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About the Taliban

In: People

Submitted By jazzychef79
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Since 1996, the Taliban has created an environment of terror and disorder within the country of Afghanistan. Although terrorists within Afghanistan and of the Islam religion believe that they are justified in their actions, it is made clearly apparent that Terrorism must be stopped altogether. Terrorism is translated to mean ‘army in the shadows’ and is defined as the threat or use of violence to win certain rewards or goals (, 2010). The earliest known Terrorist organization similar to those of today was the Zealots of Judea, formed when fanatics of the Jewish faith revolted against the of the Roman oppression. They carried on an underground campaign wherein they assassinated Roman occupation forces and Jews that they believed had collaborated with the Romans. However, the first time that the word ‘terrorism’ was used was during the French Revolution which is referred to as the ‘Reign of terror’. During this time the Jacobins who ruled with violence at that time, would sometimes refer to themselves as ‘terrorists’ ( Since then, there have been other leaders and people seeking power using terrorism as a weapon. These include the Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler, a man responsible for the murder of over 6 million people.
The Taliban itself took control of Afghanistan in 1996 and were in power until 2001. During this time however, they were not accepted by the world’s community because their policies were considered intolerable, primarily regarding their treatment of women and their support of terrorism. They were removed from power in 2001 by America when they refused to give up Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who they were protecting after the 9/11 attacks (for which they were responsible). The members of the Taliban were one of the mujahidin (‘holy warriors’ or ‘freedom fighters’) groups that formed during the War against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, led by a man by the name of Mullah Muhammad Omar. During their time in power they put heavy restrictions on women, treating them more like objects than human beings. The Taliban also closely supported terrorism, as they allowed terrorist organizations to run training camps in their territory and from 1994 until just after the September 11 attacks, provided refuge and funding for Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda organization. Though they were so strict on the people of Afghanistan, the Taliban however profited from smuggling operations (mostly electronics) and through the cultivation of opium. Many people have thought the main reason for Terrorism in the country of Afghanistan is because of the Islam religion. It must be clarified that this is not the view of the Afghan people themselves, but of the Al-Qaeda who believe, as Bin Laden, does that the term ‘Jihad’ as it is used in the Qur’an, is synonymous with ‘holy war’, implying that Muslim’s are “to engage in a religiously sanctioned battle against Americans and other Western peoples” (Islam, Lauri S. Friedman, 2008). However, the more conservative followers of this religion believe something very different. According to this group, “Islam is the religion of moderation and tolerance that abhors the terrorists who kill innocents in Islam’s name, even as Islam is innocent of such crimes” (Friedman, 2008). In addition to their religion it is debated whether the Muslim afterlife also inspires certain Muslims to become terrorists. Suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam, but martyrdom is highly encouraged and believed to be richly rewarded. However, as reporter Marilyn Karfeld says, “If suicide bombers were motivated solely to become martyrs and go to heaven, they would stand in front of Israeli tanks” (Friedman, 2008).
Afghanistan’s history does not help the problem either. Since the 1200’s, Afghanistan has had no peace. Starting with the Mongolian invasion, war after war has followed. The Soviet invasion in 1979 led to more war when many groups of mujahedeen warriors tried to throw them from power, and finally the Taliban succeeded. For the people of Afghanistan, this is the only life that they know and it has led to the attitude of violence and thus terrorism being normal and justified.
As a result of all of these factors, Afghanistan is a country with a poor economy, a high unemployment rate and the people in it live every day with the threat of war and violence. Although the Taliban has been removed from power and America has intervened in Afghanistan, they still continue to exist, hiding away in secret being supported mostly by Pakistan. Despite America’s efforts, the Afghan economy is still suffering and there is still much violence; much of it caused by the fact that it is very difficult to tell who is a member of the Taliban since they dress the same way as everyone else and can blend right into the Afghan community. The Taliban is not the only terrorist group contributing to the problem. Al-Qaeda, meaning ‘the base’ are very closely related to the Taliban and very active in their acts of violence. Speaking after the 9/11 attacks, Al-Qaeda leader, Bin Laden said, “On blessed Tuesday September 11, 2001….. They launched their attacks with their planes in an unparalleled and magnificent feat of valor, unmatched by any humankind before them”. So through the affects it has had on Afghanistan and the entire world it is made clearly apparent that Terrorism must be stopped altogether. Afghanistan is located in South-Central Asia and shares a border with Pakistan. This is significant because of Afghanistan’s close relationship with Pakistan. Up until the 9/11 attacks, Pakistan provided both military and financial assistance to the Taliban. Many of the Taliban leaders were educated in refugee camps in Pakistan, having fled there for safety during the more violent times. More than that, many of the Taliban’s members came from Pakistan or had lived there for a time. Because of the two countries nearness, they shared multiple trade and economic ties on top of similar history, religion, culture, linguistic and ethnic ties. Recently, a Taliban cave network was found in Pakistan. It consisted of 156 caves carved into sheer rock. It was discovered that it served as a militant headquarters and a defensive complex used for training until troops overran the compound. Members of the Taliban know the mountains well, as these caves show, using them for protection, having the ability to disappear if they are being pursued (, 2010). Afghanistan’s natural resources also contribute, especially concerning the Opium cultivation. Narcotics trafficking is supporting the Taliban. This problem is incredibly momentous considering that Afghanistan provides 90% of the World’s opium supply, plus most of the heroin to European countries (, 2010). The poverty within Afghanistan is also due to poor land. Because farmers are poor to begin with, they cannot afford good seed, higher yielding varieties of seed or fertilizers or pesticides that can help the land and the value of the crop. It is often difficult then for farmers to support themselves and they must often look to other jobs on the side ( The people of the Islamic faith believe that the country of Israel should belong to them since it has spiritual significance in the way they worship. This was the place, they believe, where Muhammad rose up to heaven ( America supports and provides protection for Israel which is part of the reason for the terrorist’s