THE TALIBAN ARE US

Blog post by Fr. David Muscat

We used to be constantly taught that feast days of the Blessed Virgin coincided with great victories of the forces of Good over the forces of Evil. The Santa Maria convoy, the victory over the Ottomans on the Feast of the Birth of Our Lady as well as World War II Victory Day are a testament to this fact.

Yet on the feast of the Assumption of the 15 August this year, the  Taliban forces victoriously entered Kabul much to the consternation of the so-called democratic world.  The politicians’ shock and disbelief transcended political loyalties, from Joe Biden Nigel Farage, and from Cyrus Engerer to the St. Julians-based escorts.

The crux of the matter is this: just a few weeks ago officials from the National Security Council of Afghanistan explained to the world that the only reason why the Taliban had not been defeated by Afghanistan’s 300,000 strong American-supported army was that the government of Afghanistan did not want to endanger civilians by going on the offensive. “They cannot win a military victory,” Afghan officials said. “Our special forces are very strong. The Taliban with just 75,000 poorly trained fighters can only hit and run.

On August 15th helicopters were shuttling back and forth to the evacuation of those same officials. Barely a month since President Joe Biden declared that “there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof” of the American embassy, as in Saigon in 1975, helicopters were pictured hovering above the compound, shuttling diplomats to the airport.

What in Heaven’s name happened?  The international commentators have come up with myriad theoretical explanations that will torment their consciences for a long time to come.  Endemic government corruption, the clash of civilizations, the relentless onslaught of radical Islam, the inappropriateness of installing democracy by force of arms, and the ungovernability of a country that has been subject for centuries to tribal chieftains and warlords where anyone tribe does not constitute a majority.  These are some of the explanations advanced so far.

“What is the Truth?” asked Pilate to Christ. What is the truth about that country?  Why did this debacle occur on the feast of Our Lady’s Assumption?   In a world where the darkness of relativism has trumped the light of objective truth and natural law, I will hazard my own attempt to place a lighted bushel to explain why the Taliban of this world and how we can stop them.

It is a fact that the cultivation of opium poppies is a mainstay of the Afghan economy, constituting the main ingredient for heroin production.  The size of this industry generates millions of dollars in earnings, whilst the trafficking of the poppy is controlled by the Taliban.  So much for Islam’s religious strictures, Sharia law, and the sayings of the prophet in that country.  For the Taliban, business is business.

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Here in Malta, we have similar aspirations with the government’s move to legalize marihuana consumption for “recreational” and “medicinal” use.  Our Isle was transformed into a legal Tax Paradise where anything goes and the mantra ekonomija suċċess dominates unchallenged.

Back in Afghanistan, the profits earned from the opium poppy industry enable the Taliban to purchase armaments, train terrorists, manage a state within a state and even create a system of social services akin to that provided by the Islamic Shite terror group Hezbollah in Lebanon.  What remains goes straight into Taliban pockets.

Money enables you to drive a road through the sea it has been said.  Follow the Money and you will perceive the truth of what is really going on.  Yet we ought to include ourselves among the Taliban every time we make money and profit our false idols.  Didn’t Judas betray the Divine Master for thirty pieces of silver?

Our Blessed Lord wasn’t crucified just for asserting that He was the Messiah, and the Son of God.  The Jews killed Him because he brought an authentic paradigm shift away from the notion that money was everything in the life of that nation.  The young rich man who approached Him was told to sell all he had and give it to the poor. Yet this man turned away from Jesus in sadness and with great disappointment, attached as he was to his wealth.  Even the apostles marveled at this paradigm shift as Peter and the other disciples had hitherto embraced a prosperity gospel.

Yet our Lord told the Tempter in the desert that Man does not live by bread alone, thereby refusing to turn stones into bread.  Transposing Our Lords words to the Maltese nation: “Earn your daily bread through honest toil and not through the processes of financialization and tax haven-induced evasion.”

Will we heed Our Lord’s commandments or have we become like the Jewish scribes and pharisees who Jesus called “sons of your father, the Devil”? For the latter, wealth and status meant practically everything.

We should ponder this lesson carefully. Why should we be surprised by Joseph Muscat’s recent comeback like the Taliban in Afghanistan? The Maltese have become blinded by a money-grabbing mentality and sadly, this includes our religious hierarchy to a greater or lesser extent.  Our Maltese Taliban are set to win because business is business.  Our golden calf is the financialized services which generate profits without producing anything.  This has become so precious for us Maltese that we would sell our very souls to keep this veneer of prosperity.

It is for this reason that 200 weeks following Daphne’s murder, nothing concrete has been achieved, or will ever be achieved until we practice penance and amendment of life.  Manuel Delia can take his books lamenting passport sales to the Archbishop’s Curia and pose for photos with the archbishop as much as he wants… and a few weeks later, that same bishop poses with the Minister responsible for passport sales and most probably a pro-choice Mayoress with delight, merely because the government will pay for the illumination of the Mosta basilica. 

Morally speaking, there appears to be little difference between some of our well-placed clerics and their radical Islamist counterparts based in Afghanistan.  It seems that money conquers all.

In truth, we are the Taliban.

There is one cleric who will not submit to the allure of mammon, namely yours truly, Father David Muscat.  My Lord is Christ Jesus, and so long as I persevere in His ways, I am protected by Our Lady’s mantle.

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