My latest in PJ Media:
As the Taliban moves into Kabul and demands the unconditional surrender of the central government, Taliban commander Muhammed Arif Mustafa told CNN: “It’s our belief that one day, mujahedin will have victory, and Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world. We are not in a hurry. We believe it will come one day. Jihad will not end until the last day.” The CNN “journalist,” demonstrating yet again its spectacular misunderstanding of the conflict (which, of course, is shared by the U.S. foreign policy establishment), followed that with “It’s a chilling admission from a group that claims it wants peace.” The Taliban does indeed want peace. It wants the peace that will follow the world’s submission to the hegemony of Islamic law.
Muhammed Arif Mustafa was stating plainly what the U.S. State Department steadfastly ignored for twenty years: the fact that the Taliban views itself as the exponents in 21st-century Afghanistan of a fourteen-hundred-year-old conflict, one that is as old as Islam itself. The History of Jihad details how Muslims in Afghanistan and the world over have waged this jihad without any interruption throughout that entire period, with the goal that the Taliban commander enunciated: to establish the rule of Islamic law anywhere and everywhere possible.
This imperative was often energized by grievances, but was never, contrary to State’s assumption, built on grievances alone. The Qur’an commands: “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.” (8:39) Some might think that because the Taliban is ending what they perceive as “persecution” – that is, the American presence – in Afghanistan, it will lay down its arms. This is once again a fundamental misunderstanding. The Taliban, and other groups like it, will fight on “until religion is all for Allah.” Within Afghanistan, this will take the form of a ferocious and merciless persecution of women who do not obey Islam’s veiling laws, and of anyone else who dares to violate the strictures of Islam in any way. And outside Afghanistan, the Taliban will do all it can to aid jihad groups elsewhere, as it aided al-Qaeda to prepare for the jihad attacks in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001.
No one in Washington or among American forces in Afghanistan ever showed any sign of understanding of this. In an interview with ABC News back in 2010, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at the time, Gen. David Petraeus, “conceded that a successful counterinsurgency campaign could take up to 10 more years, but said he intended to stick to the 2011 drawdown date.”
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