KABUL -- Afghans are united against the Taliban and other militant groups, basing their rejection of extremism and of division on Islamic teachings and on the desire for prosperity and development.
"The enemies of Afghanistan are hard at work trying to create differences and sedition among people in order to achieve their sinister objectives," Kabul-based religious scholar Mohammad Salem Hasani told Salaam Times.
"It has now become clear for all Afghans, however, that the Taliban and other extremist groups are our enemies and also are the real causes of misery and lack of stability in Afghanistan," he said. "Therefore, considering the current circumstances, it is necessary for Afghans to put aside their differences, to stand united and to fight unanimously against these extremist groups."
Hasani takes scripture from the Koran to emphasise his point.
"The noble Koran, which is Islam's Holy Book and is the guide for all Islamic sects, commands us to unite and to refrain from division," he said, referring to this Koranic verse, "And hold you fast to God's bond, together, and do not scatter."
"Henceforth, it is incumbent upon us to be united and allied," he said.
The Holy Koran explicitly regards division and lack of unity as causes of the erosion of nations, he said, adding that Islamic theologians and jurists consider any action that may lead to fragmentation of the people as haram, or religiously prohibited.
'Unity guarantees survival of Afghanistan'
"The unity and solidarity of the Afghan people are the guarantor of the survival of Afghanistan, and it is for that very reason that President Ashraf Ghani always emphasises this principle," said Mohammad Haroon Chakhansuri, Ghani's spokesman.
"Afghans have experienced bitter episodes of disagreements, political fragmentation and internal conflicts, all of which have been very harmful to them," he told Salaam Times.
Unity is the only option to defeat the enemy, he said. "Considering the current circumstances in Afghanistan, the government tries to unify various political strata and ethnic groups in accordance with the constitution, so that they all become united in their fight against terrorism."
"The enemies of Afghanistan worked very hard to sow discord among various ethnic and religious groups in order to destroy Afghanistan from within," Chakhansuri said. "However, it is a source of pleasure to know that, throughout history, Afghanistan has never witnessed a sectarian war."
"To conslidate national unity, the president holds regular advisory meetings with political leaders, parliamentarians, civil society organisations and tribal elders, during which he confers with everyone regarding national, as well as international, issues," he said.
Solidarity against common enemies
"Among the factors for nations' development and success are unity and integration," said Sayed Jawad Hussaini, spokesman for the New National Front of Afghanistan opposition party. "Despite our political opposition to the government, we call for unity and unanimity of all political trends in the midst of all challenges that lie ahead in the path of Afghanistan."
"The unity of the Afghan people is the point of their strength, while disagreement among them will strengthen their enemies," he told Salaam Times, calling the Taliban the enemies of the entire Afghan people.
When all Afghans stand united, huge ranks will be formed, Hussaini said, adding, "Once the enemies of Afghanistan notice such unity and unanimity among the Afghan people, they will never dare to fight or to defy us."
"We must be vigilant and careful, since the enemies of the unity of the Afghans are lurking to greatly benefit from our slightest mistake," said Ghulam Farooq, an Afghan MP representing Herat Province.
"Afghanistan is in an extremely critical situation, to the point that even the slightest disunity may destroy all the achievements that we have accomplished over the past 15 years," he told Salaam Times.
"I am certain that the unity of the Afghan people will prevent the enemy's penetration, and as the unity of the Afghan people increases, the dissension and disintegration among the Taliban, as well as among other extremist and terrorist groups, will also increase," he said.
Peace and stability essential for development
The government should focus on unifying the country, providing services for all citizens and equally developing all the provinces of Afghanistan, which will result in total loss of popular support for the Taliban, Kabul-based civil society activist Bashir Bijan said.
"Lack of unity among us will result in the emergence of many more extremist and terrorist groups, while our unity will block the paths of our enemies and terrorist groups," he told Salaam Times. "The only way to end all security, political, social and economic crises is through the unity of the people."
"Unity and solidarity are the most valuable phenomena in a society and are among the main priorities for a country's prosperity," Kabul University psychology professor Khalilurahman Sarwari told Salaam Times.
"Peace and stability are necessary and essential for political, economic and social development," he said. "A society that has been deprived of unity will suffer from lack of peace and security and will face an increase in conflicts, violence and disorder."
Fighting 'bloodthirsty' enemies
"Forty years of war in Afghanistan has caused our country to fall centuries behind with regards to civilisation and progress, and this is the greatest lesson and experience for all Afghans," said Mohammad Daud Asas, senior adviser to Abdullah Abdullah, the government's CEO.
"The enemies of Afghanistan are extremely cruel and merciless," he told Salaam Times. "The current situation and circumstances in Afghanistan require us to stand united and fight unanimously against this bloodthirsty enemy."
Asas categorised the Taliban, the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) and the Haqqani Network as the enemies of all ethnic groups in Afghanistan.
"Since these terrorists are the enemies of all ethnic groups of this country, it is incumbent upon all Afghans to stand united, and fight together, against these terrorist organisations," he said.
"As the result of the consolidation of national unity in the new post-Taliban system, representatives of all ethnic groups have been included in the government, millions of Afghans have attended schools and universities, Afghanistan has found its place within the international system, and it has established relationships and friendships with regional and trans-regional countries," Asas said.
"If we fail to maintain and protect the unity that exists among us, all of our achievements will be lost and the dark days of the past will return," he said.