Mawlawi Ataullah Faizani took time out from teaching Islamic studies at a girls’ school in Kabul to explain why Afghans have a duty to resist the occupation of their country.
He quoted sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, spoke of foreign troops humiliating civilians, and ridiculed the corruption that runs through the heart of the government.
“This anarchy has been created by the West,” he told GlobalPost. “The West is never happy to let Muslims be united.”
Faizani’s views are common among members of the powerful religious establishment here. Clerics and scholars now openly sympathize with the Taliban and question much of what NATO claims to have achieved.
Far from being radical, their message is part of a mainstream demand for the creation of an independent state that would impose corporal punishment, stricter dress codes for women and greater censorship of the media.
Their complaints about life in Afghanistan post-2001 inevitably begin with the presence of foreign troops. The occupation, they believe, has actively encouraged a litany of personal and political ills in an effort to weaken the bedrock of society: Islam.
The sheer depth of this anger and suspicion was evident in February, when Qurans were set on fire at a US military base. NATO issued an immediate apology but nationwide protests erupted regardless.
The anger has since been seen in demonstrations over an anti-Islam video released on YouTube, and in a number of incidents involving Afghan security forces deliberately shooting their foreign counterparts, suggesting that tensions between two very different cultures may be near a breaking point.
When he is not teaching at a girls’ school, Faizani is an imam at a mosque in Kabul. He said that non-Muslims who are guests in an Islamic society have the same rights as Muslims.
But he added that this rule does not apply to soldiers, who he insisted are a legitimate target for attacks, including suicide bombings. “People cannot just sit down with their hands under their beards, they should react,” he said.
This anarchy has been created by the West,” he told GlobalPost. “The West is never happy to let Muslims be united.
Posted at 12:06 PM