Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Radicalism Takes its Toll on Public Life and Culture

Afghanistan has been the hotbed of different ideologies throughout the history. Our nation has witnessed liberal and radical movements and both put an adverse effect on Afghanistan’s culture. Similarly, ideological tendencies have wrecked irreparable havoc on political structure and inflicted mortal wounds on individuals. Afghans underwent great suffering in the wake of war and violence root in radical mindsets. 
The people of Afghanistan suffered painfully under Taliban for their megalomania and fundamental worldwide. It is an undeniable fact that the Taliban militants nurtured a set of extreme ideologies and sought to impose them on individuals at gunpoint. In short, the Taliban’s radical stereotypes – masked in piety and devotion – preyed upon Afghan men, women and children.
The unmitigated insurgency carried out by the Taliban militants continued in spite of their downfall. The mercenary militants and seminary’s ideologues are striving to foment troubles through playing with the life of the nation. Their acts of terror still lead to great casualties. 
The day-to-day macabre stories of the terrorist victims add insult to the injuries of our people. The old wounds of Afghans are being infected by the poisonous ideologies of the emerging militants, including the Islamic State of Khurasan (IS-K). To one’s unmitigated chagrin, Afghans have never been put in the process of therapy to have their bleeding hearts cured.
After the fall of the Taliban’s regime, the people of Afghanistan hoped to breathe a sigh of relief in the absence of terrorism. They were tantalized by liberty and democracy as well as human rights discourse. Men and women flocked to ballot boxes with high ambitions. They believed to achieve peace through their ballots. However, their dream did not come true. The Taliban ragtag militants were regrouped and sent back to continue their deadly acts of terror.
If this country is turned to the ground of ideological practices, people will not be safe from the poisonous effects. History shows that an innumerous mass of our people lost their lives and our cultural, political and economic infrastructures were havocked via radical ideologies. To put it succinctly, people turned to sacrificial lamb of radical ideologies and fundamental mindsets within the last four decades.
Liberal movements did not bear the desired fruit either, for being in conflict with the social and cultural values of the society. As a result, the King Amanullah Khan’s liberal movement was strongly repressed. He failed to gain national favor to cultivate liberal mindset, but with good intention, in our land.
So, the fact is that our soil is highly prolific but was sowed the seeds of poisonous ideologies which led to heavy casualties. Our enemies, especially the radicals such as the Taliban, exploited this land against our national interests. They shed the blood of people in their own land. Is it the end of the story?
The emergence of the IS-K has been highly challenging for Afghanistan and compounded the pain and suffering of the public. The IS-K’s ideology – archaic frames of mind practiced under the aegis of piety – is more extreme than that of the Taliban.
There must be no room for the radical ideologies in Afghanistan anymore to victimize our people. Afghans are not doomed to suffer violence and bloodshed. People must learn from the history and do not let it repeat.
Constitutionally, the government is liable to “strengthen national unity, safeguard independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country; establish an order based on the peoples’ will and democracy; form a civil society void of oppression, atrocity, discrimination as well as violence, based on rule of law, social justice, protecting integrity and human rights, and attaining peoples’ freedoms and fundamental rights; strengthen political, social, economic as well as defense institutions….”
Since presidential and provincial elections are national landmarks after the downfall of the Taliban’s regime, the relatively democratic system should mitigate the public challenges. Afghan men and women should be able to breathe in peaceful climate and practice their rights to life, liberty, and property. Afghan children must not inherit violence and lack of patience from the present and past generations. Our officials are expected to do their best to curb the challenges and root out terrorism from the country. I emphasize that Afghans are not fated to suffer war and violence and Afghanistan must not be used as a ground for radical ideologies.
Moreover, clerics and Ulema Council should enlighten Islamic tenets based on moderate interpretations and campaign against radicalism and fundamental ideologies. If religious institutions, cultural activists, and civil society do not work for prevention of radicalism, the public suffering will continue.