The Islamic Scholars’ Conference for Peace
In a bid to encourage Islamic scholars from across the world to help ending violence and war in Afghanistan, the Afghan High Peace (HPC) Council organized an international conference of the Islamic scholars from different Islamic countries as well as a number of other countries. Representatives of many Islamic organizations and many reputable Islamic figures from different countries participated in the conference in Kabul. The conference is aimed to encourage the militant groups to come forward for peace talks and stop fighting against the government of Afghanistan. In the conference, the scholars discussed the ways to bring peace and security in Afghanistan and to end the long-lasting war in the country. The participants urged the Taliban not to attack on innocent civilians and stop killing the Muslims.
The conference of Islamic scholars on Afghanistan is an initiative by the HPC, and the latest of a series of gatherings of Islamic scholars to discuss the ongoing conflict on Afghanistan. This initiative could be reviewed from different perspectives regarding the goals from initiating such gatherings and its possible outcomes for the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. Overall, such gatherings are remarkably effective in molding opinions in the Afghan society. The people of Afghanistan are typically conservative Muslims which value the role and of the Ulema, the Islamic scholars, as they are considered as experts in Islamic affairs and teachings. One of the foremost impacts would be that such meetings would help dissipating ideas and thoughts of peace and coexistence among the people in an Islamic society. Afghanistan needs such harmony and coexistence among its citizens as the war-ravaged country is struggling to find a way out of war and extremism.
Another fact the Afghan crisis is that not simply an Afghan issue and within Afghans. The conflict is considered as inextricably intertwined with regional politics which evolves many of the Islamic countries. The crisis in Afghanistan started with direct involvement of other Muslim countries, particularly neighbors of Afghanistan and some other major Muslim countries such as Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, the regional and Islamic countries have not been able or were not put to the task to play a considerable role in ending the Afghan conflict. Despite efforts by the Afghan government to establish friendly ties with Islamic countries and develop strategic relations of Afghanistan with the Islamic world, Afghanistan has not been supported considerably by the Islamic world against the hard-headed insurgency.
This was partly because of the over-a-decade anti-insurgency campaign in the country and military presence of the United States and other Western powers. Furthermore, the conflicting presence of some major Muslim countries in Afghanistan made the case worse and even energized regional rivalries and extremism. Now, with the US-led NATO withdrawal looming, Afghanistan urgently needs supports of the Islamic countries – whether the governments or the non-state Islamic institutions – to assist Afghanistan discourage extremism and insurgency and persuade the insurgent groups to denounce violence and war. Other than that, Afghanistan needs to further develop its strategic ties with the Muslim countries which will inevitably play roles in the country after 2014.