hatred for America. The fact that America has taken control of their country makes terrorists hate them even more. The terrorists are now saying it is America who is practicing terrorism because they have no right to be taking control over their country. Without a trading relationship with America as a result; combined with their poverty, dry land, and war-torn state, Afghanistan must then look to other countries for support and resources. Again the Taliban’s illegal activities come into effect since opium sales and smuggling operations fund the Taliban. In a country where even the government was corrupted, and a culture of violence is promoted, it is hard to avoid problems. Since the Taliban’s fall from power, America has tried to find a way to stop them, but since the Taliban still receive support in Pakistan, it is very difficult to control and capture them if they can cross over the border. With the Taliban funding itself through the drug trade, more people are affected. With the availability of drugs comes the temptation to use them, so as a result many lives have been corrupted. The same is true about the religion Islam; though Afghanistan is supposed to be a religious country, the Taliban has taken religion and twisted it, which has made many Afghan people reject their religion. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s hatred for America eventually led to the bombing of the World trade center which shocked the entire world. Talking about it later, Osama Bin Laden says, “We swore that America wouldn’t live in security until we live it truly in Palestine. This showed the reality of America, which puts Israel’s interests above its own people’s interest. America won’t get out of this crisis until it gets out of the Arabian Peninsula and until it stops its support of Israel” (Jamieson, 2008). Terrorists say now that these attacks will continue until America draws out of Israel. Now, because of America’s troop presence in Afghanistan, there is a push to attack them. The Taliban threatens another attack since America has refused to give up its protection of Israel. As to the belief that Americans are the ‘real’ terrorists, former President George Bush has said, “We do not create terrorism by fighting terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them.” (Jamieson, 2008). The reason that America has spent millions of dollars and sent thousands of troops into Afghanistan to help to reduce the violence is also an effect resulting from the destructive work of the Taliban.
As a result of terrorism within Afghanistan, it has become a violent and war-torn country, with constant struggles and fighting between the Taliban and American troops. The Afghan people are filled with hatred and fear, with an absence of peace and stability in the country’s economy. The people no longer know who they should trust. The children in this country have grown up with violence so in turn they become violent. The Taliban’s violence has been directed also at women, having a tight control on them and turning Afghanistan into a very male dominated culture with great inequality between the sexes. In fact, women are hardly treated like people but rather like objects. The women of Afghanistan are forced to wear long burqas in the hot weather, banned them from going for a walk, working outside of the home, going to school, leaving the home without a male relative or even wearing nail polish (,2007). It is clear that they are not given any of the rights prescribed to men, are controlled and told what to do in every area of their lives. Reports of rape and abuse are incredibly common and are very rarely dealt with by Afghanistan police. In fact, the Afghan government has taken away a women’s right to say no to sexual intercourse (, 2010).
The Islamic religion, as a result of this has also become twisted and distorted. Serious unemployment and poverty has resulted with the rise of the Taliban, dropping the already low employment rates. The money that was brought in during the Taliban’s leadership was used to fund the Taliban rather than improve and provide for the needs of the people. Though the employment rates have risen since the fall of the Taliban, unemployment is still a significant problem within Afghanistan. The Taliban has also not put much effort at all towards dealing with the civil way so as a result this still continues today. Not only are people in Afghanistan affected, but around the world (though primarily in America) people grieve the loss of the 3,000 loved ones who died as results of the September 11 attacks. Many people are also scared of more attacks, as expressed by Parvez Ahmed, “Today, we all live in fear of terrorism. Equating terrorism with Islam makes the mainstream Muslim community doubly vulnerable” (Friedman, 2008). After Afghanistan refused to give up Bin Laden and other Al-Qaeda members, subsequent bombing by America took place resulting in the death of 3,500 civilians which adds greatly to the Afghan’s distrust of American’s. The whole 9/11 ordeal led to increased security in many areas; as a result airports have now tightened their security, having planned to use full body and pat down searches as regular routines. Organizations have formed to prevent terrorism. Bomb squads have been created and people are generally more careful. This means also that the Muslim people have been stereotyped and thought of with great skepticism. Governments have had to change their definition of human right as they have a responsibility to protect the people but not in a way that undermines fundamental human rights standards (, 2009). Since 2001 many solutions have been presented regarding terrorism in general and in piecing Afghanistan back together. Recently the U.S. has been thinking about ‘talking to the Terrorists’. General Davis Petreus supports talks with what he calls ‘reconcilable elements’ within the Taliban. He talks of the way they did this in the ‘Sunni Awakening’ which involved America paying the Iraqi’s who were attacking the U.S. after they invaded their country in 2003, to instead fight against Al-Qaeda and their allies(, 2010). However, it seems that although some say this is the only way to find peace, this could not happen without a compromise. The first demand would be that America must first stop protecting Israel and draw their troops from Afghanistan. At the present, NATO ( North Atlantic Treaty Organization) have 34,000 troops in Afghanistan but many have said that in order for them to be effective, more are needed and they must commit to helping Afghanistan in the long term. This can be done by ensuring stability and continued development, as well as safety, for the Afghan people from the Taliban. Cooperation must be gained from Iran and India and borders must be stabilized to keep militants from entering Afghanistan. Terrorism has been affecting Afghanistan and the World for centuries and it is time that rigorous measures are taken to put an end to it and solve the problem of violence for political cause throughout the World. With much work it is still possible to overcome the clutches of the Taliban, free the Afghan people of their hate and violence, and bring God into the land of Afghanistan. In a way, defeating terrorism is not as much that which we do but the attitude with which we do it; in the words of Brian. M. Jenkins, U.S. terrorism expert, “Our most effective defense against terrorism will not come from surveillance, concrete barriers, metal detectors, or new laws. It will come from our own virtue, our courage, our continued dedication to the ideals of a free society” (Jamieson, pg. 25).

