As U.S. pleads with Taliban to protect election, Taliban threatens more attacks

The Taliban ignored a plea by the U.S. State Department to respect the Afghan election process, and instead threatened to attack polling centers and security forces that protect the sites. The Taliban views elections as “a sham and foreign processes,” and says it is its religious duty to oppose them. In fact, not only does the Taliban reject democracy in Afghanistan, it is opposed to democracy worldwide, and has urged Muslims to resist it.

On Sept. 18, the U.S. State Department issued a statement that called on the Taliban, the Afghan government, and political actors to respect and protect the Afghan presidential election, which is taking place on Sept. 28.

“We call on all parties, including the Taliban, to ensure Afghan voters can go to polling centers on election day without fear of intimidation, attack, or violence,” State noted. “We strongly condemn the threats made today by the Taliban against election workers and voters. Any attempt to intimidate, coerce, or buy voters is an attack on democracy.”

The Taliban has ignored State’s plea to cooperate with the election process. Yesterday, the terror group’s military commission announced on its official website, Voice of Jihad, that it would do everything in its power to “attack” polling centers, and blamed the U.S. for any resulting civilian casualties. (The Taliban’s Commission for Prevention of Civilian Casualties and Complaints issued a shorter statement the same day noting that civilians should avoid getting caught up in the crossfire).

Elections are “a sham and foreign processes,” the Taliban stated, and yet again said it’s fighters “intend to disrupt this fake process” by “attacking” polling centers and security forces.

“The Islamic Emirate directs its Mujahideen to prevent this process throughout the country by making use of everything at their disposal and activate their plans for its neutralization,” the Taliban said.

Civilians, particularly those in urban centers, were warned to stay “away from polling stations on election day and not throw themselves into danger. In case any problems or casualties arise, all responsibility shall befall the participants of this American process themselves.”

State’s call for the Taliban to respect Afghan elections is patently absurd, as the Taliban has repeatedly stated that elections are “un-Islamic” and that sharia law and an “Islamic government” was the only acceptable means of governing the country. Not only does the Taliban reject elections in Afghanistan, it is opposed to democracy worldwide, which it calls “evil”.

“Afghanistan is a country which shall only be governed by Shariah because this is the aspiration of a people who have sacrificed millions of sons and daughters and it continues to be the driving force for freedom fighters until this ultimate goal is achieved,” the Taliban said in an article published on July 28 on Voice of Jihad.

In another article published on Feb. 22, 2018, the Taliban called on all Muslims throughout the world to reject democracy and elections. Democracy consists of “evil satanic man-made laws” and must be replaced with sharia.

This article is significant as it clearly defines the Taliban’s worldview with respect to governance. It makes clear that not only does the Taliban reject democracy in Afghanistan, it rejects it completely. The Term “Muslim Ummah,” which means the Muslim community worldwide, is used nine times throughout the article.

“Islam came so that the superiority of the divine law of Allah be understood by the people and all evil satanic man-made laws be replaced by the supreme Holy law of Allah the Almighty,” the Taliban noted.

“The Muslim Ummah generally and every individual specifically should ready themselves for a struggle in which they can free the world from darkness and remove the darkness of disbelief and ignorance from this world,” the Taliban said. “The Ummah should bring the society in which we live today under a single flag of Tawheed and oneness of Allah the Almighty.”

“It is an obligation upon the Muslim Ummah to resist, fight and remove all evil which stands in the way of implementation of the system of Islamic governance,” the Taliban continued.

Given the Taliban’s clear and consistent views on the “evils” of democracy and all Muslim’s religious obligation to resit it, it is absolute folly for the State Department to attempt to appeal to the Taliban to permit elections to take place.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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