and the Middle East as an American “scheme” intended to delegitimize their “jihadic resistance.”
In a statement, the Taliban also urged clerics to reject the gatherings, noting:
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan [Taliban] considers this process under the title of conferences of the Islamic Scholars as an absolute anti-Islamic US process whereas its idea, logistical support and implementation is directly led by the US itself. The US wants through these conferences to find justification for their military occupation, legitimize their stooge Kabul Administration and thus weaken the Jihadic resistance of Afghan Muslim nation being put up against them. … The Islamic Emirate urges religious scholars to reject these conferences which are a scheme of the invaders.
Citing the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the Associated Press (AP) reports that the United States “does not have a role in the conferences. The Taliban statement did not offer any evidence to support their claim.”
In their written remarks, Taliban terrorists justified the killing of tens of thousands of civilians, an act that Afghanistan’s top religious body has recently deemed as un-Islamic.
The Taliban stated:
We are expending our utmost efforts to avoid civilian causalities in our Jihadic attacks…But these are the reciprocal effects of a war that civilian casualties will happen. Sometimes civilians were even killed unintentionally by the companions of the Prophet Muhammad…Religious scholars have never rejected legitimate Jihad because of unintentional civilian casualties.
Jihadi suicide bombers targeted a meeting of the top religious body known as the Afghan Ulema Council hours after the Loya Jirga, or the council of elders, issued the fatwa declaring terrorist attacks as un-Islamic and urging the Taliban enter peace talks.
The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack that left up to 14 people dead and about 20 others wounded during the holiest 30-day (May 17 thru June 15) period for Muslims, Ramadan.
Although the Taliban denied involvement in the attack, the group has repeatedly denounced the fatwa as invalid.
Late last month, the U.S. State Department reported that the Sunni Afghan Taliban in 2017 “continued to assassinate or issue death threats against Sunni clerics for preaching messages contrary to its interpretation of Islam; Taliban gunmen killed imams and other religious officials throughout the country.”
In the statement, the Taliban terrorists threatened the clerics who disagree with them, cautioning, “We want to tell the religious scholars that they should fear the torment of this world and the Hereafter about this sensitive issue of considering the rightful Jihad as illegitimate.”
They added, “Helping the American tyrant is a great sin and deviation from Islam, May Allah, the Almighty protect our religious scholars from it. … We respectfully urge the religious scholars of Afghanistan and the Muslim world to cooperate and help the Muslim nation and Mujahideen.”
The Taliban jihadis deemed themselves “heroes” fighting a legitimate jihad, arguing that they do not need the approval of the government or the top religious body to continue waging war.
U.S. Gen. John Nicholson, the top commander of NATO and American forces in Afghanistan, argues that the Taliban is no longer an Islamic terrorist group, but rather a drug cartel interested in generating funds through the country’s lucrative opium business.
The recent Taliban statement comes amid optimism in the United States and Afghanistan of a possible peace agreement between the Taliban and Kabul despite the terrorist group’s ongoing rejection of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s U.S.-backed offer of a ceasefire and official recognition as a political organization.