Taliban denounces ‘deviant beliefs,’ including ‘satanic western and disbelieving ideologies’

As Western and Afghan officials cling to the hope that they can make peace with the Taliban and integrate the group into the government, the Taliban continues to display its true colors. In a recent video, the Taliban extolled the virtues of jihad and its Islamic Emirate while denouncing “deviants … who are trained in the poisonous deviant beliefs of atheism, communism, secularism, democracy, and other satanic western and disbelieving ideologies.”

The video, titled “Real Men 4,” is the latest in a series of Taliban statements that makes clear the group will not compromise with the Afghan government, which it has previously described as a “puppet” of the U.S., as well as “illegitimate,” “impotent,” and most importantly, “un-Islamic.”

The Taliban has been clear that the only acceptable government is its own Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, with its emir, Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada at the helm.

“But the Deviants are those who are trained in the poisonous deviant beliefs of atheism, communism, secularism, democracy, and other satanic western and disbelieving ideologies in order to mislead the Muslims with their deviant ideologies,” The Taliban narrator states in English.

The video segments (below) showed Afghan politicians such as President Arshaf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan musicians, and entertainers. The faces of women in the video were blurred out as the Taliban believes it is a sin for a woman to show her face in public.

“The Deviants are the people who work for the implementation of secularism and deviant laws instead of sharia [Islamic law],” the narrator continues.

The Taliban accused the “deviant people” of killing Muslims and imposing a non-Islamic form of government “at the behest of invaders.” This is a common Taliban narrative: that the Afghan government and military are merely “puppets” of the West who do their bidding.

In the last two video segments, the Taliban showed Afghan officials and military officers alongside American leaders, including President Donald Trump and General Scott Miller, the Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and Resolute Support Mission.

The Taliban narrator decribed the American officials as “invaders” and “disbelievers.” The Taliban’s harsh language towards Miller is interesting, as Miller has been a proponent and advocate for the so-called ‘peace’ deal that was signed between the Taliban and the U.S. on Feb. 29, 2020. Miller feted numerous Taliban officials during and since the talks in Doha, Qatar.

The Taliban’s message of scorn and disdain for the Afghan and U.S. governments, and Western governance and culture is nothing new. The jihadist group has been very clear over the past two decades that the only acceptable form of government in Afghanistan is an “Islamic system” that is to be ruled by the Taliban’s government. The Taliban issued a fatwa, or religious statement, announcing that just seven days after signing the withdrawal deal with the U.S. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Taliban religious decree calls for its emir to rule ‘Islamic government’ in Afghanistan.]

The Taliban has also said that it would not “share” power after sacrificing so much during its jihad.

“The Islamic Emirate has not readily embraced this death and destruction for the sake of some silly ministerial posts or a share of the power,” the group said in an official state in Jan. 2016. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Taliban does not want ‘a share of the power’.]

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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