While most American and European Muslims have expressed despair at the Taliban's swift and brutal takeover of Afghanistan, a distinct subset of Western Islamism - primarily from Salafi and Deobandi traditions - have welcomed the murderous jihadists' proclamation of the "rebirth of the Islamic Emirate."
We are maintaining a running list of the most striking examples:
Prominent social media preacher and cleric; head of MuslimSkeptic.com
"May Allah bless and give continuous victory to those who establish the Sharia of Allah on this earth, despite the fact that the kuffar and the hypocrites hate it. You make the Ummah proud!"
Yasir Nadeem Al Wajidi
Leading Deobandi cleric in the U.S. Director of Darul Uloom Online, and lead teacher of the Institute of Islamic Education Elgin IL. USA and Jamiatul Hasnain Indiana USA.
"Congratulations to #Taliban and the people of Afghanistan on the rebirth of the Islamic Emirate! Allah has once again given you the opportunity to present to the world the Islamic system based on justice and fairness. Your blessed entry into #Kabul is reminiscent of the Prophetic era."
Canadian Salafi cleric who lectures at Islamist TV channels Peace TV and Huda TV, and teaches at the Islamic Online University.
"Whether you like the #IslamicEmirateOfAfghanistan (aka #Taliban) or not, they are now in power. As long as their mandate is to rule by Islam and not man-made ideologies and systems of governance, they should be supported."
Source [since deleted]
Director of Operations for the Aafia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) established to advocate for convicted Al Qaeda operative Aafia Siddiqui.
"I am very impressed with this Taliban leader [Anas Haqqani]. My prayer is that leaders like Anas Haqqani will be (and remain) the dominant decision and policy making force within the new government. May ALLAH bless this to be so. May ALLAH fortify and safeguard all of my committed Muslim brethren for the struggle ahead. Ameen."
"Our joy at the victory of the Taliban does not substitute for hard work to preserve this victory"
Karim Abu Zaid
A prominent purist Salafi cleric in Colorado.
"Now the laws of Taliban, the laws of Sharia, of Islam, that's what they want to implement that in their country, and that's all they know, says that women should wear the hijab, what is wrong with that? What is wrong with that? Why dont you place this equal to Macron forcing women not to wear their hijabs under the notion keeping the customs and laws and the principles of the Republic?"
"Why not accept Taliban as conquering rulers?"
"Now Taliban happen to be the ruling authority in Afghanistan. Don't they have the right to at least show their women the Islamic dress code?"
British Islamist, founder of DOAM.
"Where are the posts, statements and press releases by Western scholars, Muslim organisations and mosques condemning the US occupation of #Afghanistan and welcoming the end of two decades of occupation? #Taliban"
"The Taliban is an Afghani militant group. We might not be fans but they are part and parcel of Afghanistan. They are Afghanis, so that's for the Afghanis to decide. What we need to always demand is that the United States get out of the Middle East, which includes Afghanistan!"
Founder of CAGE, and a former Guantanamo Bay inmate who once admitted to providing "small arms and mountain tactics" training at al-Qaeda camps. Supported by a number of fellow travelers, including Amnesty International
[On Bagram Prison] "I was held here for one year and saw the American soldiers murder two unarmed Afghan prisoners here. This will always be the scene of a crime and, when the dust settles, I will ask Taliban officials to seek the extradition of the killers."
"It is almost as it is divine justice and that the most powerful nation in the world alongside its most powerful allies has been humbled by a group of people who you would say are among the poorest and the most demonized in the world."
Begg also penned an article on Taliban takeover for British Islamist news website 5 Pillars.
Editor of 5 Pillars.
"We should welcome a quick victory by the Taliban."
Former Taliban hostage and journalist Yvonne Ridley is a convert to Islam and has long promoted hardline Islamist causes. In 2008, she joined with Moazzam Begg (mentioned above) and Anwar Al-Awlaki, who shortly afterwards became the head of Al Qaeda in the Gulf, until his death in a U.S. drone strike.
In the Islamist-run MEMO publication, Ridley writes:
Little wonder that my journalist colleagues were writing my obituary after news got out that I'd been captured by the Taliban while on an assignment. The fact is that I didn't expect to survive my detention in September 2001, but I did. Only when I was released on humanitarian grounds and given time to reflect on my experience did I realise that the movement had been portrayed falsely in the West as a bunch of brutal, evil monsters.
