Taliban’s policy and situation in Afghanistan before 2011. Below is a transcription and almost word to word English translation of a public speech by Qazi Habibullah Fauzi (Diplomat and Representative of Talibans in 2001). In this speech, the Taliban representative discussed the Islamic System, a brief history of Jihad in Afghanistan, situation of Afghani people and the policies of Talibans regarding Women, Education, Osama bin Laden, Drugs and the fight with their opponents. The speech was given at Lahore, Pakistan a few months before 9/11, in a conference called International Khilafat Conference. The audio recording can be listened online here.
First of all I want to thank Dr. Israr Ahmed for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to give a speech. We have come to know that he (Dr. Israr Ahmed) has spent his whole life trying to spread the message of Quran. ALLAH grants acceptance to all such deeds which are done to seek His will and pleasure. We pray to ALLAH that He accepts his services for Islam and other Ullemas who are working in the same line.
If we look at the history of Afghanistan, then in spreading the message of Islam, Ullemas’ work is most prominent. From the time of Sahaba (RA) till today, these Ullemas have had been passing on the teachings of Islam. And to spread these teachings, they have suffered a lot – it is not that the message of Islam has been spread without any loss or hard-work but they have truly struggled to do this job. In our Afghanistan, some hundred years ago, perhaps there were no education institutes or universities related to the modern form of education. Every mosque was an education institute on its own for our Nation. The mosque Imam used to teach Deen and educate our people.
Alhumdulillah, our Islamic history in Afghanistan is remarkable owing to the work and character of our Ullemas. We are proud the way our Nation has fought against oppression and for establishing the life system given by ALLAH, under the lights of very teachings of Ullemas and stimulated by the passion of Jihad. You do not need to go too far, if we have a look at the previous century, our Nation has been confronted with two of our neighboring Super Powers. One of which were British, who for the third time, invaded us in 1919. They wanted to capture Afghanistan so that they could govern it like the other captured countries. But, Alhumdulillah, the same passion of Jihad played its role that British were defeated and had to pull out of Afghanistan with embarrassment. After British, the ex-Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan. Their pioneer purpose was to destroy the Islamic state of Afghanistan and then reach out to Arabian Sea or even Gulf. But, Alhumdulillah, our Muslim Nation, under the guidance of Ullemas, started the legal and sacred Jihad and Alhumdulillah, they were put to the same fate of defeat and now you can see, Alhumdulillah, that country is divided into more than 15 countries.
The Quranic Ayah, which Ullemas here have recited and then the knowledge shared by Dr. Israr Ahmed and other Ullemas leaves no space for me to say anything. But such discussions are beneficial for Momeneens and gives us an opportunity remind the teachings of Islam. The thing which is essential for an Islamic Khilafat should first be understood. ALLAH has set certain criteria for everything. Islamic system contains a complete code of life. For an Islamic Governance and Khilafat, ALLAH asks us for two things. ALLAH says in Quran that ALLAH has promised those of you who accept Islam by heart (Emaan) and do righteous deeds, that he will surely bless them with Khilafat on earth. Those who accept Islam by heart, not only by tongue, then the first criterion is met. Emaan does not merely mean that you say “La Ilaha Illallao Muhammad ur Rasool Lullah(S.A.W)” by tongue and do not really mean it in your actions. But one should firmly believe in all the implications of such saying. Such implications are nothing but ALLAH has created everything, ALLAH has absolute power, and nothing can happen without his Will. And the second criterion is that when we accept Islam, we should know the reality of a true Emaan. The true Emaan delves deep into the heart and the actions prove it. Such actions are the Aml-e-Saleha (the righteous deeds). When you have Aml-e-Saleha with true Emaan (true belief), ALLAH gives you the Khilafat. And the reason, we Muslims are deprived of Khilafat, is nothing but the lack of these two things (Emaan and Aml-e-Saleha). Due to our weak Emaan and not doing the Aml-e-Saleha, we are not given Khilafat by ALLAH. As it is mentioned in a Hadith that infidels will get together against Muslims and will try to humiliate them. The Muslims will be weaker against them. Sahaba(RA) asked Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) that would it be due to the less number of Muslims? Rasool Ullah (S.A.W) replied that Muslims would be great in numbers but would have weakness in their hearts. Then He (S.A.W) explained the reason of that weakness. He (S.A.W) said that the reason for that weakness would be the love for world and the fear of death. The first reason is only loving this world and altogether forgetting the Akhirat (world hereafter). When you start loving this world and neglect Akhirat, as ALLAH says the true life is indeed of Akhirat, then you develop weakness in your hearts. And the second reason is the fear of death, when you start fearing death, you become weaker in your Emaan. You fear to give Shahadat (saying the truth) and bear the hardships in the way of ALLAH, the very two reasons are responsible for the weakness in your hearts.
