Taliban and Corruption During Eid al-Adha

During Eid al-Adha and the Hajj ceremony, the Taliban tried to play the role of a government and show that they can manage a public process by publishing reports on the process of managing the ceremony. But since the event, which is automated with people’s money, pre-arranged management systems and tradition, the Taliban’s attempt to promote the event was more like riding tanks and cars left over from the former government and a free maneuver opportunity, not a context to proof the group’s illegitimate  governance capacity.

The Hajj ceremony is always associated with corruption, misappropriation of national income, the introduction of friends and relatives, and personal use under the pretext of rationing. In the authoritarian system of the Taliban, it is not common to reveal financial secrets and it is not easy to understand how much money from the Hajj budget has gone into the accounts of the individuals and teams involved in managing the process, but by the presence of Taliban officials in the Hajj and Mullah Yaqoob’s complaint about this signals measurable corruption behind the scenes and a large number of Taliban officials have been busy collecting money, promoting business and having fun these days.

Celebrating Eid al-Adha without the presence of prominent figures was a sign of public distance from the Taliban. Mullah Hassan Akhund prayed the Eid prayer in the presence of a group of Taliban members in the citadel, and people like Karzai, Abdullah and other influential people living in Kabul were not allowed in his Eid prayer. There is no news about Mullah Hassan’s meeting with the representatives of councils, guilds and non-Taliban social and political groups on Eid. He, who is sitting in the position of the ruler of Kabul and the first administrative person of the country, despite the wide publicity that they make about the existence of security, he did not go to the Eidgah mosque like other rulers, and he did not greet the residents of Kabul during the days of Eid. Mullah Hasan, who has reached the citadel, does not have much in common with the residents of the capital. Even when in the 19th century, the British-backed generals and agents took over the administration of Kabul, they tried to be in contact with the people during the holidays, used to come on  the roads and lay carpets to welcome the influential people and representatives of different classes, but Mullah Hassan did not do that. .

On the other side, another rift was revealed in Eid. People like Abdullah, Karzai and other officials and influencers left over from the pre-Taliban era tried to use Eid as an opportunity to show their presence. By welcoming dozens of prominent and influential figures and individual groups, members of parliament, influencers and commanders who surrendered to the Taliban and those waiting for the Loya Jirga, Abdullah, as usual, had launched a colorful show that did not match the colorless reality of Taliban rule, nor the hunger and depression of agents, workers, peasants and other residents – those who rarely had the ability to spread a colorful Eid table.

The Taliban maneuver is still going on. They interview pilgrims returning from Hajj. The officials of the group write memoirs and share photos of their Hajj and travel, as if the ceremony was not for fulfilling a religious duty, but a political and entertainment ceremony in the service of promoting “Emirate” and the officials of that group.

The poor civilians’ world is neither as black as the Taliban, nor as brilliant and colorful as the businessmen-politicians left over from the Islamic Republic. Some of them held small gatherings in the privacy of family and friends and relatives, listened to music, some danced, and many of them hugged each other with a smile and said Happy Eid despite their tight bodies and pale clothes. A number of them have gone to Hajj to fulfill their religious duty without pretense and calmly and have returned from there without politics or hypocrisy.

On Eid, the news of the breaking of musical instruments and work of young singers and lovers of happiness was also published. Eid al-Adha was a show off rifts and reminded the distance between today’s rulers and former influential figures and the public.