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Religionist Kovács: The Taliban will crumble and probably make Afghanistan a police state – Denník N


“The problems in the Middle East are not caused by Islam, but by the oil wealth on which the world depends,” says Islamist Attila Kovács from the Faculty of Arts, Charles University.

Kovács often encounters the opinion that Islam is a violent religion, while in the Qur’an it is written about the tolerance of other religions. In the 21st century, however, Islamists “reinterpreted the concept of jihad.”

“The vast majority of Islamists use religion as a pretext for achieving their goals,” says the religionist. This also applies to the Taliban, which entered Kabul last week and took de facto power in Afghanistan.

In the interview he also talks about:

  • that jihadism originated in Afghanistan and was initially supported by the Americans;
  • why it expects the Taliban to crumble;
  • as Islamists do not follow the principles of the Qur’an;
  • that Muslim women can also be feminists.

The Taliban say it wants to rule according to sharia. What is it about?

It is a society-wide religious and legal practice that should be applied in Muslim countries. It is a kind of ideal to which radical movements refer very often and often call it a panacea. The problem is that Sharia practically never worked.


It is based on the prophetic tradition and the Qur’an; it is very similar to the principles of the Old Testament in the Bible and reflects the conditions in the 7th century in the Middle East. But a lot has changed since then.

How would you like to define sharia if 1.9 billion Muslims live in the world, from Indonesia to the Caucasus and Mozambique to Morocco, and everyone sees it differently? Its general interpretation is not possible. There are only concrete examples of how specific scholars have seen it.

Attila Kovács. Photo – AK archive

How does the Taliban perceive her?

In a very truncated form. According to sharia, for example, the trade in narcotics or the use of narcotics is prohibited, and this is also written in the Qur’an. However, the Taliban live on these activities. It is a prophetic tradition that the search for knowledge is the duty of every Muslim, both male and female, but when the Taliban was in power, it forbade women to study.

Thus, if we perceive sharia as a principle of religious and legal social order, the Taliban clearly did not follow it. However, this did not prevent him from declaring it, even though his government was in fact a mixture of very simplified Islamic principles and tribal law.

We should not forget that the functioning of the Taliban is significantly influenced by the Pashtun tribal structure, in which the traditionalist ones apply more than Islamic principles.

Can we estimate how the Taliban will rule now?

Not. The Taliban, like the vast majority of Islamists, use religion as a pretext for achieving their goals. We know that their government will not be very democratic, in principle I would have expected sooner

This article is the exclusive content for subscribers of Diary N.


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