If we have a look at the men-strength, the economic power and the resources of the Muslim countries, the infidels do not have such. Despite of these humongous resources and strength, we are facing numerous problems. Look at the ruthlessness in Palestine, how brutally the Palestinians are oppressed. The rights, which UNO or America is supposed to give them and had agreed to, are not given. Our Palestinians brothers are being savagely killed every day. But the whole Muslim nation cannot do anything in their support. In the same line, see the situation in Bosnia, Chechnya and Kashmir – where is it heading to?
If we say that infidels are powerful, then this is one way of answering this question but if we say that we are weak, then this is the other way to answer. But to our knowledge, the opponents are not at strength, but it is us who are weak. We lack Emaan and Aml-e-Saleha. Unless we develop a true Emaan in our hearts and do Aml-e-Saleha, this weakness cannot be eradicated. I pray to ALLAH that He gives us the strength to follow the teachings of Islam.
Whenever Muslims have reverted to the teachings of Islam, ALLAH has given them great respect. The same has happened in our Afghanistan. When Russia invaded us, everyone was thinking these less number of people cannot do anything against the superpower. But, Alhumdulillah, we have seen it, that less number of people have defeated great powers by the grace of Almighty ALLAH – the perquisite is that those people stand up with sincerity and their purpose is to please ALLAH. So you saw that superpower was shattered into pieces.
Now I want to say a few things about the current situation in Afghanistan. ALLAH has given two great blessings and achievements to Afghanistan during the war against Russia. One is that the whole Muslim nation had decided that the Jihad in Afghanistan was Islamic and sacred and it was the responsibility of the whole Muslim nation to assist in that Jihad. The other blessing is that ALLAH had shown His pleasure for that Jihad and bestowed the Mujahedeen with the ruling chair. Many times, it happens that those who do Jihad, do not finally get to the ruling chair, but Alhumdulillah, we got it. But once we got the ruling authority, we started internal fights. And the reason was again the same that we forgot the teachings of Islam. We became selfish, started making different parties and suffered from greediness, due to which ALLAH made the situation bad. ALLAH says in Quran that He does not change the fate and situation of a nation unless that nation strives for such change itself. So unfortunately, such internal fights got erupted in Afghanistan. Only in Kabul, 60,000 people died due to our internal fight. There was unrest and unlawfulness everywhere in Afghanistan – no peace. Afghanistan was at the edge of destruction and being divided. But Alhumdulillah, then our greatly respected Ameer-ul-Momeneen (Mulla Omar), our students and our nation came towards Islam and the just orders of ALLAH – ALLAH turned that bad situation into good.
Due to the virtue of hard-work done by Taliban for the establishment of Islamic system, ALLAH made those things possible which UNO was incapable of. Disarming and collecting weapons from Afghanistan was planned by UN and was ready to spend many million dollars. But UN was incapable of disarming and collecting the arms. But Alhumdulillah, ALLAH gave our Government enough strength that we disarmed every unauthorized person and handed the weapons over to Ministry of Defense.
