Taliban are Today’s Kharjites

by Amaar Ahmad

The fourth Caliph of Islam and the Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s son in law Ali bin Abu Talib was martyred by a member of the Kharjite movement because Ali had “deviated” from Islam in their view. “Obedience to Allah and mutual consultation” was their slogan for which they branded any Muslim a heretic and liable for death. Using brutal violence against women and children, they tried but ultimately failed to impose their beliefs on society. Today, the Taliban and their Takfiri supporters are following the exact same violent path to their own oblivion. Years before the first American drone took off, these Taliban were killing Hazara Shia and Iranian diplomats, blowing off Buddha statues in Bamiyan and denying women their fundamental and Islamic right to education.

Contrary to politicians’ pronouncements, military operations in Swat and elsewhere have indeed broken the back of this group which comprises fiends of all varieties – but not decisively enough. Those who insist that Taliban phenomenon is due to US presence in Afghanistan are being unfair to Pakistan’s national interest. They are creating national confusion instead of national consensus and are  preventing public opinion from forming decisively against these violent savages who have killed 40,000 Pakistanis. In fact, it may even be argued that by spinning conspiracy theories to justify and shield Taliban violence, these  people are themselves inadvertently  conspiring against public safety.

In the last 10 years, no less than 13 peace deals with Taliban have been signed and broken by them. The peace deals have given them the space to grow into the monster it is now. It is not the lack of talks but the very act of talking which has emboldened Taliban to become more violent against Pakistan. If Imran Khan wants to make a 14th attempt with men who do not understand peace, he is free to do so at his own risk. Would he be willing to take blame for all those years if Taliban do not agree to peace now?

Contrary to Quranic principle “There is no compulsion in religion” (2:256), the Taliban’s very belief is compulsion in religion. We cannot forget that as Caliph, Hazrat Ali did not hesitate to wage war against the Kharjites in Naharwan. No argumentation that Kharjites were “good” Muslims who wore long beards and offered long prayers made him fickle-minded on how to deal them. The Kharjites understood only one language and Hazrat Ali obliged them.

Today, if people cannot accept that our Neo-Kharjites in the shape of Taliban are not even worthy of being called humans much less Muslims then shame on them! Because unless this cancer of extremism is aggressively treated, it may the patient’s life away. No half measures and peace talks would work. Pakistan’s survival depends on it.

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