Ghani and Omar

Time flies, and once again it is Eid al-Fitr, a time of rejoicing in the Muslim world in celebration of the end of the Ramadan fast, and the time of year when we expect to receive another missive issued in the name of Mullah Mohammad Omar, Amir-ul-Momineen, by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and indeed a new statement was made available on 15 July 2015, Eid Felicitation Message of Amir-ul-Momineen, Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid. (As the link to last year’s Eid message on the same website is no longer functional, I will copy the complete text of the message below so that the reader can consult it if they wish to do so.)

Over the years I have made a practice of reading these statements carefully and offering an analysis of the content. Here are my past analyses in the series:

The Graveyard of Empires (2009)

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2010

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2011

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2012

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2013

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2014

There have been major developments in the region that makes this year’s statement of great interest, and the two developments in particular that I have in mind are the peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Kabul government, and the ongoing success of ISIS, which is transforming the unraveling political status quo of the Fertile Crescent that once provided a comfortable illusion of “stability” both to regional despots and to those western powers who wanted (quite earnestly) to believe in the stability of the region.

Before I consider content related to the above, I want to make two stylistic notes: 1) the opening paragraphs are a bit more refulgent than the usual statements attributed to Mullah Mohammad Omar, and 2) the text is liberally sprinkled with quotations from the Koran, appearing first in the original Arabic, and in the English text made available also translated into English. This opening appeal to emotion and the explicit appeals to faith give this statement a different tone than past statements, which had previously sounded like someone trying a little too hard to sound like one of the technocratic ruling elite.

Perhaps the emotional tone was consciously cultivated to make it easier to swallow item 2 of the text, which never comes out and explicitly says that the Taliban are negotiating terms with the Kabul government, but nevertheless makes it clear that this is what the Taliban are doing. It has been widely reported that Mullah Omar came out in favor of these peace talks, but there is nothing in the statement that makes this explicit. Everything in couched in terms of, “…peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited,” and, “…political endeavors and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of Prophetic politics.” Mullah Omar is giving the Taliban wiggle room sufficient for plausible deniability. (There is also the curious statement that, “…we are an integral part of human society and rely upon one another.” I suspect that something here was lost in translation.)

I find it rather telling that in one of the above-quoted lines Mullah Omar uses the phrase, “Prophetic politics.” This is an echo of ISIS rhetoric, as ISIS makes a habit of referring to, “Prophetic methodology.” I am not saying that Mullah Omar is copying ISIS, much less trying to identify with them, only that the use of “prophetic” as a adjective to describe a particular Islamic approach to social organization seems to now have become a talking point in the Islamic world. Whereas Islamic militants in the recent past have striven to present themselves as being in the vanguard of revolutionary Islam, now they strive with each other to demonstrate their bona fides through adherence to “Prophetic” principles.

Both items 3 and 4 are concerned with Jihadi unity, which seems to be primarily concerned with, on the one hand, exhortations to achieve and maintain this unity, and, on the other hand, assurances that Jihadi forces in Afghanistan do in fact possess this unity. The message is that “this time,” unlike “last time,” when the Taliban come to power Afghanistan is not going to be torn into the fiefs of warlords, as the fighting continues even while the invader and enemy pulls out.

Item 5 concerns charges that the Taliban are agents of Pakistan and Iran. Apart from the obvious motive of asserting the independence of the Afghan Taliban (therefore not puppets like the Kabul government), I assume this makes an appearance because Pakistan has been the host of the first round of talks between representatives of the Taliban and the Kabul government. Given the history of Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan, especially through ISI networks, and that some Pakistanis view Afghanistan as a part of “Greater Pakistan” (cf. Akhand Bharat and Ghazwa-e-hind: Conflicting Destinies in South Asia), the use of Pakistan as a venue could come to seem a bit too cozy and might suggest that the Taliban have been compromised. However, most of item 5 is concerned to demonstrate that the Kabul government is a failure despite its support from abroad, whereas the Taliban are strong and successful despite the lack of similar support.

Item 6 seeks to gainsay the image of the Taliban as exclusively retrograde, backward-looking primitivists, asserting that science is necessary to contemporary warfare (I agree) and that scientific medicine is necessary to treat injured Jihadis. There is a passing mention of dependence upon the scientific resources of the enemy, which pretty much sums up the whole problem. The Taliban understand the limits of their way of warfare, and they know they are dependent upon others to modernize their way of warfare, but they do not appear to have made the connection that scientific inquiry emerges from a particular kind of society, and this is not the kind of society that the Taliban seeks to create. Even if the Taliban were to return to power in a scenario such as Mullah Omar imagines in this statement, this problem of dependency would not go away. It may be exacerbated. And if the Taliban were to administer a nation-state in the twenty-first century without the tools of twenty-first century governance and warfare, they risk being pawns in a game played by others who do possess these tools. There is an awareness of the problem, then, but no sign that an effective way to meet the problem is available: science within “the light of our Holy Sharia law.” That may turn out to be irreconcilable.

Items 7, 8, 9, and 10 return to the emotional and religious tone of the opening section, with a series of appeals and exhortations to be on good behavior, to reform rather than kill enemies, to materially support the Mujahidin, and once again to avoid internal dissension.

The message of the many successes of the Jihadis in taking back Afghanistan for the IEA jars with the implicit message of peace talks with the Kabul government, as the message of Jihadi unity jars with the many assurances that, when the Taliban take over again, it won’t be like last time. But no one is going to grill Mullah Omar over these tensions in his statement. However, the tensions will be felt, and filed away on an unconscious level, even if they are not explicitly debated or addressed. The tensions implicit in the message will not be resolved by Taliban successes, whether on the battlefield or at the negotiating table.

Will the negotiations ever lead to Ashraf Ghani meeting Mullah Mohammad Omar over a peace table? It seems unlikely, simply because it seems unlikely that Mullah Omar would ever allow himself to be exposed to the glare of publicity in this way. Such a meeting would have great symbolic value, but in so far as the Taliban are successful, they will not have to negotiate, and in so far as they are unsuccessful, the negotiations would be perfunctory and “merely” symbolic. So the image of Ashraf Ghani and Mullah Omar facing each other over a table is as deceptive as it is elusive.

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Note added Wednesday 29 July 2015: Unconfirmed reports are now being investigated that Taliban Chief Mullah Mohammad Omar has died. Previous reports have turned out to be false, but several authorities are taking this report seriously. Time will tell.

