News - Afghanistan
Religious scholars should condemn the Helmand civilian massacre, particularly the act of beheading, as a violation of Sharia law, according to a former deputy of the Afghan Ulema council.
The killing of 17 civilians in Helmand, as well as past deeds by Taliban-linked persons committed directly against civilians, only slanders Islam, the Mufti Shams-ur-Rahman Frotan told TOLOnews Tuesday.
"From the point of view of the Quran, beheading people is a complete violation of Islamic rules. It is neither for the benefit of Afghanistan nor for the good of other parties," he said. "It only defames Islam."
An analyst from the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) said that the silence of the Ulema Council over the ongoing targeting and killing of civilians was odd.
"Yesterday, 40 people were killed throughout Afghanistan and 17 of them were decapitated, but the Ulema Council remains quiet," AREU Deputy Director Mir Ahmad Joyenda said Monday. "It's a big sin for them."
Taliban spokesperson Qari Yousuf has denied the group was involved in the Helmand massacre, saying, instead, that it was probably the result of drunken behavior among the party-goers at the house where all 17 were killed.
"The boys must have been drunk, fighting one another. We were not involved," Reuters reported Yousuf saying on Monday.
However, government officials, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai, have been swift to blame the militant group for the slaughter.
Former national security official Amrullah Saleh told TOLOnews Tuesday that the massacre and the reasons behind it - a mixed-sex party - had the hallmarks of a Taliban job.
"The Taliban are known for suicide attacks, massacres, beheadings, shutting schools, violations against women," he said. "None of the other groups have committed such crimes so far."
Only two months ago on June 21, the Taliban staged a large-scale attack at a hotel on Kabul's outskirts, claiming in a statement that the site was place of immorality and "wild parties".
The attack on the Spozhmai Hotel at Lake Qargha killed 15 Afghan civilians.