Burqa clad Afghan women shop at a market area in Kabul on August 23, 2021 following the Taliban’s military takeover of the country. (Photo by Hoshang Hashimi / AFP) (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)
A UK-based Islamic Sharia Council scholar has said that the Talibans have “grown-up” and should be “given a chance”, claimed media reports on Sunday (22), adding the scholar’s comments that British Muslims are “celebrating” the return of the Islamic group to power and “western media loves misrepresenting Muslims”.
claimed recently that the Islamist group’s recent posturing on women’s rights was a “good start”, and “every single person that I know, as a Muslim” is “celebrating” their return.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Hasan said Afghans have been “ruled by foreigners for 40 years. Let the people of Afghanistan rule their own country and determine their own fate for a change.”
The scholar also said that the Taliban have changed and are “grown-up” from what they were 20 years ago when they were “myopic, insulated, small organisation, living in the mountains, very illiterate, very uneducated, not just about the world but about Islam itself.”
“They’re learning. That’s not an easy thing to do, to come from hundreds of years of one way practising your faith, and then suddenly exposed to different ways to think oh maybe we got it wrong. The problem is we don’t give them a chance,” Hasan said.
When in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban stopped women from working or going out without wearing an all-enveloping burqa while stopping girls from going to school.
After coming to power last week, Taliban spokespersons have said they want peace and will respect the rights of women within the framework of Islamic law, reports said.
Hasan is the director of Albatross Consultancy Ltd., which deals with issues of women’s rights in the Muslim community.
On being asked about reports of women and children being beaten as they pass through checkpoints in Afghanistan, Hasan said the country is a “tribal society with tribal loyalties” with “a lot of violence within the communities”.
“We have to be very careful not to take small, minor incidents and make them into something huge,” said the scholar, who also claimed on the show that “western media loves misrepresenting Muslims”.
“The kind of language that came out from Western media when the Taliban took over – civil war, monsters, they’re going to slaughter people, it’s going to be awful, poor women, oh blah blah blah we’re going to cry our eyes out, poor women are going back into Medieval times, and all the rest of it,” Hasan said.
“It’s been misrepresented for so long that I’ve got used to it, I don’t even blink an eyelid anymore,” she said.
The scholar’s comments came amid the ongoing chaos in Kabul as thousands of Afghans and foreign nationals struggle to flee the country.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said seven Afghans have been killed in the chaos around the airport.
“Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,’ the ministry said in a statement on Sunday (22).