Anti-extremism policy 'failed': Afghani minister

Published January 16th, 2016 - 04:00 GMT
The Afghani government is currently waging a war against the Taliban, the most prominent extremist group in the country. (AFP/File)
The Afghani government is currently waging a war against the Taliban, the most prominent extremist group in the country. (AFP/File)

The struggle against extremism has failed in Afghanistan due to political, ideological and business considerations on the part of relevant officials, Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Faiz Mohammad Osmani said on Saturday.

Addressing a three-day conference on strategy against extremism, he said one reason behind the failure of the campaign was the government’s flawed approach to the phenomenon that could be better tackled through awareness and education.

Over the past 10 years, radicalism had been dealt with on a political and ideological basis, with largely commercial media being unable to highlight the root causes of the problem, he claimed. Since the issue was not properly explained to the masses, the drive fizzled out, he argued.

“The root causes of the problem and the reasons behind rising extremism should be properly identified and the vision of people affected the areas assessed before a comprehensive strategy is devised,” the minister suggested.

The currently anti-extremism drive needs to be reviewed and experiences of other Islamic countries followed, Osmani believed, warning that any struggle based on political and business consideration offered no viable solutions to the complex issue.

A public representative from Kunar province in Wolesi Jirga and member of the High Peace Council, Shahzada Shahid, said: “Extremism is in conflict with the religion and the teachings of Islam; it’s being used as a means of misusing the religion.”

The lawmaker called for involving religious scholars in the process by creating a Fatwa Centre to give its ruling on extremism, which was alien to Islam.

By Navid Ahmad Barekzai


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