Arshad Madani, the principal of Darul Uloom Deoband who is also president of Jamait Ulema-e-Hind doesn’t believe the Taliban as a terror outfit, and, he adorns Taliban and Talibanis as freedom fighters.
In an exclusive interview given to the Dainik Bhaskar, Madani said that if fighting against subjugation is terrorism then by this logic Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Hazrat Shekhuddin were also terrorists. It must be noted that the Taliban is believed to have drawn inspiration from the Deobandi movement which originated in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband.
As Taliban has come to conquer Afghanistan a large number of Muslim scholars, politicians and leftist media are trying for the makeover the image of Taliban as ‘Good Taliban.’
“Anybody fighting against subjugation we don’t consider them as terrorist. We clap if Talibanis are fighting for independence because everybody has right to independence. If this is terrorism then Gandhi, Nehru and Shekhuddin were also terrorists, all those who fought against British government were terrorists,” Dainik Bhaskar quoted Madani saying this.
Taliban and Darul Uloom follow Deobandi brand of Islam that adheres to orthodox Islamism. Deoband in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh is the center of Darul Uloom where the Yogi Adityanath government has now planned to set-up elite commando unit of the Anti-Terrorist Squad.
Madani declined any connection between Taliban and Darul Uloom stating people like Shekhuddin had played a key role in freedom struggle of India by forming the ‘Azad Hind’ government in Afghanistan in 1915 to oppose Britishers. He said that Deobandi madarsa in Afghanistan were set-up that time only. However, he praises Taliban as an ideology that opposes slavery stating that Taliban has fought against Russia and America and broke shackles of slavery. He claimed that their ancestors also fought for ‘freedom’ (like Taliban). But denied having any association with Taliban.
But in the grand design of the expansion and return of the Islamic rule across the world; the physical contact doesn’t matter. What matters is how tactfully the ideological support base and perception of Good Taliban is created.
The allegedly fundamentalist Urdu poet Munawwar Rana, the Congress MLA from Jharkhand Irfan Ansari , Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rahman Barq, National Congress Chief Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (JKPDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti are some of the examples.
As the Taliban regime has enforced the Sharia law in Afghanistan asking women to stay behind the veil and strictly forbidding the co-education Madani jumped to defend the Taliban stating that in Indian there are several colleges and universities that don’t allow co-education. Madani has been fundamentally opposed to co education for girls and he has displayed his mindset on several occasions.
While the return of Taliban is seen as the return of orthodoxy, male patriarchy and the barbaric laws; Afghani women are the prime casualty of this Islamic fundamentalism.
Follow their strict rules or face; is the only option left for them in Afghanistan. However, Madani says the same thing different way. Can the women dare to protest? Here is the rulebook of protest for women as prescribed by Madani. “Behind the veil women can hold demonstration. Burqa means a loose dress that doesn’t reveal curves of their body and their beauty. Don’t apply lipstick and cream. Keep your body and gesture in control,” he said.
Madani doesn’t comment on the media reports of atrocities by Taliban stating that he is an academic person who neither read newspapers nor operates Whatsapp. “I do not involve myself in the matters concerning women,” he said.
While the world has become aware that the return of Taliban is the return of catastrophe; for Madni it is too early to comment. “They (Taliban) have not even started ruling properly. Let them operate with freedom first. Let them start ruling first,” he said.