Until now, I thought “eco-terrorist” was an industry spin. However, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Hibatullah Akhundzada, has gone all green. It appears that when his followers are not throwing acid in the faces of girls seeking to be educated or blowing up mosques and markets, they should be planting trees. It is the Taliban version of Greenpeace without the peace part.
Akhundzada ordered both civilians and fighters to “plant one or several fruit or non-fruit trees for the beautification of Earth and the benefit of almighty Allah’s creations.” What is so striking of course if that the Taliban has left its beautifying mark on the country in the form of massacres and car bombings done in the name of Almighty Allah.
Akhundzada took over the organization in May and insisted that “[t]ree plantation plays an important role in environmental protection, economic development and beautification of earth . . . Planting trees and agriculture are considered actions which hold both worldly good and benefit as well as immense rewards in the hereafter.”
By the way, before this message, the Taliban’s most concerted horticultural efforts were directed at growing opium as part of its huge narcotics operation — a source of money that does not appear to trouble their clerics.