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Note added Thursday 30 July 2015: Several major news organizations today stated that the Taliban had officially acknowledged the Mullah Mohammad Omar died in April 2013, which means that the last three Eid ul-Fitr messages attributed to Mullah Omar were published after his death. The IEA website does not yet acknowledge Mullah Omar’s death as of this writing. One suspects they do not know how exactly to report the news. Already there are contradictory conspiracy theories, either that that Afghan government knew about the death of Mullah Omar but kept it quiet, or that the Afghan intelligence services are so incompetent they knew nothing (an incompetency they apparently share with most of the world’s intelligence organizations).

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Note added Friday 31 July 2015: The official IEA website now has a statement on the death of Mullah Mohammad Omar, Declaration of the Leading Council of the Islamic Emirate regarding the appointment of new Amir (leader) of the Islamic Emirate, dated 30 July 2015.

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Grand Strategy Annex

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Eid Felicitation Message of Amir-ul-Momineen, Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid

15 July 2015

In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.

الحمد لله رب العلمین و الصلوة والسلام علی سیدالأنبیاء والمرسلین محمد وعلی آله وأصحابه أجمعین وبعد

:قال الله تعالی

[أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَاتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمْ ظُلِمُوا وَإِنَّ اللهَ عَلَى نَصْرِهِمْ لَقَدِيرٌ ﴾ [الحج:39﴿

Translation: (Permission to take up arms is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged and Allah, indeed, has power to help them.) (Al-Hajj – 39)

To the whole Muslim Umma, particularly to the Muslim and Mujahid Masses of Afghanistan!

السلام علیکم ورحمة الله وبرکاته

(May peace and blessings of Allah be upon you!)

I would like to felicitate you on this auspicious occasions of both Eid-ul-Fitr and the significant conquests in the field of Jihad along with my sincere best wishes. May Allah, the Almighty, accept all your worships, donations and virtuous deeds related with the holy month of Ramadan! Amin.

All of these conquests are the result of perpetual support of Allah Almighty followed by the untold sacrifices, endeavors and backing of the Afghan Mujahid people. I pray to Allah, the Almighty, to remunerate all of them for their services and sacrifices.

It is a moment of deep gratitude and great honor for me to share my feelings with you concerning the sanctified and blessed days of the Holy Religion of Islam. The Muslims congratulate one another in these days, pray for their well-being and express their sincerity, brotherhood and sympathy in an atmosphere fraught with religious fraternity.

I would like, by seizing this occasion, to elucidate some issues about the previous and present on-going Jihadi struggle of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

1. The invasion of Afghanistan by the occupying alliance headed by America was in reality an explicit brutal aggression, contradicting all humane principles, on an integral part of the Muslim Umma and subsequently, the initiation of Holy Jihad against this aggression became a binding individual obligation upon us. As Allah Almighty says:

[ وَقَاتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ… ﴾ [البقرة:190 ﴿

Translation: (And fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not transgress. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.) (Al-Baqarah – 190)

It was according to this religious obligation that more than fifteen hundred religious scholars of our country issued the decree of Holy Jihad to the Islamic Emirate which was subsequently approved by the righteous scholars around the world. In the light of this genuine religious decree, Jihad is as obligatory today as it was in the beginning of foreign occupation because our Muslim homeland Afghanistan is still under occupation and both its land and air space are controlled by the invaders. The only minor difference is that after suffering heavy casualties and financial losses, the foreign occupying forces have reduced their numbers and have confined themselves to heavily fortified bases, filling this void with some notorious figures of our society, mercenary forces trained by foreign intelligence agencies and some naive youngsters in the disguise of Afghan security forces who are financially, logistically and even directly supported by the very occupying forces when pressured by Mujahidin. It is therefore still obligatory upon us to continue our sacred Jihad to liberate our beloved homeland and restore an Islamic system.

It is true that large areas of the country are liberated by the Mujahidin but our Jihadi struggle will continue until the infidel occupation of our country has ended and a pure Islamic system is implemented.

2. Concurrently with armed Jihad, political endeavors and peaceful pathways for achieving these sacred goals is a legitimate Islamic principle and an integral part of Prophetic politics. As our holy leader, the beloved Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was actively engaged in fighting the infidels in the fields of ‘Badr’ and ‘Khyber’, he simultaneously participated in agreements beneficial for Muslims, held meetings with envoys of infidels, sent messages and delegations to them and on various occasions even undertook the policy of face to face talks with warring infidel parties. If we look into our religious regulations, we can find that meetings and even peaceful interactions with the enemies is not prohibited but what is unlawful is to deviate from the lofty ideals of Islam and to violate religious decrees. Therefore the objective behind our political endeavors as well as contacts and interactions with countries of the world and our own Afghans is to bring an end to the occupation and to establish an independent Islamic system in our country. It is our legitimate right to utilize all legal pathways because being an organized and liable setup, we are responsible to our masses, we are an integral part of human society and rely upon one another. All Mujahidin and countrymen should be confident that in this process, I will unwaveringly defend our legal rights and viewpoint everywhere. We have established a ‘Political Office’ for political affairs, entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring and conducting all political activities.

3. We insist upon the unity of Jihadi front in Afghanistan because firstly, it is the command of Allah Almighty and secondly, the fruits of successful Jihad against the former Soviet Union were lost as an inevitable consequence of the multiplicity of factions.

Allah Almighty has said about the unity of Jihadi front:

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفّاً كَأَنَّهُم بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ) (4 الصف)

Translation: (Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause arrayed in solid ranks, as though they were a strong structure cemented with molten lead.) (As-Saff – 4)

On another occasion, the Holy Quran unequivocally inhibits from all contentions, differences and mutual disputes in the following explicit words:

( وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ ۖ وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ) (46 الانفال)

Translation: (And obey Allah and His Messenger and dispute not with one another, lest you falter and your strength depart from you. And be steadfast; surely, Allah is with the steadfast.) (Al-Anfal – 46)

And our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) says:

{لاَ يُلْدَغُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنْ جُحْرٍ وَاحِدٍ مَرَّتَيْنِ} {رواه البخاري}

Translation: (A believer is not stung twice from the same hole.) Narrated by Bukhari.

Since maintaining the unity of Jihadi front in our country is a religious obligation, we have therefore directed all our Mujahidin to preserve their unity and forcefully prevent all those elements who attempt to create differences, damage this Jihadi front or try to disperse the Mujahidin.

4. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:

الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ لَا يَظْلِمُهُ وَلَا يَخْذُلُهُ وَلَا يَحْقِرُهُ التَّقْوَى هَاهُنَا” وَيُشِيرُ إِلَى صَدْرِهِ ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ، “بِحَسْبِ امْرِئٍ مِن الشَّرِّ أَنْ يَحْقِرَ أَخَاهُ الْمُسْلِمَ كُلُّ الْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ حَرَامٌ دَمُهُ وَمَالُهُ وَعِرْضُهُ ) رواه مسلم و احمد

Translation: (Every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He should neither oppress him, nor let him down, nor insult him. Piety is here, while pointing to his chest thrice. It is enough for a man’s mischief to look down upon his Muslim brother. The blood, property and honor of every Muslim is forbidden for another Muslim.) Narrated by Muslim and Ahmad.

In view of the above saying of our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and being a member of the Muslim society, we look upon every Muslim as our brother and we formally recognize the legitimate rights of all Afghans including minorities as our religious duty.

The formation of Islamic Emirate comprises of virtuous and erudite people from all areas and nations of our country, learning a lot from the experiences of previous 36 years especially from the responsibilities borne over the past twenty years hence no one should fear about what will happen if the Islamic Emirate comes to power. I assure you that the upcoming changes will in no way resemble the situation following the collapse of the communist regime when everything turned upside down. There are no such disagreements inside the Jihadi ranks as were in the past. This time every legal development around the country will be preserved, national assets and the achievements of private sector will be maintained, the dignity of all individuals and communities of the country will be honored, an accountable, transparent, professional and inclusive Afghan administration will be setup to meet both the worldly and religious needs of the Afghan masses. We have always tried, in light of Islamic principles and national interests, to maintain cordial and reciprocal relations with all neighboring, regional and world countries so that Afghanistan is secured both from external malice as well as internal differences.

5. Some circles accuse Mujahidin of being agents of Pakistan and Iran. This is an utterly unjust verdict because neither our past history nor the present prevailing circumstances attest to this statement and the forthcoming history will also be a witness against these false accusations, Insha-Allah (God-willing).

Nevertheless, it is a fact that we have sought cordial relations not only with Pakistan and Iran but also all other neighboring countries. Just like towards the people of Pakistan and Iran, we have been the well-wishers of all masses of all neighboring, regional and world countries and we are determined to pursue this wise policy.

We call upon all people with intellect not to be deceived by the baseless propaganda of the enemy intelligence. Do not attribute you’re extraordinary achievements to others. The vast areas spreading from Badakhshan to Kandahar, from Faryab to Paktia and from Herat to Nangarhar, which almost covers the entire country cannot be liberated with foreign support. If foreign aid were so effective then it would have treated the wounds of the Kabul administration which enjoys the unconstrained support of fifty countries. They freely get weapons and manpower from abroad, even their leaders are brought up and trained by the foreigners. But none of these provisions stabilized them rather they are losing ground on a daily basis. Therefore if we were not supported by Allah Almighty as well as our pious masses and Jihadi spirit, how could it be possible for us to have sustained this lopsided war for fourteen years against major world military powers with the insignificant and secret support of either one or two neighboring countries? Without a doubt, no sane mind would ever accept this nonsense.

Therefore our Muslim brothers, near and far, should not be victimized by the enemy propaganda because the enemy is not only devious but also shrewd and well-equipped, able to convey and spread rumors and propaganda against Muslims and Islamic movements to the world masses. Hence all Muslims should remain vigilant and discerning equipped with faith and spiritual perspicacity.

6. Some people, without having any sound proof, think that the Islamic Emirate is against all new developments, modern sciences and resources. This despite the overall expenditure on schools and higher educational institutions being higher than the traditional religious madrassas during the reign of the Islamic Emirate. Twenty percent of the budget was allocated for education and training. Contemporary studies are recommended by our religious scholars as they are obligatory according to Islamic teachings. Allah Almighty says in His Holy Book:

(وَأَعِدُّوا لَهُمْ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ قُوَّةٍ وَمِنْ رِبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ تُرْهِبُونَ بِهِ عَدُوَّ اللَّهِ وَعَدُوَّكُمْ… )(الانفال 60)

Translation: (And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war, whereby you may frighten the enemy of Allah and your enemy…) (Al-Anfal – 60)

According to the above blessed verse which stresses upon every possible preparation against the enemy and since Jihad is an indispensable obligation for the Muslims today thus modern resources to combat the enemy can neither be had nor utilized without the prior knowledge of modern sciences and new experiences. Similarly treatment of injured Mujahidin and health-care of Muslim masses, freeing ourselves from enemy dependence in technical, industrial, agricultural and various other walks of life as well as properly serving the Muslims and self-sufficiency of Islamic society needs our excellence in modern knowledge. It is a well-established rule of Islamic jurisprudence that the requisite of an obligation is obligatory.

Therefore the Islamic Emirate realizes the value and importance of modern sciences and sources in the light of our Holy Sharia law. The proof is that Mujahidin are facilitating both religious and modern studies for the young generation of our beloved homeland in all the areas under their control.

7. I would like to remind all the Mujahidin that if they abide by two things then eventual victory will be theirs. First, they should aim for Allah’s pleasure in all their deeds. They should endure their allegiance with their creed, country, the Islamic Emirate and their leaders as guided by our Holy Book:

(يَاأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُواْ اللَّهَ یَنصُرْکمْ وَ یُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَکمْ.) (محمد 7)

Translation: (O ye who believe! if you help the cause of Allah, He will help you and will make your foothold firm.) (Muhammad – 7)

Secondly, our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

( لَيْسَ مِنَّا مَنْ لَمْ يَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا وَلم يُوَقِّرْ كَبِيرَنَا) (ترمذي)

Translation: (Those who do not have mercy on youngsters and not respectful to elders are not from us.) Narrated by Tirmidhi

So deal with your people gently, with love and good manners. Treat their elders as your own parents and their youngsters as your own brothers and children. The protection of lives and properties of ordinary people is your Islamic and human responsibility. Particularly in your military planning, take all possible measures to avoid civilian losses and casualties. If you glance over history, you will vividly see that the one who has betrayed the sacred religion of Allah or has looked down upon this pious Mujahid nation or ignored good ethics has failed at succeeding here. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

( أکمل المؤمنين إيماناً أحسنهم خلقاً ) (رواه ابوداود)

Translation: (The most perfect amongst the pious people is the one whose behavior is sublime.) Narrated by Abu Daud

So win over your nation with good behavior.

