Hekmatyar’s Sermons Banned by Fundamentalists

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been a controversial political figure for the past fifty years, consistently defining himself by opposing the ruling regime. He has opposed every regime from the monarchy to the Republic of Dawood Khan, the communist government of the People‘s Democratic Party, the Islamic State of the Mujahedeen, the Islamic Republic of Karzai and Ghani, and the Islamic Emirate of the Taliban, despite their differences. His political career began with the Muslim youth movement, and he has always chosen to remain on the opposing side of the ruling regime.

Mr. Hekmatyar is an example of Afghanistan‘s complex and contradictory politics, as his opposition to the ruling systems in the country has been both peaceful and violent. He fought against the Islamic State of Mujahedeen for many years before making peace and entering Kabul. Similarly, he fought against the former republic for years before making peace and entering Kabul. However, he never fully committed to unity with anyone, nor in peace nor in war. He could not reach an agreement with JamiateIslami, who shared the same radical line of thinking, and he also never cooperated with the Taliban, despite having ethnic ties. His only alliance was with Shahnawaz Tanai, the former communist defense minister.

Hekmatyar and people like him lack the maturity to be able to reflect on their mistakes, understand the consequences of their actions, and take steps to rectify them. Instead, they have chosen to remain immature and never admit their mistakes, even though their political activity over the past fifty years has led to the current situation. Their refusal to accept any responsibility and their habit of blaming others has entrenched a culture of never admitting mistakes and never taking steps to fix them.

If political forces were mature and rational, there would be many lessons to be learned from the past fifty years of political upheaval that could help create a better future. One lesson that Hekmatyar and people like him did not learn is that democracy, even if it is fragile and just starting out, is a platform on which to peacefully operate despite differences and contradictions, as boundaries are set by the constitution. When democracy is replaced by dictatorship, which is the only other alternative, everyone except the ruling regime will be oppressed. Now, with the Taliban having overthrown the young democracy with their poisonous propaganda and fundamentalist groups, not only have the liberal and secular forces of the society been eliminated, but even the fundamentalists (Panjpiri, Sufi, Salafi, and Tahriri) are not allowed to operate, and Hekmatyar cannot preach freely. When wisdom is just a word and rationality is nothing more than an empty slogan, and blind ideological prejudices are everywhere, the result is a continuous cycle of hatred and oppression under a dictatorship.