KABUL - Nearly a week after Logar Governor Arsala Jamal was killed during an Eid prayer by an explosive device planted inside a Pul-e-Alam mosque's copy of the Qur'an, a number of Senators called on the public to speak out against what they considered to be the Taliban's crimes against Islam.
"Most of the people killed included community elders and respected leaders, the people should not be silent when it comes to these crimes...silence on the Taliban is a serious sin," said Mohammad Alam Izedyar, the First Deputy Speaker of the Senate. "This group does not respect the mosque and Qur'an, the people should know they are the enemy."
Although the Taliban denied responsibility for last Tuesday's assassination, most experts have concluded that they were behind the attack. The insurgent group is known for targeting government officials, and had made numerous attempts on Jamal's life during his previous posting as the Governor of Khost province. It also would not have been the first time the Taliban orchestrated a bombing at a mosque.
"The blasts and suicide attacks are not respected in Islam, these acts are viewed as crimes in Islam," said Senator Hafiz Abdul Qayoum.
At the funeral ceremony for Jamal last week, a number of Ulema Council members denounced the assassination as "un-Islamic."
"The Ulema Council and High Peace Council condemn the attack, it was an illegal act," said Shahzada Shahed, a member of the Ulema Council that attended the funeral ceremony. "It was an Eid day, a day of happiness, when we would never expect such an incident, one where the Holy Qur'an is used."
On Sunday, in addition to urging the public to speak out against the Taliban, the Senators had some harsh words to offer the government and security institutions.
Senator Izedyar urged a change in the government's policy toward insurgent detainees, which has seen a rising trend of releases often times justified by reconciliation efforts.
Fazl Hadi Muslimyar, the Chairman of the Senate, criticized security institutions for failing to prevent the attack on Jamal.
"The government must be prevent such killings...there are those that have power in mosques who exploit people's emotions," he said.
The Senators went on to express concerns about the recent activities of the Taliban, and the security situation around the country.
On Friday, there was a Taliban-claimed suicide attack in Kabul targeting a foreign compound that ended up killing and injuring a number of civilian bystanders. Eighteen other worshippers were injured along with the death of Jamal last week.
Although what is generally considered the "fighting season" has come to an end, insurgent violence has continued. The Taliban vowed to disrupt the elections set for next spring, so as the security transition ahead of the NATO withdraw in December progresses, Afghan security forces are ramping up precautions around the country to ensure as smooth of an election process as possible. (Tolo News)