So, Alhumdulillah, there is absolute peace in 95% of Afghanistan. And the peace is such exemplary that it is not acceptable for many people. Because the very first question which pops in their minds is that there was a fight going on in Afghanistan, there were parties, all the people who were fighting against each other were very experienced fighters and many Muslims and non-Muslims powers were involved – how on earth peace can prevail in such a devastating situation. But Alhumdulillah, by virtue of Islam, we brought peace in Afghanistan.
We have hardly given punishments to 20 people under the law and have hardly chopped off hands of some 25 or 30 thieves, and for these 20 or 30 incidents, Alhumdulillah, ALLAH has given us peace in the whole Afghanistan. Now, in Afghanistan, you will not hear that some murderer has fled away. And you will not hear that someone has robbed people in a car. A few incidents do take place in every country, but overall, Alhumdulillah, whether it is a day or night, you can travel freely – there is complete peace. Now, with these good actions of Taliban, it is our right that UN had recognized us – because all the land is in our control, Capital of Afghanistan is under our rule. And we have had also started development work in Afghanistan. For an instance, Afghan Airline, Afghan Aryana Airlines, they have flights in all over Afghanistan. From Kabul to Mizaar Shareef, Kabul to Hiraat, Kabul to Kunduz, Kabul to Faaryaab, Kabul to Kandahaar, Khost, Jalababad, there are flights being flown every day, Alhumdulillah. We restored 400 factories, Alhumdulillah. We provided electricity in Kandahar, Helmand and Kabul. And, Alhumdulillah, we did this with very little resources. We also restored the education. We have some 20,000 students who are getting higher education, in Kabul University, Kandahar University, Hiraat, Mizaar Shareef and Jilalabad University. We have some 1 million students, all over Afghanistan, who are getting education.
Despite of all this work, they have not recognized us but instead have recognized a government which have no ruling seat in Afghanistan but they have given them the seat in UN. With all our great works and struggles, they are doing propaganda against us. For example, they are raising the issue of Osama. You might already know, we have given our statements many times in the newspapers, that our policy regarding Osama is logical and just. We have just asked them that if Osama is your culprit, then there should be some proof to declare him a culprit – just by saying he is a culprit, does not make him so. And the proofs should be given to the Judiciary, but they have not yet given any proof. But they still assert and claim that he is a terrorist. He is living as a guest in Afghanistan. He is neither allowed to do any wrongdoings nor to use our land against anyone. Then we said if you do not agree to our statement that he is not doing something wrong, we request OIC(Organization of Islamic Cooperation) to send a delegation to Afghanistan and see if Osama is doing anything wrong or not? Then you will know if we are speaking the truth or not. But they have not agreed to this proposal as well.
Now, they are talking about the rights of Women that Taliban are against the Women rights. I just want to tell you that we have implemented Islamic System in Afghanistan. All the rights given to Women by Islam, if we do not give our Women the same rights, then we are going against our own claim that we have brought in Islamic System. We have given the women those rights which the previous systems never gave. In previous times, the Women were not given the share in Inheritance. Now, our Islamic Emirate has ordered that every woman will receive her share in Inheritance. Previously, women were forcefully married especially the widowed. But now, our Islamic Emirate has ordered that every woman is free to choose her spouse. Likewise, women were given in return of a murder but now that practice has been stopped too and is no more tolerated. In the field of education, we are trying utilizing all the resources we have, many females are studying in the medical field. Similarly, there are women in police who are responsible for the body search of females.
We have just said that there is no co-education system in Islam so we do not want to bring this system to Afghanistan. Because, throughout her life, Islam has given this right to a woman that she must be protected. Gher-Mehram (a male with whom marriage is possible) should not intermingle with her. If she is unmarried, then she will better stay with her Father and other Mehrams (a male with whom marriage is not possible in any case) and should better stay with her husband after marriage. This is the only best way of protecting her integrity. It is due to this protection, we have said that there is no co-education system in Islam. And also we do not have many resources; war is being imposed on us and from the other side the Alam-e-Kuffar (the group of Infidels) is constantly trying to keep the fight going in Afghanistan so that the Islamic System is put into troubles.