8. O Mujahidin! As Allah Almighty has flung open the doors of victories to you, try your best to invite and guide the opponents to the right path and provide them with secured and honorable living conditions. Instead of killing them, it is better to reform (guide) them as our community will inevitably suffer due to their widows and orphans. The people who control their anger and pardon are held in high esteem by Allah Almighty as He says:

(وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ)‌ (آل عمران (134)

Translation: (And those who suppress anger, and pardon men; and Allah loves those who do good.) (Al-Imran – 134)

9. Muslims of the whole world and specially the pious masses of Afghanistan are requested to increase their physical and financial support to the Mujahidin amidst the current triumphant process as you constantly extended it over the past fourteen years. You should remember that Jihad is an individual obligation upon every single Muslim. If one cannot participate in the Jihadi fronts physically, he can discharge his duty by extending financial or political or cultural support to the Mujahidin. Our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) says:

(مَنْ جَهَّزَ غَازِياً فِي سَبِيلِ الله فَقَدْ غَزَا، وَمَنْ خَلَفَ غَازِياً فِي سَبِيلِ الله بِخَيْرٍ فَقَدْ غَزَا) (متفق علیه)

Translation: (Whosoever equipped a fighter in the path of Allah, and the one who looked after a fighter’s family behind, verily he participated in Jihad.) Agreed Upon

10. To end, I request all the leaders and masses of the Muslim world to maintain unity and fraternity among themselves and not allow internal differences to weaken their ranks. The policy of tolerance, patience, acumen and strict abidance by Islamic Sharia should be adopted. I would like to remind all the well-off sympathizing brothers to extend their complete support to the bereaved families of the martyrs, prisoners, disabled, poor and orphans of frontline Mujahidin during these happy days of Eid-ul-Fitr. They should not be left alone and must be encouraged because it is the source of success and prosperity in this world as well the world hereafter. Wish good for others as you seek it for yourselves as the Holy Quran says:

(وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ) (الحج – 77)

Translation: (And do good deeds that you may prosper.) (Al-Hajj – 77)

I once again congratulate all of you on this happy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr and pray to Allah Almighty that all your worship and services are rewarded.


Servant of Islam


Mulla Mohammad Umar Mujahid

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IE of A

Message of Felicitation of Amir-ul-Momineen (may Allah protect him) on the Auspicious Eve of Eid-ul-fitr

It’s that time of year again! Muslims all over the world are celebrating the end of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, and Amir-ul-Momineen Mullah Mohammed Omar has issued his traditional statement for the holiday, which I have previously called the “state of the union address” for the Afghan Taliban. The address can be read in is entirety at the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) website: Message of Felicitation of Amir-ul-Momineen (may Allah protect him) on the Auspicious Eve of Eid-ul-fitr.

My past posts on Mullah Omar’s past Eid al-Fitr statements:

The Graveyard of Empires (2009)

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2010

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2011

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2012

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2013

This year’s statement is shorter than many of the previous statements, at only a little over 2,000 words. This message is not as well translated as previous messages. Past statements have been both systematic and comprehensive, and I guess I expected that, with the US scheduled to pull of Afghanistan this year, there would be another similarly comprehensive message to the people of Afghanistan outlining the principles and practices by which the Taliban expected to seize and hold power. And more than the US pullout, there is the big news of continuing instability in the region and the proclamation of a Caliphate by ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — certainly a development of some importance that touches upon regional dynamics that must affect the Taliban and their efforts in Afghanistan.

I have observed in previous posts that the Afghan Taliban are tightly focused on Afghanistan and have not associated themselves closely with radical Jihadist groups with transnational ambitions, which orientation seems to clearly be the case with ISIS and its concern to abrogate the Sykes-Picot borders that have defined the nation-states of the region since the agreement was struck (in secret) in 1916. The Taliban concern with specifically Afghan concerns comes across again in this most recent statement by Mullah Omar, who repeats assurances from previous statements that the IEA would respect established international borders and would not interfere in the internal affairs of other governments. That this point should be repeated at a time when ISIS is making a point of abrogating established borders is significant; it is as much as saying, “We are not ISIS.”

In line with this continuing theme of “Afghanistan for the Afghans” (as we may call it) is a particular interest in the official recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Thus Mullah Omar states: “Exchange of the detainees with America as a result of the efforts of the representatives of the Political Office of the Islamic Emirate is a spectacular achievement.” Nothing else in the address is similarly celebrated as spectacular. Mullah Omar is especially concerned to de-legitimize the political process in Afghanistan, and shows a little lack of confidence in going over this ground a little more thoroughly than would have been necessary for a government-in-exile that expected to step into power almost unopposed upon the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. In particular, there is a concern that young people in Afghanistan will be drawn into the political processes, legitimizing through their participation. They are, after all, Afghans whom the Taliban claim to represent. If Afghans participate in elections, government, police, or security institutions, that demonstrates the ethnic legitimacy of these non-Taliban institutions.

By contrast, the other internal references to current events, i.e., current events outside Afghanistan — of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict he says, “swift steps should be taken to prevent these gruesome brutalities” (which sounds positively western in its banality and moderation), while of other “events and developments of the Middle East” Mullah Omar is even more opaque — are not nearly as spectacular as implicit recognition of the Taliban by the US.

While previous statements have been a grab-bag of ideological references and predictable rhetoric, this statement is much simpler and straight-forward. It is about establishing the Taliban as the ruling regime of the IEA, and that’s about it. The ambitious program of nation-building outlined in previous messages is here reduced to some passing exhortations and the mention of Taliban institutions of their presumptive government-in-waiting.

The Taliban are not quite seizing the opportunity expected to fall into their lap later this year when US forces are reduced or entirely withdrawn. The real enemy now becomes those Afghans who want a political order not of the Taliban. Once US forces are gone, or nearly gone, attacks on the institutions left in the wake of the US presence will be attacks on Afghans and their newly adopted institutions. This puts the Taliban in a difficult position, since they are not about transnational Jihadism or pan-Islamism, but only about a Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar is aware of this difficult at some level, and this may account for this year’s more modest message.

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Grand Strategy Annex

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Is this a new photograph of Mullah Mohammed Omar? I haven’t seen this photo in previous years, but it now seems to be widely available on the internet, and it is a much better quality photo than the previous grainy and blurry images of the reclusive Taliban leader.

