Mohammed Omar

founder of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Mullah Mohammed Omar (Pashto: ملا محمد عمر‎, Mullā Muḥammad 'Umar; or Mullah Omar 1960 – 23 April 2013) was an Afghan mujahideen commander who led the Taliban, and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996.

Quotes

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  • When they are asked the question by a journalist, a country, a friend, an enemy or anybody, "What is the real purpose of the taliban movement?" the answer to them all is that the taliban's mission and purpose is to implement the sharia on this land of Allah. That is their answer, true purpose and their mission from the beginning.
  • The promise of God is that my land is vast. If you start a journey on God's path, you can reside anywhere on this earth and will be protected. The promise of Bush is that there is no place on earth where you can hide that I cannot find you. We will see which one of these two promises is fulfilled.
    • Interview by Spozhmai Maiwandi, Voice of America, 23 September 2001
  • America has created the evil that is attacking it. The evil will not disappear even if I die and Osama dies and others die. This is U.S. policy. The U.S. should step back and review its policy. It should stop trying to impose its empire on the rest of the world, especially on Islamic countries.
    • Interview by Spozhmai Maiwandi
  • All Taliban are moderate. There are two things: extremism ["ifraat", or doing something to excess] and conservatism ["tafreet", or doing something insufficiently]. So in that sense, we are all moderates - taking the middle path.
  • I did not want to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. This shocked me. I thought, these callous people have no regard for thousands of living human beings – the Afghans who are dying of hunger, but they are so concerned about non-living objects like the Buddha. This was extremely deplorable. That is why I ordered its destruction. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha's destruction.
  • Islam says that when a Muslim asks for shelter, give the shelter and never hand him over to enemy. And our Afghan tradition says that, even if your enemy asks for shelter, forgive him and give him shelter. Osama has helped the jihad in Afghanistan, he was with us in bad days and I am not going to give him to anyone.
  • As for the United States' future in Afghanistan, it will be fire and hell and total defeat, God willing, as it was for their predecessors - the Soviets and, before them, the British.
  • We don't consider the battle has ended in Afghanistan.… The battle has begun and its fires are picking up. These fires will reach the White House, because it is the center of injustice and tyranny.
  • The sheik [Osama bin Laden] is, thank God, still alive and this hurts Bush who promised to his people to kill Osama,
    • Interview with Asharq al-Awsat, 16 May 2002
  • I tell my brethren in Palestine: be patient and continue your blessed struggle.… We did not forget you. We are still healing another wound in the Muslim nation, which is the occupation of our land by the Americans. Your battle and ours are one and the same,
    • Interview with Asharq al-Awsat, 16 May 2002
  • "Now that we are destroying false idols, the world has made a drama out of it. The Muslims in the world, particularly the Afghan Muslims, should use their common sense," declared Taleban chief Mulla Muhammad Omar. He tried to prove his common sense by saying: "I would like to ask you -- do you prefer to be called statue-destroyers or statue-sellers?"
    • quoted in Bamiyan Buddhas, also in Dilip K. Chakrabarti - Archaeology in the Third World, A History of Indian Archaeology Since 1947. (2003)
  • The breaking of statues is an Islamic order and I have given this decision in the light of a fatwa of the ulema (clerics) and the supreme court of Afghanistan. Islamic law is the only law acceptable to me.
    • Mulla Mohammad Omar, quoted in Dilip K. Chakrabarti - Archaeology in the Third World, A History of Indian Archaeology Since 1947. (2003)

About Omar

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  • Mullah-Saheb gave everybody who visited him enough time to empty their hearts. He listened, he was very patient, he did not react in anger. Any visitor could tell that he was thinking very deeply about what he was saying.… Second, if Amir ul-Mu'mineen promised something, he did it. Third, Karzai likes to show off and pretend that he knows a lot, while you never felt that with Amir ul-Mu'mineen.
    • Abdul Salam Zaeef, former Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, in My Life with the Taliban (2010).

See also

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