Similarly, they are doing propaganda against us regarding the Drugs issue. Just to make the long story short, I am saying this to you that they claimed 80% of drugs was being exported to world from Afghanistan. But you might have heard a few months back, the most respected Ameer-ul-Momeneen had ordered that starting from the next year, no more drugs shall be cultivated in our land and we will absolutely abolish them. And it is not that we are doing this to please United Nations, rather it is due to the fact drugs are Haraam (prohibited in the utmost degree) in Islam. Alhumdulillah, we now challenge everyone to come to Afghanistan and point out where drugs are being cultivated. We have asked UNDCP (United Nations Drug Control Program) to send some team and see for themselves if there are drugs in Afghanistan or not. Some 2 or 3 months ago, we waged an operation in Helmand, Kandahar and its outskirts in which we flattened 25 such factories and turned 1000 kilograms of drugs into ashes. We asked UNDCP to send a delegation and see if we have destroyed the drugs or not. But believe me, they promised to send some diplomats and journalists and on the promised day they retreated from their promise and excused that did not have funds.
Anyways, these are all lame excuses and they have nothing to do with anything else but our Islamic system. They are coining these excuses due to the Islamic system. As far as we know, United Nations was established after Second World War to bring peace to the world. But you can see the sanctions they have imposed on us and interpret it under the lights of their own law. They have imposed sanctions on Islamic emirate and the rivals are given free hand – they are free to import as much weapon as they wish. But Islamic Emirate is not allowed to buy any ammunition or weapon. Now what does this mean? This means that our opponents are free to kill as much people as they can – no problem for them, no mercy for human life. But if our Islamic Emirate wages some operation, then that is labelled as a terrorist action. This establishes the fact that they are constantly meddling with the affairs of Islamic Emirate and want to spread the fight.
From the very first day we have been saying that we prefer dialogues over fight and Islam teaches us the same that you should prefer dialogues. We have initiated dialogues from the very start. But the matters are being deliberately spoiled by UN. The OIC has not played its role, any other Islamic organization has also not stepped in but we do not complain as we have the Solution available with us which will put an end to the rivalry. We have said we will negotiate and end the rivalry under the light of Quran – we will not end it under any other law. We have told them that we are having dialogues with our opponents. We had dialogues in Tashqand and Jaddah. We are again ready for the dialogues. But they blame us that Taliban want to end the fight using force.
Have a look at the severe drought in Afghanistan. UN has published its report that 1 million people will die out of hunger. This is UN’s report not ours. 12 million people have suffered from this drought. They have left their homes and fled to other areas. Our economy is based on two things, Agriculture and Cattle. Our Agriculture has been ruined by drought and 80% of the cattle is dead. But even with such misery, UN has got ‘mercy’ on us and has put another sanction. Only due the sanction imposed in the previous year, there is a report of UN which says that the supply of medicines in Afghanistan has been cut short by 50%. This has caused a massive spread in diseases like Malaria, Tuberculosis – which are now so common. Many children die due to these diseases for whom we do not have any medicine to treat. Even all this, did not satisfy them and they have put another sanction on us. What evil things was Aryana Airline doing? Aryana Airline is not the Government’s airline but it’s the people’s airline. General passengers, patients, medicines and the postal mail of common people was transported by this Airline – what had Government to do with these things? Despite of these difficulties they have imposed the sanction. Due to this sanction, the value of Afghani currency has dropped by 15% and the prices of daily goods have increased many folds. On top of all this, when you have 12 million people leaving their homes, you can just imagine what will happen.