For as long as I have been writing this blog, I have been offering an annual commentary on Mullah Mohammed Omar’s annual statements on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which means that this series has had three installments so far — not counting other occasional pieces on Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban, and Afghanistan — as follows:

The Graveyard of Empires (2009)

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2010

Mullah Mohammad Omar’s Eid al-Fitr Address for 2011

It has been fascinating to see the development of Taliban thought in the pronouncements of Mullah Omar, which have gone from being a grab-bag of revolutionary and resistance-struggle tropes to being more focused and programmatic documents for both the reconstruction of Afghanistan upon a Taliban model and no less a reconstruction of the Taliban themselves upon a political model more acceptable to the international community. It seems that even the Taliban have become aware of the public relations disaster of denying education to women and similar retrograde measures.

Perhaps the Taliban have become dimly aware that they only need tweak their interpretation of Islam a little in order to make themselves a mostly acceptable governing entity and not so flagrantly contemptuous of the kind of rights that are included in the UN Charter. I’m not saying that I think the Taliban have turned over a new leaf, only that their experience of being in power followed by their violent expulsion of power has taught them a few lessons about pragmatic governance and what the consequences of the disapproval of the international community can mean — viz. no one comes to your aid when another power acts unilaterally to toss you out on your ear.

In an earlier post, The News Cycle and its Discontents, I wrote that it was nothing for the Taliban to wait a year, ten years, or twenty years for a US withdrawal, so that once this withdrawal from Afghanistan was formally announced it simply provided a light at the end of the tunnel for the Taliban. The fundamental fact about the conflict now is that the Taliban still believe that they can win, while the US no longer believes it can win anything in Afghanistan but is simply looking for a way out. That way out is “Afghanization,” to coin a term. The other pillar of withdrawal is substantive negotiations with the Taliban, which, so far, aren’t going well, because the Taliban (rightly) perceive that time is on their side. It is.

This is the background of this year’s statement from Mullah Muhammad Omar. As Eid ul-Fitr (there are several variant transliterations of this holiday name into English) approaches I have been searching the internet every day for Mullah Omar’s most recent statement, and now I find that it has appeared yesterday, Thursday 16 August 2012.

The first part of Mullah Omar’s statement, “The Jihadic Momentum,” comprising sections 1 through 6, is primarily rhetorical in recounting the triumphs of the Taliban and the defeats of Western forces in Afghanistan, but in citing several events from the past year the Taliban demonstrate that they, too, read the newspapers and surf the internet — and that they, too, read the news selectively, magnifying that which is of particular importance to them while ignoring or explaining away that which would seem to tell against their efforts. There is nothing surprising about this; the Western military forces in Afghanistan do the same thing, and spin their side just as relentlessly. But Taliban spin isn’t going to win the war any more than US spin is going to win the war, and both sides know it.

The second part of the statement, “Conspiracies of the Enemy,” comprising sections 7 to 10, is all about conspiracies, spies, espionage, and psychological operations against the people of Afghanistan, which Mullah Omar contends to have been undertaken by the enemies of Afghanistan but which have failed to win the hearts and minds of the people of Afghanistan, who are presumably still loyal to the Taliban. Although Mullah Omar has never mentioned Pakistan or the ISI in any of his statements, the ISI is well known to have assets within the Taliban and are, generally speaking, sympathetic to the Taliban (the ISI was instrumental in supplying the Taliban during the Soviet occupation), but this strong statement about intelligence networks suggests that there is more here that meets the eye. The US has little or no intelligence network on the ground in Afghanistan, so I have to wonder if this is an implicit warning for regional intelligence services who do play a role in Afghanistan not to over-reach their capacities in the country.

The third part of the statement, “The Strategic Agreement, Military Bases and Fruitless Conferences,” comprising sections 10 to 12, characterizes the Kabul administration as a corrupt puppet regime whose participation in international conferences supposedly pledged to help the people of Afghanistan are pointless because agreements, pledges, and contracts only go to enrich individuals. This portion of the statement suggests, though does not make explicit, that the Taliban will not honor any agreements entered into by the current administration.

The fourth part of the statement, “Talks and Negotiation,” comprising sections 13 and 14, gives Taliban excuses for participating in limited talks with the US and the Kabul administration, explicitly denying that these talks compromise the independence of the Taliban. These talks as presented pragmatically, “to initiate exchange of prisoners, open political office and reach our goals.” This part of the statement repeats the previous year’s assertion that the Taliban will preside over an inclusive Islamic system once the US has pulled out of Afghanistan.

The fifth part of the statement, “The Future of Afghanistan,” comprising sections 15 to 20, pledges the Taliban to fight corruption, to provide education to all Afghans, to secure “legitimate” rights for women, and to the reconstruction of Afghanistan, the latter to include: “…development of agriculture, construction of roads, bridges, hospitals… construction of infrastructure, extraction of mines, rehabilitation of arid land, industrialization of the country and obtainment of technological know-how.” Given past Taliban ideological rigidity in regard to technology, it is remarkable that Mullah Omar should now explicitly claim to support industrialization, infrastructure projects, and technological education.

The sixth part of the statement, “Foreign Policy,” comprising sections 21 to 23, is especially interesting. Section 21 formulates the fundamental principle of autocracy (as I have recently formulated it): “The Islamic Emirate does not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of others nor allows others to interfere in its internal affairs.” At the same time, this section claims that, “The Islamic Emirate assures all the world that it will not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against any one…” which seems like too little, too late, in terms of having allowed al-Qaeda to operate from Afghanistan when formerly ruled by the Taliban. That the Taliban chose to address this concern, which ties in with its autocratic non-interference policy as formulated in the previous sentence, is presumably a message to other Islamic nation-states of a different ideology than the Taliban. Still, there is a tension between asserting the right of no internal interference and making the promise that the Taliban will not allow operations against other nation-states from its territory; this is a tension inherent in all autocratic regimes. Section 22 acknowledges the Arab Spring and expresses hopes for the changes in the Islamic world that have come about in its wake. Section 23 calls for the protection of Muslims in Burma (interestingly, the Taliban uses “Burma” rather than “Myanmar” — or, at least their translators do), presumably signaling Taliban concern for the global Ummah, and not merely Muslims in Afghanistan.

The seventh part of the statement, called “Mujahideen Brothers,” comprising sections 24 to 28, is a fulsome paean to the Mujahideen and a longer and more detailed caution to avoid civilian causalities as well as to avoid inter-Jihadi rivalry, which suggests that ongoing Taliban brutality remains an issue and that the movement for which Mullah Omar presumes to speak is not monumental and has had its share of internal strife. Inter-service rivalries are not exclusive to the standing armed forces of nation-states.

