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Taliban

Taliban

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Taliban is a radically militant Islamic movement that controlled some 90 percent of Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. The Taliban emerged from their base in Kandahar in southwestern Afghanistan in reaction to the lawlessness caused by infighting between rival mujahideen forces in the wake of the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. The Talibans declared aims included the restoration of peace, rigid enforcement of Islamic law, disarming the population, and defending the Islamic character of Afghanistan.

In 1994 the Taliban, under the leadership of Mullah Mohammed Omar, began its territorial conquest with the seizure of the Afghan border post of Spin Boldak and subsequent takeover of the city of Kandahar. The fall of Kandahar provided the Taliban with a nucleus of fighters as thousands of Afghan refugees, mostly students at madrassas (Islamic religion schools) near the Afghan-Pakistani border, joined the movement. The Talibans swift military successes launched a surprising advance that culminated in the capture of the Afghan capital, Kabul, in 1996.

The Taliban set out to create the worlds most pure Islamic regime by introducing a disturbing and deeply revolutionary form of Muslim culture that came at a tremendous cost to human freedom. Men were ordered to keep their beards to a specific length, and subjected to punishment for defiance. Members of minority groups wore labels to distinguish them as non-Muslims, a measure the Taliban argued was to protect them from religious police enforcing Islamic law. Frivolities such as television, the Internet, music, and photography were outlawed. Punishments including amputation of the hands of thieves and the stoning to death of women convicted of adultery, considered severe by European standards, were common under the Taliban.

It was the Talibans anti-woman agenda, however, that caused mounting concern around the world. Under the Taliban women were forbidden to work outside the home, were compelled to wear a head-to-toe covering known as a burka, and could not leave the home without a male guardian. Such issues, along with restrictions on womens access to health and education, caused resentments among ordinary Afghans and drew the ire of the international community. To the Taliban, however, the restrictions served to preserve the honor and dignity of women who had previously been preyed upon.

Despite their strict beliefs and anti-drug profile, the Taliban could not resist using opium to fund its activities, underlining the movements poor understanding and interpretation of Islamic law. Though the Taliban leaders led an austere life in contrast to the ostentatious lifestyle of the mujahideen warlords, their economic policy was left in the hands of chance and fate, culminating in Afghanistans slide into economic backwardness.

Only three countries, the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, established diplomatic ties with the Taliban government. Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia distinguished themselves among foreign powers by the scale of their efforts and support for the regime. Although it is officially denied, there is widespread agreement that the Taliban gained crucial early support from the Pakistani army and intelligence services, especially in helping make the Taliban a highly effective military force. Pakistan, influenced by its geopolitical and economic interests, remained a strong diplomatic and economic lifeline for the regime.

In Saudi Arabia the Talibans push for a pristine Islamic society was in accord with the Saudis strict form of Wahhabi theology and law. Saudi Arabia bankrolled the madrassas in Pakistan that provided an ideological guide for the Taliban. A great deal of uncertainty remains about the extent of Saudi Arabias assistance to the Taliban but the consensus appears to be that their aid was largely financial.

The Taliban enjoyed a cozy relationship with Al-Qaeda and found in the group a useful ally, especially in the significant boost Al-Qaeda provided to the Talibans military campaigns against the Northern Alliance. Al-Qaeda enjoyed a comfortable refuge in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.

The Taliban made giant strides in uniting the country but ultimately was unable to end the civil war. The strongest opposition to the Taliban came from the Northern Alliance, who controlled the northeast region of Afghanistan. This group backed the U.S.-led coalition that ousted the Taliban from power in 2001.

SEE ALSO Al-Qaeda; Arabs; Fundamentalism, Islamic; Government; Islam, Shia and Sunni; Muslims; Radicalism; Sexism; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Marsden, Peter. 1998. The Taliban: War, Religion, and the New Order in Afghanistan. London: Zed Books.

Rashid, Ahmed. 2002. Taliban: Islam, Oil, and the New Great Game in Central Asia. New ed. London: Tauris.

Rubin, Michael. 2002. Who Is Responsible for the Taliban? Middle East Review of International Affairs 6 (1). http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue1/jv6n1a1.html.

Charles Ebere

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"Taliban." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Taliban

TALIBAN

Islamic fundamentalist group in Afghanistan.

