Extremist Troubles in Afghanistan are
not from Islamic Fundamentalists


By Hamid Golpira

Tehran Times
February 27, 2008



Almost everyone thinks the problem of extremism emanating from Afghanistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan is the result of the fact that the residents of those areas are too fundamentalist, but actually the opposite is true -- they are not fundamentalist enough.


Those who know little about Islam believe that the people of Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas are mostly fundamentalist Muslims, whereas the truth of the matter is that many of their tribal customs actually have their roots in pre-Islamic times.

And from a fundamentalist Muslim point of view, some of these customs are actually un-Islamic and totally forbidden in Islam.

There are two glaring examples that are clear to all who have eyes to see.

For example, the Pushtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan believe in a tribal code of conduct called Pashtunwali.

According to Pashtunwali, clans are allowed to fight blood feuds with each other. One clan will fight another if a member of their own clan has been killed by a member of another clan, and the blood feud will continue until both sides feel they have gotten satisfaction or a truce is declared.

However, in Islam blood feuds are totally haram, which means totally forbidden.

So we have a situation where a group of people is regarded as being fundamentalist, whereas they are actually violating some of the most fundamental tenets of Islam.

The pseudo-fundamentalists are identified as fundamentalists while the message of the real Islamic fundamentalists is suppressed.

The globalist rulers of the Western world are encouraging this pseudo-fundamentalism in order to destabilize this part of the Islamic world.

To create confusion and to sully the reputation of Islam, the Western enemies of Islam and their local lackeys point to pseudo-fundamentalism and say fundamentalism is the problem, although they are well aware of the fact that the real Islamic fundamentalists are totally opposed to pseudo-fundamentalism.

And all of this is part of the globalist plan for world domination through managed chaos.

Pashtunwali is actually mostly in harmony with Islam, especially since it promotes justice, tolerance, and egalitarianism. The Loya Jirga (assembly of elders) tradition of Pashtunwali is quite similar to the Islamic concept of shura (consultation), which is a gathering to reach a consensus on an important decision.

Actually, Islam and Pashtunwali only diverge on two main points: blood feuds and the rights of women and girls, especially their right to education.

And the latter issue is a key point, and some say the key point.

Indeed, some Muslim scholars say the fact that women and girls are not being given all their Islamic rights is the main factor destabilizing Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas. They have put forth the proposition that those societies are imbalanced because the relationship between men and women is imbalanced.

Islam encourages all Muslims, both male and female, to seek out knowledge.

But in Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas, over 80 percent, and perhaps as many as 90 percent, of all women and girls are illiterate.

In Afghanistan, the Taleban have burned down girlsí schools, and in Pakistanís tribal areas, most families do not encourage their girls to go to school.

Most of the women and girls of Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas are not even aware that they are being denied the rights guaranteed to them in Islam because they are illiterate.

Paradoxically, all of this shows that there may be a very simple solution to a very complex problem.

More girlsí schools must be built in Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas to increase the female literacy rate.

Thus, the problem of extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistanís tribal areas can be solved if the people in those areas are encouraged to be more fundamentalist, especially in the area of the rights of women and girls.

Half of every community is female. If half of a community is illiterate, society can not be built up.

The situation is similar in rural areas of the rest of the Islamic world.

Obviously, education for women is one of the keys for development of the entire Islamic world.