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A conservative Malaysian politician today voiced support for the Taliban and urged the government to do more to speak for the Islamic militants. 

Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus, the Member of Parliament representing Hulu Langat, was addressing the state of Malaysia’s international relations in Parliament today when he suggested that the government find ways to influence the public into thinking that the Taliban was not a terrorist organization. None of the 221 other lawmakers in the house spoke against the 56-year-old, who had this to say: 

“Many people view the Taliban in a negative light. It is not important what is right or wrong. How can we teach the public that the Taliban are not terrorists?”

Doubling down on his support for the Taliban, the member of the Pakatan Harapan, or Alliance of Hope, coalition claims that the fundamentalist Islamic force, which swiftly reclaimed Afghanistan in August after the U.S. withdrawal, was promoting peace and that Malaysia should campaign alongside them. 

Scenes of the Taliban’s takeover were anything but peaceful. Thousands of Afghan civilians were forced to flee their homes in a panic while those left behind have had to witness daily gunfire. Women are also gradually losing their human rights all over again.

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Kamarudin Jaffar, 70, assured Hasanuddin today that Malaysia has a working relationship with the Taliban, noting the meeting between local NGO Global Peace Mission and Taliban representatives two months ago.

“Malaysia and Afghanistan have official ties dating back to about 20 years ago,” the minister said, adding: “… in September, the Global Peace Mission had gone to Qatar to pay a visit to the Taliban leaders. We now have a working relationship with the Taliban to ensure that they govern with human rights, democracy, and women’s rights in mind.”

Just yesterday, the Taliban banned dramas starring female actresses. Women have also been prohibited from going to school and work indefinitely. 

Source: Astro Awani

Other stories:

Malaysian Islamic Party congratulates Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan

This article, ‘Not terrorists’: Pro-Taliban MP suggests public reeducation on Islamists in Malaysia, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia’s leading alternative media company.

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