The eighth part of the statement, “To the Personnel of the Kabul Administration,” comprising sections 29 and 30, is a call to those cooperating with or a part of the Kabul administration to shift their loyalty to the Taliban because everyone knows that the US is leaving eventually — here the light at the end of the tunnel appears in its most explicit form — and even recounts that the Taliban have set up an institution called “Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration” in order to integrate government officials and employees (particularly, as the statement says, “the personnel of police and army”) into the Taliban’s presumptive administrative organization.

The ninth part of the statement, “To the Public of the World and the Invading Countries of Afghanistan,” comprising sections 31 to 33, states that the US is in Afghanistan as part of its global and regional strategy and cites France as the model to follow for having pulled its troops out of the coalition efforts in Afghanistan. There follows an appeal to, “…the international community, the organizations of human rights and, in general, all people of the world; the unbiased and equitable statesmen, writers and news agencies not to spare efforts in the cause of independence of the Afghan people as a part of their humanitarian responsibility.”

In the final part of the statement, “To Human Rights Advocacy Organizations,” consisting of two unnumbered paragraphs, the same theme of sections 31 to 33, above, is continued, with further calls to international organizations to impartially investigate Afghanistan as well as a call to wealthy Muslims to give to “children and families of martyrs and prisoners.”

This year’s statement is, on the whole, much more focused than past statements on the sufferings of the Afghan people and, related to this, humanitarian rhetoric. The terms “human” (as in “human rights” and “human values”) or “humanity” occur eleven (11) times in the statement. There are also several rhetorical asides blaming invading forces for atrocities and offenses that have been blamed on the Taliban. For example, Mullah Omar claims that although “some schools are torched or students poisoned” and that these events have been blamed on the Taliban, in fact they are “hidden conspiracies of the enemy.” These formulations, as well as the cautions for the Mujahideen to respect civilian life and property, suggest that the Taliban are well aware, even though they fully expect to come into power once the US fully pulls out, that not all Afghans are “on board” with the Taliban, and that the brutality of their Jihad has not won them friends. They know that they can impose a security regime on the ground, as they did prior to US involvement, but they are not sure that they can keep it because of the bad publicity and the all too frequent neglect of the ideal standards to which Mullah Omar would like to hold the Mujahideen, which violations are at one point in the statement credited to, “the perversity and ignorance of a few young men.”

Whereas previous Eid ul-Fitr statements from Mullah Omar showed a growing confidence, we now see that the Taliban are in the planning stages for the endgame in Afghanistan, and are already considering the knock-on effects of their brutal campaign and how to deal with those who will be hesitant to submit themselves once again to Taliban rule. This statement of 2012 is what we would call “post-conflict planning” on the part of the Taliban.

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Below is the complete text of Mullah Muhammad ‘Umar’s ‘Eid al-Fitr Message for 2012, as I found in on the Views from the Occident website. I have altered some of the worst grammatical blunders, but I have not gone so far as to alter the sentence structure.

Message of Felicitation of the Esteemed Amir-ul-Momineen on the Occasion of Eid-ul-fitre
Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:50 –

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Those who turn (for friendship) to Allah, His Apostle and the believers (must know) that Allah’s followers are sure to triumph. (S.5 v:56)

We praise Allah and seek His help and refuge from the evils of our inner-self and wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever is guided by Allah, none can lead (him/her) astray; whoever goes astray, can find none except Allah (for guidance). We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. Alone is He and no partner He has. We also bear witness that Mohammad (peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.

Having said that, I would like to proceed further:
I seek refuge in Allah, from Satan, the rejected one.

I extend my (heartfelt) felicitation on this occasion of Eid-ul-fitre to the Mujahid nation of Afghanistan and to all the Islamic Ummah, on their worship of fasting (during Ramadan) and the Jihadic achievements. May Allah (swt) accept in His Sight, your (worship of) fasting, the offering of charities and unprecedented services and sacrifices in the cause of Truth. I hope, that the Almighty Allah, may have enabled you to observe all acts of rituals of this season of blessing and worship. May Allah, the Almighty give success, in this world and in the world to come, to all Mujahideen who are sacrificing their lives, those who continued to remain at their strongholds engaged despite the hunger and thirst in the month of Ramadan.

May Allah, the Almighty procure a conducive situation for the release of those brothers of ours who are now in captivity of the enemies. May Allah (swt) bestow on the holy and sacred martyrs of the path of Truth, high ranks in the paradise of Firdaus, a swift recovery to the injured and somber patience, reward, joy and prosperity to those valiants who have lost members of their families. In these holy days of Eid-ul-fitre, I would like to share with you my views about some vital matters, in addition to the felicitation on this occasion:

The Jihadic Momentum:

1. The Jihadic activities robustly forge a head, with array at its best order and by utilizing the latest tactics. This great achievement has been possible only thanks to the help of Allah, the Almighty, the assistance of the Muslim people; unity and the comprehensive cooperation and sacrifices of the heroic Mujahid nation of Afghanistan.

2. The unique distinction of this year’s operations Al-Farouq, is that, that it has reached all areas, whether being situated near or far-flung. The losses of Mujahideen have decreased while the losses and frustrations of the enemy have increased in parallel. The enemy is not able to take a breath of relief in the main cities, rural areas and even in their barricaded garrisons. Mujahideen have taken initiatives of the war in their own hands. The enemy has been forced to adopt a defensive position in every area, even they have retreated from many military centers. This is what the enemy have admitted itself from time to time.

3. Mujahideen have cleverly infiltrated in the ranks of the enemy according to the plan given to them last year. Many conscious Afghans in the rank and files of the enemy have shown willingness to help the Mujahideen in a shrewd and astute manner after having come around to know the reality. As a result, the foreign invaders and their allies in their military centers and bases do come under crushing blows of these heroic soldiers. We appreciate these brave and historical heroes and the entire nation pays them great tributes. We expect others to display the same boldness and spirit. Thanks to the infiltration of the Mujahideen, they are able to (safely) enter bases, offices and intelligence centers of the enemy. Then, they easily carry out decisive and coordinated attacks, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy both in life and equipment. Furthermore, a great number of soldiers join the ranks of Mujahideen, carrying their heavy and light weapons and ammunition, after leaving the ranks of the enemy. The Mujahideen honor them and provide them protection. In the recent days, you and we were witness of such frequent incidents.