Now, we have a problem of Muhajareen (people who leave their homes to seek peace somewhere else) coming back to Afghanistan from Pakistan in humongous numbers. Pakistan has closed their border to these people. We understand it is Pakistan’s helplessness that they did it because they too, do not have the funds. And among those who have come here to Afghanistan from Pakistan, you hear that many children die out of severe cold, daily. These people do not have shelters to guard them against the chilling weather. 75% of people in Afghanistan are suffering from a level of nutrition in their body which is below the minimum acceptable for a human being because they cannot afford good food. The purchasing power of our people has fallen to just 49%. This means that the majority of the Afghani people cannot even afford the basic needs of life.
Despite of these things, they have imposed sanction on us. We do not complain the infidels and no one should expect them to have mercy on us. ALLAH says that they will not get happy with you unless you accept their religion or become their slaves. It is the decision of Quran, not ours. But we are not impatient, verily we are not impatient. ALLAH says in Quran (Ayah). From the times of British, then Russia, our Nation has shown patience in difficulties, just to please ALLAH. And even with all this, our moral is high and firmly believe that if we have Emaan and have fear of ALLAH in our hearts then the blessings of ALLAH are more than the infidels have to offer us. We just want to raise our voice, how oppressed we are and how much oppression is carried out against us. As I said, we do not complain the infidels but expect Muslims not to leave Afghanistan alone at the mercy of Jews and infidels. We have this right on the Muslims and the same is our request. When infidels are treating us with such oppression, the OIC which is an Islamic Organization, at least they should make us their member – should give us a seat. At least they should strive to get us recognized with other Islamic countries so the difficulties of our people can be lessened.
For all these troubles, like what has been discussed here in relation to Khilafat, we also believe that the solution is the same. Every individual should peer into himself. Anyone who wants Khilafat, wants Islamic System, wants to serve Islam and wants to serve his country, then he must implement the Islam on himself first. When he has true emaan and aml-e-saleh then he has the right to call others for the same purpose. But if a person himself does not offer Salah (prayers), how come can he invite others to offer Salah. He should first offer Salah himself, should create sincerity in his Salah, should have the passion to serve humanity, then can he advise others. On international scale, the biggest poison which infidels have spread in Islamic countries is that they have created differences in these countries. They have created differences by labelling people with this and that name. Our nation is fighting on very petty issues. But they have forgotten that when a Muslim says Shahadat, who believes on the oneness of ALLAH, believes in the last Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and wishes for an Islamic system, then where is the difference left? So it must be understood that unity among Muslims is extremely important. ALLAH asks us to tie to His rope, and do not create differences, this will weaken our strength and we will lose our integrity.
So the unity in Muslims is very important and the second important thing is to figure out solutions to the problems Muslims are facing. Rasool Ullah (S.A.W) said that he who does not think about the problems of Muslims and do not worry about finding solution to those problems, is not amongst us. It is compulsory for every single Muslim that he should think about the problems of his Muslim brothers and should put into work all the resources he has. In Jews, it is mandatory for every Jew to think for one hour daily about their survival, note down those thoughts and send it to their respective organization. It is quite possible that no such idea had been presented before so such addition would be helpful. Rasool Ullah (S.A.W) said that if you do not think and worry about the problems of other Muslims, then you are not a part of Muslims. So this is compulsory for every Muslim to think about it. The second thing is that Muslim leaders should make the common Muslims aware of the dangers and conspiracies of the opponents of Islam. Make them aware what is it all about the rivalry of infidels and why they oppose Muslims. Rasool Ullah (S.A.W) said that ALLAH loves him who is courageous. Such courageous men change the history of world.
Before finishing my speech, I want to thank Pakistani Government and the brave and honorable Pakistani Nation and we have been always thankful to them. Afghani Nation will never forget the helping hand lend by the Pakistani people and the Government, during Afghan Jihad. The Pakistani Government and the honorable, Muslim and Mujahid people of this country have proved that they are our intimate brothers. They did supported us in their best capacity. We pray to ALLAH that Muslims be united and seek solutions to the problems under the light of Islam. Ameen.
Do let me know in case you find some text in the transcription has been changed deliberately and does not match the original audio recording.