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Taliban Targets Scholars of Islam to Preserve ‘Legitimacy’

(Last Updated On: May 30, 2017)

Islamic religious scholars known as ulema have long been the target of Taliban in Afghanistan, they have been frequently killed for their criticism.

Since past 16 years hundreds of scholars have been killed often by the Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, who have intensified their offensives in the country since in last two years.  

“The reason the Taliban resort to such acts is that they want to make sure their legitimacy is not questioned by the sermons of these ulema,” Mohammad Moheq, a noted Afghan scholar of religion who also serves as an adviser to President Ashraf Ghani said, quoted by New York times.

“The only thing that undermines their legitimacy is the ability and power of these ulema if they preach and argue against them,” Mr. Moheq continued. “Only they can challenge the Taliban’s ideology, not the liberal scholars or others, and the Taliban understand that.”

The exact toll of the war on scholars who preach Islam is hard to gauge. Most recently, unknown gunmen killed Parwan’s ulema council chief by a bomb which was placed under the mattres of the top cleric.

“The reason these ulema are getting targeted is because they tell the truth — and the truth is that the ongoing fighting is just for power,” said Mawlawi Khudai Nazar Mohammedi, head of the Ulema Council of Helmand.

The Afghan Interior Ministry; however, said they are determined to protect the lives of ulema.

“If they request from us, we will instruct people for their protection,” said acting spokesman of Interior Ministry, Najib Danish.

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