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Eid sermon by Taliban Supreme Leader: Abandon Wealth, Embrace Unity

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The Sermon of Akhundzada: An Appeal for Unity

Speaking at a sermon on the occasion of Eid al-Adha at a mosque in the southern Kandahar province, Akhundzada stressed the need of maintaining Islamic values and Muslim brotherhood. His 23-minute talk emphasized the Taliban’s emphasis on Islamic obligation above worldly ambitions.

Akhundzada declared, “We were created to worship Allah, not to make money or acquire worldly honor.” “We should adhere to our Islamic system because it is God’s system. God has given us the promise that we would establish Islamic law and justice in Afghanistan, but if we are not one, we cannot fulfill this promise. Your enemies profit from your discord; they seize the opportunity.

Context of the Communication

The statement from Akhundzada comes before of a major diplomatic event: a Taliban team is scheduled to visit Doha, Qatar, for negotiations on Afghanistan that are being hosted by the United Nations. The Taliban will be attending this round of negotiations for the first time since seizing power in the nation. They had previously refused to take part in the second round of the meeting of international special envoys to Afghanistan because they wanted to be acknowledged as the nation’s official representatives.

Conflicts between Politics and Humanitarianism

One cannot ignore Akhundzada’s address’s context. Afghanistan’s economy has been in disarray since the Taliban took control, and the country still depends mostly on handouts. The invitation to the Doha summit does not entail official acceptance of the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, as the United Nations has made clear.

The statements made by Akhundzada also take into account the internal conflicts that exist within the Taliban. Previous correspondence between prominent Taliban figure Sirajuddin Haqqani and Akhundzada has exposed divisions between the group’s hardliners and more moderate members, especially with regard to the enforcement of stringent regulations and the aim of garnering greater backing from outside sources.

Examining Taliban Policies

Following their takeover, the Taliban have imposed stringent interpretations of Islamic law, preventing females from completing higher education over the age of eleven, prohibiting women from working in many public positions, enforcing clothing regulations, and requiring male guardianship. Akhundzada emphasized the need of abiding by these interpretations and pleaded for Taliban leaders to follow the counsel of religious authorities rather than acting haughtily and rejecting Islamic law.

Responses and Consequences

The reaction to Akhundzada’s lecture has been conflicting on a global scale. Akhundzada’s calls for unity were seen by Pakistani writer and novelist Ahmed Rashid as a show of desperation because the speech neglected to address important topics like social change, economic growth, and unemployment. Rashid is well-known for his writings on Afghanistan and the Taliban.

If I were the Taliban, I wouldn’t be persuaded that this was a significant speech, Rashid said.

Director of the Wilson Center’s South Asia Institute Michael Kugelman hypothesized that Akhundzada’s emphasis on unity may be preventive, meant to keep any rifts within the Taliban from arising. Additionally, he conjectured that the message may be meant for a wider audience, perhaps including Muslims worldwide.

The Taliban don’t have any international objectives from an operational standpoint. However, Kugelman added, “the supreme leader seeks to command respect beyond Afghanistan’s borders.”

Prospects for the Future

The outcome of these negotiations is yet unknown as the Taliban gets ready for the Doha negotiations. The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan continues to provide challenges to the international community when it comes to recognition and cooperation, particularly in light of the group’s strict rules and the current humanitarian catastrophe.

The lecture by Akhundzada highlights the Taliban’s unwavering dedication to their interpretation of Islamic government, despite the country’s dire economic and social circumstances. The Taliban’s focus on religious obligation above economic advancement demonstrates the ideological underpinnings of their leadership, and it remains to be seen how this strategy can hold up in the face of growing criticism from both the inside and the outside.

The secretive Taliban leader’s admonition against chasing money and worldly honor is indicative of the group’s internal struggles as well as its larger ideological position. The future of Afghanistan and its ties with the international community will surely be greatly influenced by the Taliban’s strict rules and insistence on religious devotion, particularly as the country approaches additional international discussions.

What do you think?

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