Critiquing the Leadership in the Emirate System
Referring to the words of Sirajalddin Haqqani, Zabihullah Majahid, complained about the monopoly of power in the Taliban system; he said: “According to Islamic ethics, criticism should be made in a respectful manner towards the Amir, Minister or the concerned official.” In his book about the Taliban’s desired political system, Abdulhakim Haqqani cites the statements of some Medieval scholars who said that if the Imam acts unjustly and takes away people’s rights, they should be patient and only oppose him in their hearts. They should express their opposition to rulers in a gentle and polite manner, as speaking to rulers is not the same as speaking to the general public. Mullah Hibabutullah Akhundzada also emphasized in his speech to the scholars in Kabul that opposition to the rulers and criticism of them should not be done publicly in the media, but should be done secretly, as criticism of the government in the media weakens the system. The jurisprudential committee of this group has also written in Badr al-Fataawi: “If someone announces his opposition to this group, and does this repeatedly, should be killed.”
It is unclear how familiar Zabihullah Mujahid and other leaders of the group are with ethical principles, but experts in this field understand that advice should be kept private and not shared publicly. This means that if someone has a flaw in their personal life and it does not harm anyone else, they should not be criticized in public and should be given private advice. This does not apply to those in public positions of power, such as the Sheikh al–Din, who have control over the lives of many people. In this case, the individual‘s interests are not taken into account, as is the case in today‘s world when distinguishing between public and private matters.
Shi‘a scholars equate the opinions of several Middle Age theologians to Islamic law and then select from them to introduce any theory that is beneficial to the Shi‘a establishment as an Islamic principle. In mainstream interpretations of Islam, speaking truth to those in power is seen as the highest form of jihad. The fundamental issue is that what is known as political theology is a product of the medieval period, created to suit the wishes of powerful rulers and referred to as “al–Ahkam al–Sultaniyah“. Islamic jurists have not established a solution to guarantee the prevention of tyranny and oppression by rulers, instead focusing on pacifying the people and forcing them to accept injustice. In the modern world, it is accepted to criticize rulers for violating citizens‘ rights, as they are appointed to serve the people and any benefits they receive are for this purpose. People have the right to monitor their actions and criticize any mistakes, as this is the only way to pressure oppressors to reform. Without such pressure, oppressive rulers are unlikely to listen to any advice.