4. The colonialists are facing a wide-spread economic crisis and popular opposition because of the Afghanistan war. Even their own soldiers express resentments against their wrong policies. A case in point is the demonstration in front of the premises of the Chicago conference, which had been staged by those soldiers who had served in Afghanistan. Similarly, resentments and opposition (to the war) have spiraled up at world’s level. The trend is still on the rise. As a result, (some of) the colonialists have been forced to pull their troops out of Afghanistan one after another. This is but an (obvious) achievement and triumph of our sacred Jihad.

5. The invaders not only have faced defeat in political, economical and military fronts but, at the moral front too, the public of the world have come around that the invaders do not know any human values. They have no warfare ethics; violate human rights and honor; they commit blasphemy against holy things; desecrate the corpses of the martyrs; perpetrate morally offensive acts against children and adolescents; raid houses at night and brutally kill women, old men and children similar to the gruesome incidents of Zangawat and Sajawand. They bombard villages, houses, cities, mosques, religious seminaries, schools, processions of funeral services and ceremonies of felicities. This is in a time that the invaders brazenly speak of human rights and humanity.

6. It is a matter of pleasure for all Muslims, particularly, for the Mujahideen that they wage Jihad like brothers in a single array and under a single flag and command in all areas, extending from Badakhshan to Helmand, and from Nangarhar to Herat. In this lies the great secret of triumph. This is a cause of shock and jittery for the enemy.

Conspiracies of the Enemy

7. During the past eleven years, the enemy tried its best to mobilize the Afghans in its favor by dint of its media. Praise be to Allah, they have failed (in their goal). This is because of the realities existing on the ground that the people and all the world can see. Thereby, their wicked conspiracies were foiled and the so-called independent media outfits which are, in fact, affiliated with their espionage agencies, have been exposed. Their exaggerated hype and propaganda ultimately harmed their own reputation. Now they have no credibility in the eyes of the people. The public of the world look at their every report to be no more than a mere rumor, propaganda or a conspiracy against the Mujahideen. The people know that these media outlets hide the losses of those who provide them funds and portray the losses of Mujahideen several times more than what they are and are tight-lipped about the Mujahideen’s victories.

8. The enemy tried to flare up chaos among the people through their cunning intelligence networks by capitalizing on the perversity and ignorance of a few young men. They wanted to face people with the same chaotic situation that gripped them in the 90s, following the ouster of the communist government. Praise be to Allah, this wicked conspiracy has failed while being at its earlier stages. Seeing their abhorrent activities, the people became more closer to the Mujahideen and more watchful about the covert conspiracies of the enemy.

9. The so-called process of transition of authority to the Kabul powerless Administration is another deceiving drama launched by the invaders. By doing so, they want to hide their defeat and mislead the (Afghan) people and the public of the world, ostensibly, claiming that they trust the Afghans and want to devolve to the Afghans the future of their country, both civilian and militarily. Our stance about this cunning process is that, that it is a mere a failed effort like other deviating processes of the invaders, aimed at misleading and confounding the public. All those areas where the process has taken place, are de facto, in the hands of the enemy both from an angle of security, military and administration. They hold the authority to launch night raids and carry out all other brutal attacks despite their commitments in the contrary.

The Strategic Agreement, Military Bases and Fruitless Conferences

10. The game which has been launched under the name of strategic agreement to sell Afghanistan or is still continuing is not acceptable to the heroic people of Afghanistan. The inking of such documents with a powerless regime installed by them has no legal standing.

11. The independence of Afghanistan and establishment of Sharia system are values that the Islamic Emirate is not going to deal on it. The Afghan people will wage Jihad against the foreign invasion until complete independence of the country, though the invasion may ensconce itself in the garb of peace-keeping forces or strategic cooperation.

12. Commitments of billions of dollars are made with the Kabul corrupt Administration in conference being held under the name of assistance. All these commitments are made by the bidding of the foreign invaders in order to keep the sagging and ill regime of Kabul alive, though moribund. The funding countries and nations must know that this assistance does not reach the Afghan people to mitigate their pains but ultimately find way to the private pockets and bank accounts of the rulers of the Kabul corrupt, collapsing and ill regime which only panders to the interests of the foreigners—rulers who are involved in moral and administrative corruption.

Talks and Negotiation:

13. As an independent and committed Islamic and national force, we have constantly made decision about the issue of Afghanistan and other related global issues and made it clear that we wage struggle for the establishment of Islamic system, maintenance of territorial integrity and independence of the country. for Afghanistan to become a joint home for all the Afghans and all avail the opportunity to lead life in unity and harmony, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will make efforts to reach an understanding with the Afghan factions in due time following pull-out of the invaders in order to establish an Islamic, all afghans inclusive system, being acceptable to all people and which would pander to the aspirations of the Mujahideen, the martyrs, orphans and widows.

14. Since initial talks have already taken place with the Americans on specific matters and then suspended, I would like to say that our talks and negotiation had not meant submission or abandoning our goals. Rather the step had been taken to initiate exchange of prisoners, open political office and reach our goals.

The Future of Afghanistan:

15. The Islamic Emirate does not think of monopolizing power. Afghanistan is the homeland of All Afghans. Since all its citizens have the responsibility for its protection, so they have right to take part in the government if they have the capacity. The Islamic Emirate will do its best to dispense (government) positions and slots to those who deserve and have the capacity and wipe out corruption in the government departments.

16. The Islamic Emirate considers educations as a main factor for advancement of its beloved people in this world and a cause of their prosperity in the world to come. You may be aware that the Islamic Emirate used to allocate a great portion of its budget for education in its past reign. Currently, a separate commission of education exists in the organizational charter of the Islamic Emirate in order to provide educational facilities for its people. We observe that time and again, some schools are torched or students poisoned, accusing Mujahideen of having done this. But in fact, all these are series of the hidden conspiracies of the enemy — an enemy which is now facing defeat — in order to malign the Mujahideen.

17. We are committed to give all legitimate rights to women in the light of the Islamic principles, national interests and our noble culture. It is a matter of sorrow to say that the common people, particularly women, are grappling with various hardships following the invasion of the invaders. Even many women have immolated themselves or have been martyred miserably or their honor has been violated. Still this brutal trend continues. It is in a time that women were completely secure from such sufferings during the past reign of the Islamic Emirate.

18. The Islamic Emirate will pave way for all compatriots whether they are inside or outside the country to use their professional and academic knowledge in the service and well-being of their country and people.

19. The Islamic Emirate will focus on reconstruction of the country, development of agriculture, construction of roads, bridges, hospitals. In brief, it will concentrate on the construction of infrastructure, extraction of mines, rehabilitation of arid land, industrialization of the country and obtainment of technological know-how.

