Grand Mufti of Oman congratulates Taliban on 'mighty' takeover of Kabul

Grand Mufti of Oman congratulates Taliban on 'mighty' takeover of Kabul
Oman's Grand Mufti, who has a history of making controversial statements, has congratulated Afghanistan's Taliban movement on their 'manifest victory' over government forces.
2 min read
16 August, 2021
Ahmed Al-Khalili has previously expressed controversial opinions [Getty]

The Grand Mufti of Oman on Monday offered his congratulations to the Taliban on their capture of the Afghan capital Kabul from government forces in a controversial tweet.

Grand Mufti Ahmed bin Hamad Al-Khalili tweeted that the Islamist insurgents had achieved "a manifest victory and a mighty win over aggressive invaders".

"We also congratulate ourselves and the entire Muslim ummah [community] on the achievement of God's true promise, and we call on the brotherly [Afghan] Muslim people to be as one in the face of [future] challenges," Al-Khalili said.

He then called for "forgiveness and harmony".

The 79-year-old mufti has a history of making controversial statements often at odds with Omani government policy. He became the Grand Mufti of Oman in 1975 and follows the Ibadi sect of Islam, Oman's dominant confession.

He has previously declared his support for campaigns to ban the sale of alcohol in Oman.

Al-Khalili has also spoken out against the normalisation of relations between Gulf countries and Israel and supported a boycott of French products after President Emmanuel Macron made controversial remarks supporting the publication of cartoons insulting the Prophet Muhammad.

In his tweet published on Monday, Al-Khalili said: "We are optimistic and we beseech God Almighty that this victory will unite the whole Muslim ummah and give them more victories until they liberate every inch of their occupied land".

He expressed hope that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem would soon be free.

The Taliban's capture of Kabul, which followed the swift collapse of Afghan government forces, has brought fears that the group will impose a harsh interpretation of Islamic sharia law, severely restricting the rights of women.

At least five Afghans died n Monday as people desperately scrambled to board planes leaving Kabul after the Taliban takeover.