News & Politics

Taliban Paint Over George Floyd Mural in Kabul

AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri

In a striking depiction of the eclipse of twenty-first-century woke orthodoxy by Islamic rule, the Taliban have begun painting over a series of murals in Kabul, including one depicting George Floyd with the legend, in English, “I can’t breathe.”

The murals were the most visible manifestations of the kind of society U.S. authorities had hoped Afghanistan would become, honoring all manner of secular saints revered in the West. Painted on Kabul’s concrete blast barriers by a group of Afghan artists calling themselves the Artlords, the murals celebrated, according to the UK’s Daily Mail, “gender equality and the signing of the US-Taliban agreement towards peace,” among other things.

Omaid Sharifi, co-founder of Artlords, said: “Some of these murals were the soul of Kabul. They gave beauty to the city and kindness to the people of Kabul who were suffering.” They may have given beauty to the city, but murals celebrating George Floyd and gender equality were not expressions of the soul of Kabul, but of the woke, post-modern, Leftist West, the soul of the people who have spent twenty years since 9/11 stigmatizing and demonizing opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression as “Islamophobia,” the soul of Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and their supporters.

Sharifi added: “Our aim was to promote critical thinking and put pressure on the government to accept people’s demands. Taliban was and is an armed movement that only understands guns, violence, beating, beheading, suicide vests and bombs. There is no vocabulary about art in the Taliban’s dictionary. They even cannot imagine art. I think they don’t understand it, that’s why they are destroying it.”

Well, yes. They don’t understand it because they don’t care to understand it. They believe that representational art is un-Islamic and thus must be destroyed, as the first Taliban regime destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001. And they have nothing but contempt for “critical thinking,” gender equality, and the woke hagiography of George Floyd. Their values are quite different, and they don’t feel the need to make any apologies for that fact, or to genuflect to the postmodern West’s Leftist pieties.

In place of the murals, the Taliban have painted the Islamic profession of faith and other Islamic statements, as well as a claim that they are the “true defenders” of Afghanistan. The contrast is telling, and those in the West who are more concerned about “Islamophobia” than about jihad terror should take note: no matter how much aid witless Western countries give them, the Taliban and other jihad groups intend to destroy Western Leftism along with every other manifestation of secular liberalism.

This lesson seems lost upon the faltering guardians of the woke order. On Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken complained about the makeup of the Taliban’s new Afghan government: “We’re assessing the announcement but despite professing that a new government would be inclusive, the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates, and no women.”

Was Blinken really surprised by this? Did he actually think that the Taliban would appoint a few women, and maybe a few foes of the Taliban, in order to meet the West’s standards of what is acceptable in governance and what isn’t? Blinken also said: “The Taliban seek international legitimacy. Any legitimacy — any support — will have to be earned.” According to AFP, “standing alongside him, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the international community expected the Taliban to uphold human rights, including those of women, grant access to humanitarian aid, and allow those wishing to leave the country to do so.”

Do these men’s balloons ever land? Do they have any reason whatsoever to think that the Taliban care in the slightest degree about what the “international community” thinks? The Taliban showed exactly what they think of the “international community” and its approval when they painted over the mural of Saint George Floyd. The Taliban have their own values, priorities, and heroes, and they are not those of the Western Left. The sooner the likes of Antony Blinken and Heiko Maas grasp that, the better off they and their countries will be, but they’re much more likely to ignore the lesson of the Floyd mural and shower billions upon the Taliban in the fond hope that the blizzard of money will turn the Taliban’s hearts toward the “international community.”

It has never worked before, and won’t now, but why should Blinken and Maas care about that? They’re part of an international order that consists entirely of people who think exactly the way they do, and will be much more likely to reward them for their failures, rather than hold them accountable for them. They don’t even realize the Taliban has nothing but contempt for that international order, and can’t even conceive of the possibility of anyone regarding it with anything but reverence and respect. The doom of the George Floyd mural in Kabul should inform them to the contrary, but it won’t.