"They neither listen to news nor read newspapers"
I CONDEMN AMERIKA for MURDERING these INNOCENT PEOPLE!!!
Also see: Afghans Wax Nostalgic For Taliban
"'Militants Are Not Taliban, We Are'
by Ashfaq Yusufzai
PESHAWAR - The world knows the Taliban as armed fighters who have unleashed a wave of violence in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan including devastating suicide bomb attacks, the most recent on the luxurious Marriot Hotel in high-security Islamabad last week.
But not all Taliban wield guns. In seminaries scattered over the restive, northern parts of Pakistan, students or Taliban – a word in Pashto, the language of Pakistan’s Pakhtoons and Afghanistan’s Pashtuns – study the Quran and swear by peace.
“Yes. I’m proud to be a Talib. Because being Taliban I am able to study Quran and teach it to others,” says 21-year-old Rahimdad from the Darul Uloom Islamia seminary in Khairabad village of Mardan district, 120 kms north of this border city, when asked if he was a Talib (student).
He says he came here from Herat province in Afghanistan a year ago and intends to return when he graduates. “I don’t believe that Taliban are terrorists,” he asserts. “We want to spread the message of love and fraternity among the people of the world.”
His religious teacher, maulvi Zakirullah, also from Afghanistan’s Kunar province, too denies these students are terrorists. “We are against killing of anyone. We don’t favor killing the Americans. Our aim is to spread the message of love among people of all religions,” he tells IPS....
The Taliban in Pakistan’s religious schools say the “terrorist” label is unfortunate. “We don’t understand why the government calls the militants Taliban. Militants are not Taliban, we are,” says Shumaila Bibi, 19, who is veiled from head to toe. A student of Ummi Hafsa Darul Uloom, in Nowshera district, NWFP, she says they are taught to love humanity regardless of religion, caste and social status.
Also see: How I Came to Love the Veil
Says 17-year-old Nawaz, an Afghan who studies at Kosar seminary near Peshawar: “We condemn the blast in Marriot Hotel. Islam is against killing people. Those who do it will be held accountable on judgement day.”
Senator Maulana Samiul Haq is chancellor of Darul Uloom Haqqania, the biggest religious seminary in Pakistan. He says there are 3,500 students in the seminary and “they are peaceful and apolitical. It is incidental that some of the former graduates of my school have held top posts in the Taliban government in Kabul.”
Even the NWFP Information Minister, Iftikhar Hussain, backs the students. “The present crisis is not the handiwork of Taliban, but of secret agencies, that present the militants and criminals as Taliban,” he tells IPS. “Taliban don’t know guns, they are preoccupied with their studies, and examinations. They are so simple.”
How WOULDN'T THEY? You know a stranger in your midst, right, 'murkn?
Local communities support these students. Meals and clothes are given in charity. They are invited to people’s homes for religious festivities. Wali Shah, a college student in Dir, says: “Taliban play football, cricket and other local games in the evenings. Lots of people turn up to watch!”
“Taliban are entirely apolitical. They neither listen to news nor read newspapers,” says Amjad Iqbal of Village Development Foundation, a non-governmental organization in Bannu district. He says the Taliban also give religious lessons to local children in the mosques for which they are paid a nominal amount.
I humbly take my lumps.
Saira Bibi, a school teacher in Swabi district, which has 253 religious schools, tells IPS Taliban are highly respected by the local population. “We give free food, clothes, shoes and cash amounts to seek the blessings of Allah. Taliban are the messengers of Islam. They are the harbingers of peace,” she explains.
Having a hard time getting those Zionist-controlled, Mulsim-hating, agenda-pushing lies down this morning are ya?