The meaning of Taliban
The word ‘Taliban’ comes from the Arabic language which means ‘religious students’. Taliban was a group of people that came into power as a result of a protest against the government of Afghanistan (northern alliance) and the growing crime and corruption in the country. It is believed that the movement was headed by a person named Mullah Muhammad Omer and the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from the mid-90s to the beginning of the 21st century. Taliban came up with very strict laws which are believed to be followed in traditional Islam but still it is suspected that the traditional laws might not be as strict. A saving grace of the Taliban movement was the reduced crime in the country as many of the previously followed traditions were banned by the Taliban. Apart from the Islamic laws such as punishing a murderer by killing him or amputation of one hand or leg of a thief or stoning to death a woman who is in any contact with a nonblood relation man, the Taliban also put a ban on listening to music, playing cards, TV and also banned the women on moving out of their homes alone.
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It is further believed that the Taliban were not limited to Afghanistan. However, they ruled the country but were having many allies in the nearby countries. Pakistan in particular is infamous for providing the Taliban with all the arms and ammunition. Pakistan, sharing the border with Afghanistan from the Northwest, is considered to give refuge to many of the Taliban in its Northwest province of Baluchistan. In fact, when the Taliban was in the need of more soldiers, Taliban leader Mullah Omer requested one of the madarasha’s (schools) preachers to send his students to Afghanistan from Pakistan to help the Taliban accomplish their goals. The only two other countries notable for helping the Taliban were UAE and Saudi Arabia. The countries that helped the Taliban’s nemesis (Northern Alliance) include Iran, India, and the USA.
The demands of the Taliban were although pretty straightforward but many of them were actually violating human rights. The core concept of the Taliban was to protect the country from the increasing number of crimes. There is a conflict here as on one hand, the Taliban decided to reduce the crime rate by punishing the culprit while on the other hand it is believed that they cleared the way for the smuggling via clearing the border with Pakistan and the connecting routes. It is further believed that they received training from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan prior to their regime. The basic requirements of the Taliban included no education for women as they were not even allowed to move out of their homes. Further, the Taliban interpreted the Islamic laws in the strictest manner possible. They further offended other religions by destroying the Buddhas and asking the Hindus living in Afghanistan to put on a yellow badge and carry their identity papers with them.
Taliban was a bit more ahead of what Islam says, the religion firstly promotes peace and not violence. If the war is necessary for defense, then it should be against the opponents which was not the case with the Taliban as they were fighting within Afghanistan with their own people. The women are deeply respected in the religion of Islam whereas the Taliban used to beat the women badly and violating their human rights. Taliban also put restrictions on things that are not discussed in the Quran (Islamic holy book) such as no clapping in a sports event or kite flying or beard trimming. It is for such practices that the Taliban was protested by many other Muslim nations.
Rashid, A. (2000). Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Goodson, L. (2001). Afghanistan’s Endless War. University of Washington Press: (n.p.).
Maley, W. (1998). Fundamentalism Reborn: Afghanistan and the Taliban. C.Hurst & Co. (n.p.)