The Taliban appeared in Afghanistan in late 1994. In September 1996 they took Kabul and hanged Najibullah, Afghanistan's Soviet-sponsored president. Subsequently, they banned female access to education and employment, and imposed draconian Islamic laws that called for severe punishments, including the stoning to death of proven adulterers and the amputating of thieves' hands and feet. The Taliban's Islamic fundamentalism was a kind of transnational street force that had the potential to topple established governments through agitation, or to terrorize even much larger nations. Increasingly, fear of Islamic fundamentalism replaced the old dread of communism in the United States.

The term taliban is derived from the Persian and Pashtun plural of the Arabic word talib ("seeker of knowledge"). Before 1947, Afghan religious students studied in India, and when it was partitioned, they went to Pakistan. Their favorite madrasa in India was the Dar al-Ulum (House of Sciences) of the University of Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, which was established in 1862. It was known for its anti-Western orientation and stood for the independence of a united India. The Deoband Dar al-Ulum trained young, working- and lower-middle-class Muslims, who received a traditional religious education and joined the ranks of "big" and "small" mullahs in masajid (mosques).


Intellectually, the Taliban are heirs to the traditional affinity between the Deoband Dar al-Ulum and the Afghan ulama (Islamic scholars). After 1947, ulama in Pakistan established Houses of Science (Diyar al-Ulum) in all the provinces of Pakistan. The number of graduates of different levels of education from these institutions, especially from 1982 to 1987, was impressive. The Taliban leaders were the product of these theological seminaries. Their education is frozen in time: All Sunni theological institutions' curricula are based upon the curriculum established by the eighteenth-century scholar Mullah Nizamud-Din, who flourished during the period of Aurangzeb (d. 1707). This curriculum comprises:


  1. Arabic grammar;
  2. syntax;
  3. rhetoric;
  4. philosophy of logic;
  5. dialectical theology (ilm al-kalam) ;
  6. Qurʾanic exegesis (tafsir) ;
  7. Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) ;
  8. roots of Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) ;
  9. accounts of sayings and deeds by the Prophet and immediate followers (hadith) ; and
  10. some mathematics.

The Taliban's educational system emphasized taqlid, the following of traditional Islam, which neglected modern scientific training. They divided the world into Dar al-Islam (the Muslim states, especially Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan, which had recognized their rule) and Dar al-Harb (the non-Muslim states, which were projected as the enemies of Islam and Muslims). This bifurcation of the world into external enemies and permanent friends generated an exceptionally intolerant mind-set, which distinguished the Taliban's educational system.

The Taliban's political structure was based, according to them, on that of the four "rightly guided" caliphs (632662) who succeeded the prophet Muhammad. The Taliban were "committed to establishing an exemplary Islamic rule" for the world, and especially for the Muslim states. Emulating the early caliphate, the Taliban created a supreme council (Majles al-Shura) of twenty individuals. Almost 1,500 Sunni ulama who represented various ethnic tribes elected young Mullah Muhammad Omar amir al-muʾminin ("commander of the faithful"). The majority of the council members were Pashtuns; fourteen of them had suffered corporeal loss while fighting against the Soviet Union (Mullah Omar, for example, lost an eye). Because of the Pashtun ethnic origin of the Taliban, their jihad became a struggle for power against the Tajiks in the Panjsher Valley and the Uzbeks in the north.

During the 1980s, Osama bin Ladin established guerrilla warfare bases in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, bin Ladin turned his attention to the United States. On 11 September 2001 his terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. In retaliation, the United States invaded Afghanistan, eliminated the Taliban's rule, and destroyed bin Ladin's terror infrastructure.

see also afghanistan; bin ladin, osama; dar al-ulum; najibullah; omar, muhammad (mullah); sunni islam.


Bibliography

Kamal, Matinuddin. The Taliban Phenomenon: Afghanistan, 19941997. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Marsden, Peter. The Taliban: War, Religion, and the New Order in Afghanistan. London: Zed Books, 1998.

