Outrage in Egypt as 'anti-Islamist' host interviews Taliban spokesperson on state TV

Outrage in Egypt as 'anti-Islamist' host interviews Taliban spokesperson on state TV
Ahmed Moussa presents Under My Responsibility and interviewed Taliban political office spokesperson Mohammad Naim after cautioning about the group not even 24 hours prior.
2 min read
17 August, 2021
Ahmed Moussa is the presenter for the show Under My Responsibility [David Degner/Getty-archive]

A leading Afghan Taliban official appeared on Egyptian state TV for a phone interview with a host widely regarded as anti-Islamist, prompting outrage online.

Taliban political office spokesperson Mohammad Naim spoke via phone to Ahmed Moussa, presenter for the show Under My Responsibility, broadcast on Sada El Balad which is close to Egypt's security.

Naim's appearance on the programme was in sharp contrast to Moussa's comments less than 24 hours earlier, when he warned about the Taliban, The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said on Tuesday.

Many took to Twitter to criticise Moussa.

Live Story

Mahmoud Abo Bakr, a journalist, used the platform to say: "Ahmed Moussa working on a meeting with a Taliban spokesperson […] what is it with what's happening in the world[?]"

Another Twitter user going by the name "Mousa", not to be confused with the TV presenter, said: "Statism and Sisi-ism are on a mission to justify suicide".

The word "statism" in this context refers to the blind backing of a nation's rulers.

Another still said: "The statists were sat accusing people, left and right, all day long, and after that, at night, Ahmed Moussa brought them the Taliban spokesman, live."

During the interview, Naim insisted that the Taliban will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for attacks on outside powers.

He also claimed women will be able to attend schools, own property and work, per Islamic law.

Quizzed about whether singing and music would be on television Naim said that "everything will be subject to Islamic law, which most Afghans agree with".

Afghanistan: Taliban gains (16 August 2021)
Click here to enlarge image

He noted his sadness that Afghans attempting to escape the so-called Islamic Emirate, as the Taliban refers to Afghanistan, fell to their deaths after clinging to a US military airplane leaving from Kabul airport.

Ahmed Moussa has made headlines before, including in 2017 when he claimed "[t]he BBC justifies terrorism, it supports terrorism", saying "[i]t insists on calling Daesh the Islamic State, it refers to it as a state".

Daesh is an Arabic-language acronym standing for the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant", something Moussa did not make clear.