20. Those who harbor plans for the disintegration of the country, should know that, with the support of the people, the Islamic Emirate will not permit any one to succeed in this wicked plan and divide our country in the name of ethnicity or geographical location.

Foreign Policy

21. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan wants good relations and mutual interactions with the world, particularly, with the Islamic world and the neighbors in the light of Islamic rules, national interests, mutual respect and joint cooperation. The Islamic Emirate does not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of others nor allows others to interfere in its internal affairs. The Islamic Emirate assures all the world that it will not allow anyone to use the soil of Afghanistan against any one and makes it clear that it respects all international laws and principles in the light of its Islamic rules and national interests.

22. We congratulate the governments and nations that have emerged following the recent revolutions in the Arabic world on the (beginning) of their new phase of life. I ask Allah, the Almighty, to enable them to have great advancements in all fronts and a brilliant future while observing the Islamic rules. It is a matter of pleasure that the oppressed Muslims who had migrated from their families and countries for long years due to suffocating conditions, have re-united with their families in their countries.

23. As a Muslim and on the basis of humanitarian sympathy, it is a matter of great concern and sorrow for all the Afghan people, that (flagrant) brutality has been unleashed against Muslims in Burma under the tutelage of the state authorities. We call on the Islamic conference and human rights protectors in the world to take urgent steps to forestall the brutalities as per their humanitarian responsibility.

Mujahideen Brothers:

24. My Respected and beloved Mujahideen Brothers!
It is a matter of pleasure that the Almighty Allah has selected us for the service of the religion and privileged us to be engaged in the grand worship of Jihad. Your determination in the cause of defense of your religion, the people and the country and your willingness to render any sacrifice at any time, speak of your strong belief, lofty spirit, unwavering determination, love of honor and free conscious. In fact, you are a cause of pride for all the world, particularly, for the Islamic Ummah and your honor-loving people. You are the pioneers of freedom and liberation in the 21st century and eminent heroes of valor and courage.

Dear brothers:

Our Jihad and sacrifice will bear fruitful results if we wage jihad in the manner the holy prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) have waged it.

25. Pay close attention to the protection of life, property and honor of your miserable people. Behave with them with a behavior, being full of sympathy, love, respect and compassion in the footstep of the lofty characteristics and morals of the holy prophet (peace be upon him). Obtain the hearts of the people by the power of noble morals; strictly desist from the harassment of people and inform your chiefs about those who harass common people.

26. During Jihadic operations, employ tactics that do not cause harm to life and property of the common countrymen. The instructions given to you for the protection of civilian losses are, on you, a religious obligation to observe. Any violation readily incurs loss in this world and in the world to come. Therefore, I urge you emphatically to be careful about the civilian losses and take this on yourselves as an explicit responsibility, disregard of what the enemy may be doing to flare up civilian casualties during battles.

27. Organize your Jihadic activities in the framework of the rules of the general bye-law of the Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate. Strictly desist from interfering in the affairs of each other in order to ensure effective progress of work; to bring about order and to obtain goals smoothly. All should focus on their own responsibilities, and should perform the task devolved on them.

28. Obey your chiefs, and make it part of your daily routine to recite the holy Quran, keep to the remembrance of Allah, study the life history of the Holy prophet (peace be upon him) and recite his prayers and read books for the uplift of your knowledge.

To the Personnel of the Kabul Administration:

29. I invite all personnel of the Kabul Administration, particularly, the personnel of police and army, their officers and the employees of the intelligence department to abandon support of the invaders against your religion and country; join the ranks of Mujahideen like your heroic colleagues– those who deal crushing blows at the invaders from time to time. Join the current struggle aimed at liberating your country and ousting the foreign usurpers– a struggle which is on the verge of victory, if God willing. This will give you a successful and proud life here and in the Hereafter, you will be among the pious men of the Creator and the Master (of all Beings).

30. It is more proper for you to take advantage of this opportunity because the day is not far away that the invading enemy will flee Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate has added in its organizational charter a department by the name of Call and Guidance, Luring and Integration. Its branches are now operational all over the country so that, in addition to other services, they may provide you facilities to leave the ranks of the enemy and join the Mujahideen.

To the Public of the World and the Invading Countries of Afghanistan:

31. America has invaded Afghanistan for the achievement of her long-term political and economic objectives and for quashing her enemies and rivals both at world’s and regional level. It is a pity that some countries have become a scapegoat for the interests of America and, side by side with the American troops, commit crimes of humanity. Your troops mercilessly martyr women and children in our country; destroy villages and houses; desecrate our religious sanctities; vilify our national honors and culture, set fire to our houses and green orchards or bulldoze them until they become leveled with the ground. It is your responsibility to prevent your governments from doing this, as the people of France pioneered to do it. Let not, your children and interests become a sacrifice for the interests and whims of America.

32. You have to know that a great number of your troops are killed in our country or become handicapped, or face various psychological diseases because of the stress of the war but your governments hide all these from you and the media.

33. The Islamic Emirate urges the Islamic conference, the Islamic world, the Islamic nations and government, to come forward in all-sided support of the Afghan miserable people in their struggle of liberation and salvation from atrocities. Similarly, we urge the international community, the organizations of human rights and, in general, all people of the world; the unbiased and equitable statesmen, writers and news agencies not to spare efforts in the cause of independence of the Afghan people as a part of their humanitarian responsibility.

To Human Rights Advocacy Organizations:

We urge all universal organizations working for the protection of human rights not to rely only on reports of the foreign forces and western media outlets; Carry out your own impartial and on site investigation about the ground realities in the area, by fulfilling your responsibility in this regard. The civilian casualties that occur as a result of the American blind bombardment, unsanctioned raids on (residential) houses, letting loose dogs on children and women to bite them; urination on dead bodies, torture of prisoners in prisons, rape of women at the hands of soldiers, police and Arbakis; violation against the honor and property of people are no more something hidden from the eyes of people.

To end, I extend my felicitation once more on the occasion of Eid-ul-fitre to all pious country men and Muslims of world and ask the Almighty Allah to give them happiness in both worlds and triumph over their enemy. In these days of happiness of Eid, I call on the well-to-do Muslims to give the same attention and care to the children and families of martyrs and prisoners as you usually give it to your own children and families. They lack the cool shadow of compassion of their parents. Cherish them with your material and spiritual aids.

Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid
The Servant of Islam

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Grand Strategy Annex

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