Crime Justice

Taliban's 'merciless' killing of engineer reinforces citizens' enmity toward militants

By Sulaiman

Three screenshots from an undated video posted on social media shows an Afghan engineer being gunned down by Taliban militants. [File]

Three screenshots from an undated video posted on social media shows an Afghan engineer being gunned down by Taliban militants. [File]

KABUL -- The killing of an engineer by the Taliban has provoked the anger of Afghan citizens, who say the act only cements their hate for the militants and demonstrates "the utmost brutality" of the group.

A video circulated on social media for the past few days shows Taliban fighters shooting an Afghan engineer at an unknown location.

In the video, the engineer is asked by an apparent Taliban member whether the Taliban or the "infidels" -- likely referring to foreigners and civil servants -- are "right".

The engineer replies that whoever is following Sharia law is right and says that he is serving his nation, not any particular side, before being gunned down.

The killing has stirred the ire of Afghans, who say the murder violates the principles of Islam, Afghan values and humanity.

The killing confirms that the Taliban are completely out of step with Islam and shows their "backward beliefs", Kabul University sociologist Dawood Rawesh said.

"The Taliban are repressive human beings with ideas from the Middle Ages," he told Salaam Times.

"They know nothing of Islam or civilisation," said Rawesh. "They have very backward beliefs, and because of these, they do not consider the educated, like engineers, doctors, professors and other professionals, to be Muslims. But the truth is the opposite, as the Taliban are very distant from Islam and humanity."

"The Taliban have been accustomed to cruelty and repression, and they have lost mercy, culture, human values and ethics, which means they have no respect for civilised and educated human beings," Rawesh added.

Crimes against humanity

"I, as a citizen of this country, condemn the merciless killing of this engineer, and I clearly say that this act of the Taliban shows the utmost brutality of this group," Matin Hamkar, 29, a Kabul resident and social-media user, told Salaam Times.

"I watched the video in which the Taliban were shooting that engineer on Facebook several times," Hamkar added.

"That man clearly says" in the video "that he works for the public, not for anyone else. But unfortunately, the wild Taliban killed him so brutally for no reason, ignoring his very words."

"This is not the Taliban's first crime against civilians," Farhad Hashemi, a civil society activist in Kabul, told Salaam Times. "They have brutally killed teachers, students, doctors and thousands of other civilians and destroyed schools, roads, bridges, culverts and health facilities."

"The Taliban claim on one hand to be Muslims, but on the other hand, contrary to the principles of Islam, they kill civilians and public servants," Hashemi said.

"The killing of an engineer who served his ... country shows the Taliban's obvious enmity toward civilisation, humanity and Afghanistan and its people. This is an inhumane and un-Islamic act," he said.

"The Taliban are crippling the process of building, development and growth of Afghanistan by killing engineers and other educated professionals of this land," he added.

The murder is nothing less than a war crime, said Naeem Nazari, a civil society and human rights activist in Kabul.

"The Taliban always attack ordinary Afghans, public buildings, religious places and civil institutions," Nazari told Salaam Times. "The killing of a civilian -- an engineer or an ordinary person -- is a human rights violation and a breach of international human rights law."

"Based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Taliban and any other group may not attack civilians and public servants during war," Nazari added.

"The killing of this person, whose video appeared on social media, and the attacks on individuals and civil institutions are a war crime, and this shows the Taliban's enmity toward Afghanistan," he said.

Refusing to surrender to terrorism

The Taliban's actions are only increasing civilians' hate toward the militants at a time when peace talks are taking place, Muhammad Qais Ahmadi, 34, a media activist in Kabul, told Salaam Times.

"The Taliban are talking about peace and reconciliation in Qatar and Moscow, but against their own words, they brutally kill engineers, youths, women and children in Afghanistan," he said.

"Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, who strongly defends the Taliban's position, must now explain to the Afghan people why the innocent engineer, who was busy rebuilding his country, was cruelly killed," said Ahmadi.

"Because of the heinous crimes the Taliban have committed, Afghans hate this group," Ahmadi added.

"They want to instill fear and panic with their inhumane crimes so that they can force Afghans to obey them, but Afghans will no longer surrender to a terrorist and merciless group. The past 18 years is obvious evidence of this fact."

"The Taliban must know that the killing of civilians is not one of their achievements, and it has added to public hatred of them," Ahmadi said.

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