Give Taliban a chance, say Malay-Muslim groups

Diyana Ibrahim Alfian Z.M. Tahir

Taliban stand guard outside the building of former US embassy. Security expert Dr Ahmad El Muhammady says the Taliban is now committed to sustaining peace and would opt to stay away from looking for trouble. – EPA pic, September 12, 2021.

THE global community, especially Muslim countries, need to give the Taliban a chance to prove its capability as a government, Malay-Muslim groups said.

They said the issue of supporting the Taliban should not arise in the first place, but what is more important is to save the Afghan people from the effects of war and political conflicts.

Malaysian Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (Mapim) president Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said Malaysia has to take a constructive attitude, which means to help Afghanistan as a country.

“We should be discussing how to help Afghanistan, one of the poorest Islamic countries in the world,” Azmi told The Malaysian Insight.

He said the world, including Malaysia, should sympathise and empathise with the plight of the people who are currently facing various hardships in their own country.

“They have no food, medicine and are still facing challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Azmi said Putrajaya should establish early contact with the new Taliban government to help the state.

He said this does not mean that Malaysia recognises the Taliban but it is to offer help to the people in the country.

“The Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries, they also need to help. Do not be like the United States who are trying to boycott Afghanistan; we must not let them be oppressed,” he said.

Last week, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia had to take a cautious stance in stating its official view on recognising Afghanistan’s new government under the Taliban administration.

However, PAS, which is part of the government, welcomed and supported Taliban rule.

PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said the Taliban had changed and managed to make history in Afghanistan by defeating US troops who were eventually forced to retreat.

Commenting on the perception of the Taliban as extremist and conservative, he said the allegations should be understood through history and conflict in the country.

Hadi did not reject the policies of the Taliban when they ruled the country from 1996-2001, although they were seen to be harsh.

Azmi said Mapim has taken the initiative to set up a Malaysia-Afghanistan rehabilitation working group to study the development and situation of humanitarian issues in the Central Asian country.

He said with the establishment of the team, Mapim would be able to identify the form of assistance needed by the Afghan people.

“We propose to establish a group consisting of experts from Malaysia and Afghanistan in the education and economic fields and come up with ideas on how to start the process of rebuilding Afghanistan,” he said.

Azmi said Mapim would also mobilise a special delegation to Kabul soon to better understand the situation there.

The Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital on August 15 after the government collapsed and embattled president Ashraf Ghani joined an exodus of his fellow citizens and foreigners, signalling the end of a costly two-decade US campaign to rebuild the country.

After taking control of the country, the Taliban urged Afghans to be patient and vowed to be more tolerant this time – a commitment many Afghans and foreign powers will be scrutinising as a condition for aid and investment desperately needed in Afghanistan.

Pertubuhan Pembela Islam chairman Aminuddin Yahaya, meanwhile, said his movement fully backs the Taliban’s success in regaining control in Afghanistan.

Aminuddin said the Taliban achieved great success when it got rid of the US and its allies but also saved its people from Western thinking.

“On allegations of their hard approach towards enforcing their beliefs, that is something that can be discussed. I understand that they have changed their approach, we should give recognition to the Taliban,” he said.

More than that, Aminuddin said, the Taliban should be given a chance as they have stated their willingness to hold negotiations.

He said the Taliban should not be criticised and the allegation that many Afghans stormed the Kabul International Airport and tried to flee the country was actually “Western propaganda”.

He said the real situation was that only a small number of its people wanted to leave the country.

“Most of them wanted to leave not because they are afraid of the Taliban but because of the harsh living conditions,” Aminuddin said.

Taliban would not create chaos

Security expert Dr Ahmad El Muhammady said the Taliban is now committed to sustaining peace and would opt to stay away from looking for trouble.

The International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) senior lecturer said this was shown by the group’s commitment in signing a peace agreement with the United States in Qatar in February 2020.

He said the commitment was again shown by Taliban leaders two weeks ago when it assured the public of reforms, as well as granting amnesty to Afghans who had previously worked for the US.

“It is evident that this version of Taliban is not the same as the Taliban of 20 years ago. First they signed the peace agreement with the US, then their approach towards its own people was very different,” Ahmad said.

“Many have missed out on how soft the approach was when they took over Kabul last month. However, it is hard for people to grasp that this is the new Taliban. People won’t believe it straight away.

“The promise of reform and rights to women and education are among the things that we would not see in the old Taliban.

“This was admitted by its spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi who said: ‘We have learnt from the past.’”

Afghan refugees in Malaysia, however, were more sceptical of the Taliban.

In a recent interview with The Malaysian Insight, they expressed concerns about the future of their country under Taliban rule and feared that the same old atrocities will resurface.

They also said they were concerned about the plight of their people, especially the women. – September 12, 2021.

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  • People are starving in Malaysia.
    Help them first.

    Posted 2 years ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply

  • Yes like how our Malay Muslim govt has brought great prosperity to our nation.

    Posted 2 years ago by Besaman Mucho · Reply

  • Bit naive

    Posted 2 years ago by Ronald schipper · Reply

  • The Malay-muslim community should get together and donate money to help the poor Afghans. They can also form a mercy mission to Afghanistan to help the people on the ground.

    Posted 2 years ago by Jeevaraj Nadarajah · Reply

  • The Islamness of Muslims all over the world has become shades of many colours. We have liberal Muslims, who live complete western culture,., semi liberal Muslims who are different when they are in different environment, and we have extreme variety who take great delight in 'caning women in public, it all depends on who controls the nation. The Talibans are identified in the third group, which is becoming smaller and smaller in the world. Now with Muslim refugess settling down in mostly western countries, it is going to be more difficult for them. Without world wide support from other Muslim countries, it is going to be more difficult for them. The solution is with OIC.

    Posted 2 years ago by Citizen Pencen · Reply