House-to-house search according to Islam and law; are Taliban looking for ethnic hegemony?

by Jamshid Wakili

In past few days the media reported that Taliban have started house-to-house search in some places in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, and Panjshir. This issue elicited a wide range of reactions among non-Pashtun ethnicities in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, claimed that Taliban are carrying this operation to arrest terrorists, and they have nothing to with ordinary people. But people in north part of Kabul, and neighboring provinces consider this act of Taliban insulting and non-islamic and illegal based on ethnicity.
But house-to-house search is justifiable in accordance with law, religion, and politics?

From legal standpoint

Ms. Medina, a former prosecutor in the fight against domestic and foreign security crimes, described the conditions for invading citizens’ privacy under the penal code of Afghanistan pointing to article 124 of this law as follows, “while searching houses the prosecutor in charge of the case, the owner of the house, the sheriff, the head of the local council and the imams of the mosques must be present and it must be done before dinner and after the morning prayer.”

Ms. Medina pointing to prohibition of searching the residential areas without the presence of a female prosecutor added, “according the law they can enter without permission of court only there is the possibility that the criminal can manage to escape, but it must be done by the presence of the prosecutor in charge of the case , the owner of the house and the head of the local council.”

She added that after the searching of the house the issue must be referred to court within 24 hours, and additionally it is impossible to search others’ houses without the presence of a female police officer.

But what does Islam say about searching the residential houses?

Hashimi one of religious scholars in Balkh province in a phone conversation with Aamaj News said invading of people’s privacy equals to aggression. He emphasized that only the court can carry out the order.

He citing an Hadith of prophet Muhammad said the one who who is killed defending her/his privacy is considered “martyr” in Islam. He added it means invading others’ privacy is crime, and Islam encourages Muslims to defend from their privacy.

Mr Hashimi recited a verse of holy Quran, which says, “O you who believe, do not enter any houses, other than your own houses unless you seek permission and greet their inmates with Salām . That is good for you, so that you may be heedful.” (24:27)

Mr. Hashimi believes these sort of acts of a government which has failed to gain internal acceptance and international legitimacy, will lead to hatred among people. He also pointed to another Hadith of prophet Muhammad which says, “A government shall last under (religious) unbelief but shall not last under injustice.”

Is house-to-house search politically permissible?

A UK based Afghan writer and researcher, Wahid Khurram, in an interview with Aamaj News called the Taliban’s house-to-house search the violation of international conventions, and added this act will lead to fear among people. He believes this act will fuel the growing of public skepticism about the government.

Mr. Khurram stated the issue from a political and ethnic point of view as following, “spring is coming, the resistance forces are increasing in these areas, additionally people are also fed up with the Taliban’s one-ethnic leadership. The foundations of the Taliban government are shaking and the people are ready for an uprising against the Taliban that is why they want to disarm the people so that the people do not stand against them.”

He said that the Taliban’s move shows a lack of respect for human dignity and will lead to more ethnic pessimism and eventually ethnic war in Afghanistan.

Mr. Khurram addressing the issue of the Taliban’s hostility to the people of Shamali (a place in north part of Kabul) and the historical roots of these grudges, said, “Taliban consider the issue of Mullah Tara Khel in east of Kabul a personal issue, but in in northern areas that Tajiks live and western places that Hazaras live, they counter the all the things as a public issue, because they are afraid of these people.”

He added that it is not the first time such things happen in Afghanistan, back in history, in Amanullah Khan era, this sort of acts happened, and Habibullah Kalakani started his resistance from these areas. Because the rulers suppressed people of Shamali at that time.

He added that in Nader Khan’s era a medal under the title “suppressing the sinister people of Shamali” were distributed, and the people of southern parts of Afghanistan were exempt from paying taxes and military serving. Instead they were encouraged to irritate people of Shamali and take their property.

Mr. Khurram added that during the reign of Hashem, Zahir Shah’s uncle these sort of actions took place as well. But such reckless actions have created the hatred of the people of the north against the people of the south.

“Even now, the Taliban are confident from the east and Pul-e-Charkhi, but not just from the north and west of Kabul, because the people of these areas have a different language and culture, so the Taliban are afraid of these areas,” he reiterated.

Although the government is called absolute mono-ethnic, but the Taliban do not accept it. The opponents of the Taliban believe it is ethnic politics. They say they can live with Pashtuns, but never with Pashtunism.


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