One of the most sought-after interviewees this week is Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s English-language spokesperson, currently in Qatar. Israel’s Kan News also joined in the action, interviewing Shaheen by phone but identified themselves only as “Kan News,” without mentioning any connection to Israel.
When word later got out that Shaheen had spoken with an Israeli media outlet, Shaheen swore on Tuesday night that he never granted an interview to anyone who presented themselves as Israeli.
“I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centers of Afghanistan and the capital Kabul to the Islamic Emirate,” he wrote on Twitter [which despite banning Trump is allowing the Taliban to use its platform].
“Some journalists maybe masquerading but I haven’t done interview with anyone introducing himself he is from an Israeli media.”
I do many interviews with journalists every day after the falling of provincial centers of Afghnistan and the capital Kabul to the Islamic Emirate, some journalists maybe masquerading but I haven’t done interview with any one introducing himself he is from an Israeli media.
— Suhail Shaheen. محمد سهیل شاهین (@suhailshaheen1) August 17, 2021
Shaheen emphasized during the interview that people should not be afraid. “We’ll make sure not to cause damage to property or people and everyone can have a normal life. Our intention is to protect the people in Afghanistan.”
“Why are they fleeing?” Shaheen asserted. “Their worries are not based on reality, We are assuring this – there won’t be more deaths, there will be peace and security. It will not be [like] the past.”
The Kan interviewer responded that people are afraid of Sharia. “Sharia means there will be more security, more stability, more peace in the country,” Shaheen answered.
Shaheen added that the girls and women “will be going to school as students and teachers. You will see it in a few days.” He also said that the Taliban will not harm minorities. “We will not harm minorities. There are Sikhs, Hindus in Afghanistan, they can carry out their rituals – that is our policy.”
Kan also asked about the meeting that the Taliban held with Hamas leaders in Qatar after Operation Guardian of the Walls. Shaheen claimed that the Taliban does not have any collaboration with Hamas but that the terror group was simply “congratulating them on the independence of their country.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)