News - Afghanistan
Pressure is mounting ahead of the conference of regional Islamic scholars in Kabul with a message from Mullah Omar this week condemning the meeting and calling for scholars not to attend.
A number of well-known Islamic scholars from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are expected to participate in the regional Ulema conference which aims, among other things, to decide on the morality of suicide attacks.
The Ulema has the authority to issue a Fatwa (juristic ruling concerning Islamic law) to deem suicide attacks as Haram (sinful under Islamic law).
The prospect of the Fatwa on suicide attacks poses a threat to insurgent groups, especially the Taliban, who use suicide bombers in most major attacks.
The statement from the Taliban, disclosed Wednesday night to media, warns the clerics that they will be "answerable to God" and will be counted as "fake" in the court of the masses.
"The regional conference, which aims to issue a Fatwa considering suicide attacks as Haram and strengthen the peace process, could do major harm to the Taliban, and that is why Mullah Omar doesn't want the religious scholars to attend the meeting," said one of the scholars Abdulhadi Hedayat.
The High Peace Council with the Afghan government is organising the conference as part of its peace efforts.
"No one and no group has the right to stop religious scholars from serving for peace, meetings, advices, Fatwas and promotions of Islamic principles," said Shahzada Shahid, member of High Peace Counicl and the Afghan Ulema Council.
"The conference will have a [good] outcome if the religious scholars are impartial, otherwise it will have no outcome at all," former Taliban leader Sayed Akbar Agha told TOLOnews.
Kabul and Islamabad agreed last month to hold the regional scholars conference and discuss whether suicide attacks are Haram or not, and also to talk over about circumstances of peace talks between Afghanistan and armed government oppositions especially the Taliban.
On Arafa (Islamic Holy Day during Hajj), Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh, in his Hajj sermon said that suicide attacks were Haram and against Islam and said that those who commit such attacks would not be forgiven by God.