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Khola Hasan told BBC Radio 4 that the Islamist group’s recent stance on women’s rights was a “good start”, and that if Western countries “gave them a hand … maybe they could really make progress.”
When asked how common her opinion of the Taliban was among British Muslims, she said: “ Every person I meet, as a Muslim, whether on social media, I don’t know them privately or personally, but I do know them in social networks. , or as friends, whatever, they’re celebrating and saying give ’em a chance.’
She added: “They have been ruled by foreigners for 40 years, let the people of Afghanistan rule their own country and determine their own destiny for a change.”wikipedia
Since taking over Afghanistan, the Taliban have claimed that they will not carry out any violence against women and that they will not “seek revenge” against those who opposed them during the brutal 20-year war in the region.
Fears over retaliatory attacks and the return to brutal rule by jihadists have led to deep unrest, with Western nations struggling to cope with the thousands of foreign and local citizens who have tried to leave the country in the week since the Taliban they regained power.
When asked about reports of women and children being beaten and flogged while passing through checkpoints in Afghanistan, Hasan said that Afghanistan is a ‘tribal society with tribal loyalties’, with ‘a lot of violence within communities’ amidst decades of ‘occupation’.
Ms. Hasan said: “We have to be very careful not to take small minor incidents and turn them into something huge.”
He added that ‘Western media loves to misrepresent Muslims,’ and told Sunday morning listeners: ‘The kind of language that came out of the Western media when the Taliban took power: civil war, monsters. They’re going to slaughter people, it’s going to be horrible, poor women, oh blah blah blah, let’s cry, poor women go back to medieval times, and everything in between.
“ She’s been misrepresented for so long that I’ve gotten used to it, I don’t even blink anymore. ”
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint in the Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, August 22
Ms. Hasan was told that the world “had seen this movie before,” referring to promises to be compassionate and merciful after the sacking of Kabul 25 years ago.
She replied: ‘No, we have not done it because the Taliban have grown up, they were not exposed to the modern world, so what they said 20 years ago was a short-sighted, isolated, small organization that lived in the mountains, very illiterate.’ , very uneducated, not only about the world but about Islam itself …
They are learning. That’s not an easy thing to do, to come from hundreds of years of practicing your faith one way, and then all of a sudden being exposed to different ways of thinking, oh maybe we were wrong. The problem is that we don’t give them a chance. ‘
Her comments come after the United States and Germany told their citizens in Afghanistan to avoid traveling to the Kabul airport, citing security risks when thousands of desperate people gathered trying to flee.
At least 12 people have died in and around the single-track airfield since last Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said. Some were shot and others died in stampedes, witnesses have said.
The British Defense Ministry said seven Afghans were killed in the chaos around the airport. “Conditions on the ground remain extremely difficult, but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely as possible,” the ministry said in a statement.
The rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has sparked fear of retaliation and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law that the Sunni Muslim group exercised when it was in power two decades ago.
Crowds have swelled at the airport in the heat and dust of the day over the past week, hampering operations as the United States and other nations try to evacuate thousands of their diplomats and civilians, as well as numerous Afghans. Mothers, fathers and sons have pushed themselves against the concrete walls in the crowd as they try to fly away.
The Taliban follow an ultra-tough version of Islam. They have tried to present a more moderate face since returning to power, saying they want peace and will respect women’s rights within the framework of Islamic law.
When they were in power from 1996 to 2001, also guided by Islamic law, the Taliban prevented women from working or going out without wearing a wraparound burqa and prevented girls from going to school.
Khola Hasan Quicks and Facts
- Khola Hasan, from the UK’s Islamic Sharia Council, spoke on BBC Radio 4 today
- Ms Hasan said posturing from the Taliban on women’s rights was a ‘good start’
- She said if the west ‘gave them a helping hand… maybe they could progress’