Murderous attack against Sunni ulema in Kabul is an 'attack on religion'

A suicide bomber targeted a wedding hall where the birth of Muhammad was being celebrated. For Fr Moretti, Afghanistan "is not news” and massacres are “ignored.” But human beings are the same.


Kabul (AsiaNews) – At least 50 people were killed, almost all Sunni ulema, and 85 wounded in a suicide attack that struck a religious gathering in Kabul yesterday that was packed with people celebrating the birth of Muhammad, a national holiday n Afghanistan.

According to Fr Giuseppe Moretti, chaplain at the Italian embassy and responsible for the missio sui iuris of Afghanistan until 2015, this is the umpteenth "massacre carried out amid general indifference.”

“The attack,” the Italian clergyman said, “is even more serious than usual, because it was against clerical leaders, who are akin to Christian bishops. It is a despicable attack against religion."

According to witnesses, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt around 6:15 pm yesterday afternoon at the Uranus Wedding Palace with about a thousand people present.

The Taliban, who are Sunni, condemned the attack. At present, no group has claimed responsibility but fingers are pointing at a local affiliate of the Islamic State group, namely the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISK-P).

For Fr Moretti, this “Islamic State doesn’t stand with God or anyone lese". In his view, Afghanistan "does not make the news", and for this reason the "massacre has been ignored by news media. The story either does not appear at all or only marginally."

For the clergyman, "the most serious aspect is that for the second time in the history of the country a meeting of clergy was attacked. If top religious leaders are attacked, it means the rebels only have a military option.

"It means that Allah or Akbar, that is, the religious element no longer matters. No longer is there respect for religious leaders, who are the ones who lead the mullahs. With the ulema targeted, we are facing total decay."

"The ulema had previously expressed themselves in favour of peace and against all forms of violence,” Fr Moretti explained.

“Those who carried out this attack have no intention of making peace and have no respect for Muslim religious leaders who pass on values. It is like killing bishops and cardinals only because they represent a certain moral line."

Now the country "is like a Way of the Cross of killings. The most recent dates back just a few days ago against the military. It is a way of life that shows no sign of changing."

The priest notes that NATO is “still present in Afghanistan” but is passive whilst political uncertainty still dominates after elections were held last month but no results made public yet.

Meanwhile, "there are no signs of peace, and people continue to flee and massacres ignored,” he said, bitterly. “Do we have to wait for the newspapers to talk about it only when a foreigner, an Italian for example, dies? Or are human beings the same everywhere?"

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