Back in London I tried to raise this with quite a few feminists and colleagues, but my overtures were rejected. Genuinely kind women as they are, many are still in denial that they have been fed anti-Taliban propaganda which they have lapped up.
It was refreshing to hear the Taliban leaders talk about peace, women's rights and education.
Do the women of Afghanistan really believe that they are now going to be propelled backwards into a dark, medieval state of ignorance? I don't think so. They have endured unimaginable hardships in wars and refugee camps; under communism and George W Bush's "War on Terror". The Taliban is undoubtedly misogynistic, but if it is true to its word, the movement is offering Afghanistan — and its women especially — hope, peace and stability, all of which have been absent for the past five decades. Give peace a chance, as John Lennon once sang. The people of Afghanistan deserve nothing less.
Abdullah al Andalusi
British Islamist activist previously involved with Hizb ut-Tahrir, CAGE And other hardline Salafi organizations
"The Taliban are returning to power after the imperialist US forces gave up trying to win. Many ppl in Afghanistan despised the corrupt US puppet gov there. Whatever you think of the Taliban, the next Gov will perhaps be more independent & open to being advised in Islamic ruling"
A leading member of Britain's Islamic Sharia Council, and daughter of noted Ahl-e-Hadith Islamist cleric Suhaib Hasan.
Sharia Council scholar Khola Hasan today told BBC Radio 4 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" was "celebrating" their return.
Musharraf Hussain al-Azhari
British Barelvi leader, previously awarded Order of the British Empire.
In answer to being questioned about why he can feel positive about the Taliban, he responded with: "Trust people, give them the benefit of doubt and opportunity.
On top of the open support for Taliban rule, a number of prominent Islamist groups have published justification of the Taliban takeover, attacks on the "occupation" that seeks to distract from Taliban iniquities, accompanied by implicit support for a future, Taliban-ruled Afghanistan:
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
In 2009, the FBI blacklisted CAIR after federal prosecutors named the Islamist group as an unindicted co-conspirator during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates designated CAIR as a terrorist organization. And today, its officials continue to promote and excuse violently anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
CAIR's statement, attributed to its head, Nihad Awad, argues that civilians were only harmed by the "past 20 years" of "American military involvement." Ignoring the brutality and mass-killings perpetrated by the Taliban insurgency, CAIR instead implies that a Taliban-tinted future offers hope:
President Biden should ignore the armchair warriors, neoconservatives, and others who will never be satisfied with anything less than perpetual war. ... The people of Afghanistan must now decide the future of that nation on their own, without foreign military interference. We hope and pray that the Afghan people will soon establish a representative government that reflects Afghanistan's diversity and Islam's teachings of justice, mercy, human rights, and fair treatment for all people, especially women, who have the God-given right to learn, travel, earn a living and live in dignity. ... Our nation has a moral obligation to do everything possible to welcome Afghan refugees and provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, especially civilians who were harmed over the past 20 years.
Islamic Circle of North America
Twenty years of the American war in Afghanistan have led to the deaths of over 2500 American military service members and tens of thousands of innocent Afghans. Over two trillion dollars have been spent, and not to forget thousands who got injured. It is time for American policymakers to reassess our foreign policy. As Americans, we stand for democracy and government by the people, for the people. It is time that we let the people of Afghanistan freely choose their leadership and the way of government.
It is very encouraging that the new leadership in Afghanistan has declared that they will respect human rights, with particular mention made of women and minorities.
A subsidiary of the Islamic Circle of North America.
The Taliban will very likely implement Hudood as well as their own tribal harsh punishments as they have done in the past.That will provide Islamophobes with yet another opportunity to attack Islam, Muslims, and rekindle the Sharia freakout.
Afghans must determine their own future. They have the right to self-determination just as any other people do. If they want Islamic criminal law with their tribal code, they have as much right to choose that as Saudi Arabia does.
In December 2020, UNICEF and the Taliban signed a formal agreement to run up to 4,000 community-based classes reaching 120,000 students in areas under the Taliban's control. This agreement includes girls' primary education. Hopefully, UNICEF and the Taliban will be able to expand the area of work now that the Taliban is in power
May Allah give Tawfiq or the ability to the Taliban leaders to discipline their rank and file to uphold the ideals they cherish.