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An assemblyman from the Malaysian Islamic Party, or PAS, today congratulated the Taliban for taking control of Afghanistan. 

Batu Buruk assemblyman Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi, who is also from the PAS International Affairs and External Relations Committee, issued the shocking congratulatory statement today, days after the speedy takeover by the Islamist military movement prompted thousands of Afghans, including women and children, to flee their homes in panic. 

Khalil said that the Taliban, infamous for their harsh enforcement of Islamic law, was saving the country “from the inhumane grip of occupation” from the United States that lasted two decades. He also described the takeover as Afghanistan gaining “independence” as a result of the efforts by Afghans to liberate their homeland.

“With this victory, it is hoped that all stakeholders will work together and reach an agreement to make peace and work to redevelop and put Afghanistan back on track,” he said in his statement. “May the new government of Afghanistan and its people work together to develop Afghanistan and achieve prosperity, peace and progress after this based on the Shariah and comprehensive Islamic values as well as receive the blessings, blessings and help of Allah SWT.”

Khalil’s recognition of the Taliban regime was unsettling for many Malaysians. His statement was shared more than a thousand times on Twitter in three hours before it was deleted. 

“PAS wants to support the Taliban? Can you guys get your head right?  Why don’t you just concentrate on domestic matters. US and allies decided to leave Afghanistan. There was no battle that was won. Now we see Muslims running away from Taliban Muslims in Afghan. How can that be right?” commenter Shahril Teoh said. 

“Are you even following the news correctly? The citizens are fleeing their home, their country to avoid the Taliban invasion, they are in fear and trying to escape from there,” Melvin Peter said.

Khalil’s statement also suggested that PAS supporters may also be in favor of the Taliban. 

“To support the Taliban is to also agree with PAS. Your choice, Malaysians,” Twitter user @LightSong96 said. 

“Why though? You realize what you are supporting here?” Kalai Vani Maniam asked. 

“Someone [please] make a police report. He is supporting a terrorist,” another named Jemah said.

Other stories:

Malaysia’s Royal Palace cat becomes distraction we need amid leadership crisis
Party leaders reach consensus after PM’s resignation: Anwar Ibrahim

This article, Malaysian Islamic Party congratulates Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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