The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organisation based in Lagos, Nigeria, has advised all men of conscience to ignore the ongoing anti-Taliban propaganda. The group argued that the same America which is smearing the image of the Taliban today was the same country that praised the Taliban to high heaven when the latter was resisting Russian occupation.
The group’s advice was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday, 25th August, 2021 by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
The statement reads:
“Horrible scenes of Taliban’s so-called atrocities are being shown on television as the latter gain control of Afghanistan and the United States pulls out its occupation forces. Also, frightening stories are being spread about the situation in Afghanistan.
“MURIC advises men of good conscience around the world to digest all these with caution. Many of the video clips being shown are old scenes from pre-Western occupation of Afghanistan. Some of the clips are doctored. They are nothing but attempts to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
“Already, America and its Western allies are neck-deep in an international conspiracy to ensure that Afghanistan becomes a failed state. This explains the frenzied evacuation exercise. They are encouraging every skilled Afghan citizen to leave Afghanistan. It is a calculated attempt to drag the poor country into a brain drain crisis.
“This they do by spreading fear and rumours of mass executions awaiting anyone who stays behind after the exit of allied forces. They ignore the announcement of general amnesty for all made by the Talibans and lay emphasis on possible clampdown on women and the imposition of Shariah law. Most of these fears are unfounded as the Taliban have already declared a more liberal treatment of women.
“We call attention to the fact that the United States organised fund raising activities for Afghan fighters during the latter’s armed resistance of Russian occupation. Americans referred to them as ‘Afghan freedom fighters’ at the time. But today they are called ‘terrorists’, ‘fundamentalists’ and ‘extremists’. We reject this double standard.
“It is also on record that in his speech on 21st March, 1983, ex-President Ronald Reagan, while mocking the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan, poured exceptional encomiums on ‘Afghan freedom fighters’.
“Reagan said and we quote, ‘To watch the courageous Afghan freedom fighters battle modern arsenals with simple hand-held weapons is an inspiration to those who love freedom. Their courage teaches us a great lesson, that there are things in this world worth defending. To the Afghan people, I say on behalf of Americans that we admire your heroism, your devotion to freedom and your struggle against your oppressors’.
“But history has repeated itself today and the pendulum has swung with America taking the position of the defunct Soviet Union. Today, any pragmatic observer can easily put those words spoken by Reagan in the mouth of Vladimir Putin. Karl Marx was therefore right when he said, ‘History repeats itself, first as a tragedy and later as a farce. History repeats itself times without number’.
“MURIC advises America to learn from history. America must allow the Taliban to settle down. Gunboat diplomacy alone cannot rule the world. Respect for human values and norms, including people’s different faiths is necessary to keep the world away from humanitarian disasters. George Santayana early remarked that those who fail to learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. With Vietnam and Afghanistan on our minds, we are constrained to conclude that America is repeating history and this is a pity.
“But we charge Muslims around the world to separate the wheat from the chaff. America’s imperialistic state machinery is a different cup of tea from the American people. The average American is kind and humane. That is why we must all reject hate messages which ask Muslims to kill Americans and other Western citizens. Such messages stand in contradistinction to the peaceful message of Islam. They are therefore unacceptable. Muslims are urged to be kind and accommodating to people of all shades, race, colour and faith.
“Our advice to the Taliban is to remember that Allah-given fundamental human rights are sacrosanct. The Taliban must avoid extreme measures. We urge them to respect the rights of women, children and non-Muslims as recognised in Islam and to distance their regime from violent and terror-loving elements.
“Bishop Kukah and other Nigerians who are in the habit of rushing to America to run their countries down are advised to think twice. No Western power will teach you what will benefit your country. It is always their national interest first. The way America abandoned Afghanistan to its problems is a big lesson for all.
“To the rest of the world, we can all see that the wind has blown and we have seen the ruff of the hen. It is glaring enough that America and its allies are spreading false propaganda to conceal their weaknesses and their complete failure in Afghanistan. America’s 20 year occupation has ended in abysmal failure. We therefore advise men of good conscience to ignore anti-Taliban propaganda.”