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000.

hafeez malik

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Malik, Hafeez. "Taliban." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Malik, Hafeez. "Taliban." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (September 29, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424602630.html

Malik, Hafeez. "Taliban." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. 2004. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3424602630.html

Taliban

Taliban or Taleban (tälēbän´, –lə–), Islamic fundamentalist militia of Afghanistan and later Pakistan, originally consisting mainly of Sunni Pashtun religious students from Afghanistan who were educated and trained in Pakistan. The Taliban emerged as a significant force in Afghanistan in 1994 when they were assigned by Pakistan to protect a convoy in Afghanistan, which marked the beginning of a long-term alliance between the group and Pakistani security forces. The Taliban subsequently won control of Kandahar, and by 1996 they had gained control over much of Afghanistan, including Kabul, either by force or through forming alliances with other mujahidin.

The Taliban established a government headed by Mullah Muhammad Omar, the group's spiritual leader (and a military leader as well) until his death c.2013. Although the civil war continued, mainly with the Northern Alliance in N Afghanistan, Taliban rule ended much of the factional fighting and corrupt rule that had afflicted Afghanistan after the collapse in 1992 of the Soviet-aligned government. The Taliban also rigidly enforced puritannical laws that were influenced by Wahhabi Islam and Afghan tribal customs, and provided a refuge for Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda and similar Islamic militant groups. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that Al Qaeda launched against the United States, the United States retaliated against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, providing support for a Northern Alliance offensive against the Taliban that led to their collapse and the entry of U.S. forces into Afghanistan. By Dec., 2001, the Taliban had surrendered their last urban stronghold, Kandahar, and they and Al Qaeda retreated into the mountains along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border or dispersed among the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan.

The Taliban subsequently survived several U.S. and NATO campaigns intended to eliminate them as a significant guerrilla force. Aided by the renewed warlordism and corruption, by tribal Pashtun ties, and by a largely moribund Afghan economy, they reestablished training camps in Pakistan, mainly in North and South Waziristan and Baluchistan, and continued to draw students from religious schools there; they also were widely believed to receive support from Pakistan's security forces, despite denials by Pakistan.

By 2003 the Taliban were again mounting ongoing guerrilla attacks in Afghanistan, mainly against government supporters and forces, school teachers, and foreign troops and aid workers; they used suicide-bomber attacks. Several times the Taliban have gained control of S Afghanistan districts and towns in larger operations, though by 2014 the Taliban were less successful in battle and controlled only a few districts. They had greater success against Afghan forces after the withdrawal in 2014 of foreign combat troops, mounting a number of successful attacks, most notably at Kunduz in N Afghanistan in 2015, but could not always hold territory they had won. Since 2010 the Taliban have increasingly come to resemble a criminal organization in their dependence and focus on extortion, opium trafficking, illegal mining, and the like.

The Taliban's presence in Pakistan has led to the growth of a so-called Pakistani Taliban as well. Drawn mainly from Pakistan's ethnic Pashtuns and consisting of a number of loosely allied militias who also have split into factions at times, they have become an important militant force based primarily in Waziristan but with operations in other areas, seeking to establish a rigid, extremely conservative form of Islamic law and fighting at times with government troops. The Pakistani government has accused members of the Pakistani Taliban of assassinating (2007) Benazir Bhutto. In 2009 the Pakistani military conducted major offensives again the Taliban in Swat and South Waziristan. The Pakistani Taliban are believed to have been involved in plotting the 2010 attempted bombing of Times Square, New York City, and have trained foreign Islamists. A Pakistani government offense was mounted again the group in North Waziristan in 2014, leading to murderous revenge attack against a Peshawar school. Also in Pakistan are the groups known as Punjabi Taliban; these draw their membership mainly from the Sunnis of Punjab prov.

See studies by A. Rashid (rev. ed. 2010) and P. Bergen and K. Tiedemann (2013).

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Taliban

Taliban Radical Sunni political movement in Afghanistan. In 1996, from their headquarters in Kandahar, sw Afghanistan, Taliban militia launched themselves on Afghan society, vowing to spread Sharia (Islamic law) throughout the country. They soon captured Kabul. Taliban's philosophy is drawn from extremist theologians in Pakistan and other Arab countries.

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Taliban

Taliban a fundamentalist Muslim movement which in 1996 set up an Islamic state in Afghanistan. The Taliban were overthrown in 2001 by US-led forces and Afghan groups following the terrorist attacks of 11 September. The name comes from Pashto or Dari, from Persian, literally ‘students, seekers of knowledge’.

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ELIZABETH KNOWLES. "Taliban." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 2006. Encyclopedia.com. 29 Sep. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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