Give them a chance!

The best form of Law is where egalitarian socialist values are respected and enforced

Before I begin, I wish to posit a disclaimer. Terrorism and armed terrorisation, in the real sense of the terms, is alien to Islamic philosophy and Islamic precepts.

I don’t buttress any activity of the kind in which innocuous lives are hurt, children orphaned, women widowed and mothers left behind with scathing memories of their sons.

In the same vein, when injustice is unleashed at state level, in a manner as malevolent as indiscriminate innocent killings, to kill your voice, is commensurate to taking abode with devil.

The US withdrawal from Afghanistan, last year, has put both the world community and some Afghan dissidents in a state of bewilderment as to what might turn out as the Taliban regime start exerting full “regressive” application of the Sharia Law.

There are many issues at hand with which the current Taliban regime is being tested by the world community.

Issues such as women’s rights, girls’ education, women’s representation in governance and inclusion of anti-Taliban faction in the governance set up, which to me, is never going to happen given the ideological difference that exists between the two.

In the case of prospective Taliban’s inclusion of ‘ideologically alien’ groups, the intermittent and interminable destabilisation will follow, simply exacerbating the dread that prevails in Afghanistan now.

What happened in 2001 in Afghanistan is known to everyone. To take down one suspect, you topple a regime. How strange and despicable does it sound? Be it Afghanistan or Algeria, the western liberal democratic credentials are mired and called into serious questioning. While looking at the modus operandi, one can gauge with ease the hypocrisy which the West has been embroiled in.

Take the example of Kuwait, where the US took active part in defeating Saddam Hussein, of course because of oil interest and Bosnia, where the US grudgingly sided with the Bosnian Muslims to thwart the influence of other Muslim countries which came to the active assistance of Bosnian Muslims, especially Iran, playing no active role in salvaging the Bosnian Muslims. It’s often said, in international polity, hypocrisy is what pervades.

Is it fine to adopt hypocrisy in a world where you take pride in its civilisational values? Is it fine for the so-called ‘sole supreme power’ to freeze Afghan assets and then issue an executive order for its allocation between 9/11 victims and Afghanistan given the humanitarian exigency?

Having said that, the Taliban regime have to rectify the wrongs they inflicted when they first came to power in 1996. To me, the best form of Law is where egalitarian socialist values are respected and enforced.

Human made laws, though once in a blue moon lucrative and effective, have a natural tendency of imperfection in the long run as against the divine Law.

We have people dying and starving in huge numbers in the world because of capitalist economic structure. We have crimes shooting through the roof, especially against women. We are mired with institutionalised thefts.

Drug addiction, pornography and many other social evils that are happening in the world in the name of Individualism and Freedom. All these evils, except for economic perils, can only be ironed out with instrumental deterrence enshrined in the Book of God.

What the Taliban did in 1996-2001, apart from some mistakes, was application of Islamic criminal law. This helped them make Afghanistan a place of serenity which, in the aftermath of Soviet Union withdrawal, was diseased with civil strife.

Everything is imperilled in Afghanistan right now. Right from two month old babies dying in a situation of utter hopelessness, the US including the NATO is responsible.

Why was Afghanistan invaded in the first place? Obviously, to catch hold of Osama? Did you find him? No, we didn’t. Then, what were you doing there for 20 years? Any answer? Liberating Afghan people, especially women from a puritanical brute regime.

Astonishing! Of course, the Taliban have shortcomings coupled with uncalled for rigidity in their interpretation of Islamic laws.

That said, they must be given a chance to do what the rest of the world failed to do. All of us want Taliban to deliver, according to international benchmarks, very quickly. Let’s give them some time to live up to their promises and assertions.

Let’s scale their performance after five or seven years and see the difference. Just because a faction is adamant to make Islamic Law a part of its governance structure, why do we get uncomfortable with it? What’s wrong with Islamic laws? In a world where imitation of democracy and human made laws pervade, why does the world, especially the West get uneasy?

What is the problem in having a country in our midst that espouses and strives to apply a particular set of laws within its territorial limits? Unless you are afraid of something? What are you afraid of? This is surely an emotive question which none of them wishes to answer explicitly.

Syed Shahab Ud Din Andrabi is a law student at JMI, New Delhi

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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