The Taliban are the group that govern Afghanistan. They say their aim is “to set up the world’s most pure Islamic state, banning frivolities like television, music, and cinema.” Today the Taliban control 90% of Afghanistan, but they started in 1994, by taking over just one town at a time.
The beginnings: Most people agree that the Taliban began in the early 1990’s. Refugees from the Afghan/Soviet war were living in Pakistan and went to Pashtun fundamentalist schools. The students called themselves “Taliban” which translates to “God’s students” in Arabic.
Most accounts claim that a religious leader -- Mullah Mohammed Omar -- lead a group of militant religious students through the Afghan countryside to rid it of the bandits and corrupt officials (left there after the Soviets pulled-out)
The Taliban students began attacking highway bandits and freed the countryside from crime. Then they forced the corrupt officials to leave and took over the towns. Little by little they gained control of almost all of Afghanistan.
Pakistan is the only country that recognizes the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Also Pakistan has provided much financial and military support to the Taliban. Because of this, many people argue that the Taliban weren’t students at all, but Afghan refugees funded and trained by Pakistan’s secret service in order to create safe trade routes to the Middle East.
The Organization: The Taliban is a complicated government with many levels of leadership. The following are just their top leaders: Taliban leaders pictures with Osama Bin Laden
Taliban Leaders, Ministers NAMEPOSITION Mullah Mohammad Omar Emir of Afghanistan Head of the Taliban Movement Mullah Mohammad Rabbani Chairman-Ruling Council Head-Council of Ministers Abdul Wakil Motawakil Minister of Foreign affairs Mullah Ubaidullah Akhund Minister of Defense Mullah Abdul Razaq Minister of Interior Affairs
Taliban Leaders, Ministers NAMEPOSITION Qari Ahmadullah Minister of Security Mullah Nooruddin Turabi Minister of Justice Qari Din Mohammad Minister of Planning Mullah Abbas Akhund Minister of Health Mullah Abdul Salam Haqqani Minister of Education Mullah Yar Mohammad Minister of Communication
Taliban Leaders, Ministers NAMEPOSITION Alhaj Mullah Mohammad Isa Akhund Minister of Mines and Industries Mawlawi Mohammadullah Mati’ Minister of Public Works Hafez Mohibullah Minister of Haj and Religious Affairs Mawlawi Abdul Raqib Minister of Repatriation Mullah Mohammad Jan Akhund Minister of Water and Electricity
Their laws Sharia, Islamic Law, is the basis for the Taliban’s rules and regulations. They have forced the citizens to live under a strict interpretation of the Sharia -- including public executions and amputations. Men are required to wear beards at least the length of a fist, and can be beaten or imprisoned otherwise.
The rest of the world is very concerned about the treatment of women under the Taliban’s laws. Under these laws girls are forbidden to go to school and women are banned to work outside of homes. Worse, women are forbidden to leave the house without a male relative.
Women have to wear a suffocating burqa or full-length covering with a net-like eye slot. If they walk too fast or make too much noise, they are beaten. The Taliban claim these laws "restore women's safety, dignity and freedom."
To root out “non-Islamic” influence, television, music, and the internet were outlawed. Also, any sign of pre-Islamic culture in Afghanistan has been wiped out. These Buddhist statues were blown-up last March.
What many people think the Taliban is: --The Taliban wants to make the whole world Islamic. --Osama Bin Laden is the leader of the Taliban. --The Taliban is the same as the Al Qaeda. --The Taliban are the terrorists.
The truth behind these misperceptions: --The Taliban only makes Afghanistan follow Islamic rules. It’s the Al Qaeda that wants to rid the world of “bad” western influences. --Osama is the leader of the Al Qaeda and is merely a guest of the Taliban regime.
--The Taliban and Al Qaeda are completely separate. The Taliban are the governing party of Afghanistan, while the Al Qaeda are a world-wide terrorist organization. --The Taliban claim they had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on the United States. They are not terrorists. They merely provide a place for terrorists to hide. Evidence shows that the Al Qaeda did it.
Taliban Photo Gallery
After the Taliban Bombed areas
Afghani women: begging “riding” in taxi (treated like luggage)
Waiting in food lines - like 40% of Kabul meeting secretly for school
Afghani men: Raised to fight