Faryab Eid suicide bombing arouses public fury

Those who carried out the attack can’t be Muslims, Afghan citizens say.

By Najibullah

2012-10-30

FARYAB PROVINCE – The bloody suicide bombing on the first day of Eid ul Adha in Faryab Province has infuriated the Afghan public.

The October 26 mosque bombing occurred when hundreds of worshippers were departing the mosque in Maymana, the provincial capital, after performing Eid prayers and killed at least 42 people and injured 50 others.

Although most of the victims were worshippers, female beggars, troops and five children were also among the dead, said Javid Didar, the spokesperson for the Faryab governor.

Public reactions

Moments after the bombing, Afghan citizens reacted by publishing pictures of the atrocity in media and on online social networks, sharing the grief and sorrow of the victims’ families.

The insurgents betrayed their lack of commitment to Islamic values, Afghan citizens wrote, noting how they defiled Eid, which is supposed to be a day of rejoicing for Muslims.

“Those who carry out these actions cannot be considered human beings, since not even a shred of humanity can be found in their souls,” Habibullah, a Maymana resident who lost one of his relatives, told Central Asia Online.

“Those criminals who conduct such actions under the pretext of Islam are either the true enemies of Islam or are a bunch of ... deluded individuals who think that by committing suicide attacks and killing themselves, as well as the innocent people, they can go to Heaven,” he said.

Javid Omid, an Afghan citizen, posted on his Facebook page an image of a little boy with a bleeding head and blood-stained clothes, writing, “What a magnificent heaven! A heaven of which resulted in creating hundreds of hells for hundreds of innocent women and children! A heaven based upon a blind ideology, which can only direct a blind-minded person to meet his promised virgins in his imaginary paradise inside his own dark world, while he creates a hellfire that burns innocent children. I do not know what more can be said! I know, however, that the continuation of such hatred will write a sad story for all of us, if it doesn’t destroy everyone.”

Sohrab Samanian, another Afghan citizen, wrote on his Facebook page, “Today was Faryab’s turn to mourn! A curse on those dark-hearted, blind-minded criminals, who distorted the name of humanity with such violent acts, and who have shown that they have no shame from God! I ask God Almighty to give patience to the people of Faryab. I also curse those filthy groups and their criminal members, who create fear in people’s hearts, as well as those who relate these crimes to the religion, and finally those who remain silent about it.”

Fear of mosque attacks

In the past, Afghans feared being caught up in a terrorist attack if they were passing near military bases; now they no longer feel secure even worshipping in a mosque, said Mohammad Esma’il, an Afghan citizen.

“The militants who used to target military facilities and compounds under the pretext of jihad are now targeting mosques and worshippers, an action which indicates that militants are exploiting the name of jihad in order to wage war against Islam and humanity,” Esma’il said.

Interior Ministry officials, however, say that they are doing their best to protect the public.

Angered by the increase in mosque attacks and murders of civilians, Muslim scholars say the perpetrators are acting “against Islamic principles.”

Suicide attacks are, in fact, murders, and many victims are innocent, said Mullah Mahmoud Akhlaghi, a religious scholar from Kabul.

“There is a holy Hadith (reports of statements or actions of Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]), which stipulates that whoever commits suicide using a piece of stone, metal or any other material will dragged to Hell looking exactly the same as his corpse did after he committed suicide,” said Akhlaghi. Such suicide attacks violate Islamic principles, he said.

Speaking in Arafat, near Makkah, on the Islamic holy day of Arafa, Sheikh Abdulaziz, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said suicide attacks have no legitimacy in Islam and that anybody who commits suicide will never have God’s forgiveness.

International condemnation

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan joined the criticism. In a statement October 26, it strongly condemned the Maymana attack.

“This heinous attack at a mosque, killing and injuring Afghan civilians as they celebrated the Eid ul Adha religious festival has no justification and should be condemned by all in the strongest possible terms,” said Ján Kubiš, special representative of the UN secretary-general for Afghanistan.

Mosques are protected by international humanitarian law, the statement added. Suicide attacks that don’t distinguish between civilians and combatants also are banned, but anti-government elements continue to kill Afghan civilians with such attacks, the statement added.

“These illegal and indiscriminate suicide attacks that kill and injure many Afghan civilians must stop,” said Kubiš. “Such attacks are completely unacceptable, and those responsible are fully accountable for the deaths and injuries of civilians caused by their brutal acts.”

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