Taliban Tells British Press: ‘We Want Islamic Law, and Not Just in Afghanistan’

Taliban
HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban said they want Islamic law both at home and abroad and warned Western forces they will face another 20-year quagmire if they return in an impromptu meeting with The Telegraph.

The right-leaning British newspaper, which is close to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, took “tea with the Taliban” after turning up a captured government building in Kabul, where an Islamist official told them they were “very happy that we are now the leaders of the government” and “want to have good relations with all the rest of the world. We want to work with foreigners and have good relations.”

A Taliban commander from Kandahar province who the newspaper spoke to outside another seized government building indicated that such foreign engagement would be very much on the Islamists’ terms, however.

“We are happy that we are victorious. We fought for 20 years. We want Islamic law, and not just in Afghanistan,” said the commander, whose name was given only as Nisar.

“I joined the Taliban because when the Americans came, we had our government, our culture and the Americans came and attacked us,” Nisar explained, accusing that “They didn’t want to come for al-Qaeda, they had their own interests and wanted to destroy our country.”

The Telegraph discovered that he could speak what they described as “excellent English” but refused to do so, appearing to disdain it as the language of the enemy.

The commander’s fighters held an equally low opinion of Western forces and said they would have no place in the newly-declared Islamic emirate in future: “They are infidels and we don’t want infidel soldiers in our country and they don’t respect our law and our culture,” one said.

“The West should not come another time. If they do, we will fight for another 20 years,” another fighter warned, boasting: “This emirate will be forever.”

These pronouncements, despite the polite offers of tea for the British journalists, seem thoroughly at odds with the delusional claims of Britain’s Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, as Kabul was falling to the Taliban.

The professional head of the British armed forces suggested that the Taliban, responsible for many of the over a thousand British fatalities and “serious or very serious casualties” in Afghanistan, are “country boys” who hate corruption and “live by a code of honour and a standard… called Pashtunwali, [which] has honour at the heart of what they do”.

Appearing to take the part of public relations man for the Islamist organisation, which has used child suicide bombers and massacred prisoners on multiple occasions, Carter even went so far as to claim “they want an Afghanistan that is inclusive for all” in a television interview with Sky News.

This is totally at odds with not only the Taliban’s past record in government, marked by such notorious events as their destruction of ancient Buddhist monuments carved into the country’s mountainsides, but by the reality on the ground today, with the new regime already breaking up women’s rights marches by force, shutting down media outlets, and leaving Afghan Christians — mostly converts and therefore apostates under Islamic law — in terror for their lives.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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