People ask me: What are your thoughts on the Taliban?

My answer: The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam said, “the best rulers are loved by their people, and they (the rulers) love their people. And the worst rulers are hated by their people, and they hate their people”. (paraphrased)
Now you tell me if they are loved or hated by their people. The answer is within that.

A statesman must implement the law, while being sensitive to the pluralistic society that has people of various beliefs, ideologies and sectarian affiliations. The statesman cannot win their allegiance at the gunpoint. Rather he must win their hearts through prudent strategies that gives them joy, while he neither ignores his fundamental principles, nor does he exaggerate his mission.

In the context of the Taliban in power, I’m not a person of confrontation; but a man of reformation. I wish them all the best. But they need to reform a lot. Their crude and rudimentary ways are repugnant to most people, even when their intents seem justified by their supporters.

The history of Islam is filled with great anecdotes that inspire us to be empathetic to the people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. And that is the way forward for a progressive government.


-Umar Shariff (President, DIET)

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