Works Cited
Jamieson, Alison. “Can the War on Terrorism Be Won?” Mankato, Minn.: Arcturus, 2009.
Friedman, Lauri S. “Islam”. Detroit: Greenhaven, 2006.
Gannon, Kathy. “I Is for Infidel: from Holy War to Holy Terror: 18 Years inside Afghanistan”. New York: Public Affairs, 2005.
"Afghanistan History." Afghanistan Government. Web. 01 May 2010. .
"Early History of Terrorism." Terrorism Research - What Is Terrorism? Web. 17 May 2010. .
September, In. "The Taliban —" Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free Online Reference, Research & Homework Help. — Web. 17 May 2010. .
"Taliban Cave Network Found in Pakistan - Telegraph." News, Business, Sport, the Daily Telegraph Newspaper, Sunday Telegraph - Telegraph. Web. 01 May 2010. .
"Afghanistan Legalizes Rape." Care2 - Largest Online Community for Healthy and Green Living, Human Rights and Animal Welfare. Web. 17 May 2010. .
"U.S. General: Israel-Palestinian Conflict Foments Anti-U.S. Sentiment - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News." Israel News - Haaretz Israeli News Source. Web. 18 May 2010. .
"BBC News - Obama to Send 30,000 More US Troops to Afghanistan." BBC NEWS | News Front Page. Web. 18 May 2010. .
September, In. "The Taliban —" Infoplease: Encyclopedia, Almanac, Atlas, Biographies, Dictionary, Thesaurus. Free Online Reference, Research & Homework Help. — Web. 30 Apr. 2010. .
"The Taliban in Afghanistan." Council on Foreign Relations. Web. 01 May 2010. .
War, The Taliban. "The Taliban: War, Religion and the ..." Google Books. Web. 30 Apr. 2010.

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...noses. Pashtuns, are a different ethnic minority and they are accepted. Pashtuns dislike Hazaras and cause many grief to them. Hazaras are sunni Muslim, as Pashtun’s are shia Muslim. They claim different features and speak different languages. Later, in the 1980’s when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, many fled to Pakistan. Later in the 1990’s, a group called Taliban’s began making severe changes in Afghanistan making living their more difficult than ever and harsh. After the 9/11 attack, they were over thrown but still at risk. The story begins with Amir living in San Francisco, California in 2001. He receives a phone call from, Rahim Khan, an old friend of his father’s. He begins reminiscing about his life in his country with Hassan and Baba, his father. Rahim asks Amir to come to Pakistan for he is sick and...

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