Tyrannical Taliban: Laws and Rules of Taliban in Afghanistan
Using tyrannical, arbitrary rule, the Taliban terrorized the millions who resided in the Middle East. The false promises of rule of law and stability imposed by the young Islamic and Pashtun fighters, ultimately lead to their replacement of the current government. The Islamic Militants’ violence against innocent civilians, and the war waged against their own country is evidence of their dictatorial rule. The Taliban ensured the people of Afghanistan would be provided with freedom and protection, but it soon turned into oppression and restriction.
The Taliban are known for being a religious and political military organization that enforces their propaganda upon the people of Afghanistan. To this day, they still wage war within the country. The Taliban infamously used the internet and different platforms of media to spread their ideas or constrict the thoughts of the people. In 2001, the Taliban “banned all types of media except their propaganda Voice of Sharia radio and very few newspapers and magazines run under strict state control” (HuffPost). By doing so, the Taliban were able to control what information the people of Afghanistan received, which in effect, restricted what they believed and influenced their thoughts. One of the ways they utilized media platforms was by creating a Twitter account with 65,000+ followers that goes by the name Zabihullah Mujahid (Ozy). Using that account, they created a supposedly fake person with the responsibility of responding to matters of the United States and its president. The Taliban would also claim that supporting the Karzai government (the current Afghan form of government), at any degree would be un-Islamic and support could be punished by the ‘holy warriors,’ or Taliban members (HuffPost). Usually, they implemented their propaganda through using shabnamah, pamphlets posted on the doors of public places such as mosques, schools, or houses, that contain threats such as cutting of their fingers or toes. In the end, the Taliban successfully delivered their propaganda which was portrayed when they became the new government in Afghanistan.
At the height of Taliban rule, the constant utilization of violence and oppression completely isolated Afghani civilians, giving the Taliban complete control. After a Taliban attack in Mirza Oleng, Zabiullah Amani, a spokesman for the Sar-e Pol governor stated, “Some were beheaded, some had their bodies pierced, and some were thrown off the mountain.” The Taliban arbitrarily terrorized innocent civilians using extreme brutality. From frequent bombings to meticulously planned assassinations, the people of Afghanistan were in continuous fear. The Taliban ruled under an extreme version of sharia law, including amputation, stoning, crucifixion, etc., which used the excuse of their Islamic religion to warrant cruelty. People were scared to leave their homes with the worry of being killed, leaving them unable to work and make an income. With economics and incomes at a stand still, and taxation from the Taliban, they were left without the resources to survive and to fight back. According to a BBC investigation in 2017, television, music, and cinema were banned. By banning the only resources Afghanis had to the world around them, they had no idea what brutalities were occurring, nor could they organize to retaliate. They were completely paralyzed giving them no options to stand up, and if they did, they were at the risk of being killed. If they rebelled, they were at a drastic disadvantage fighting against a military with modern technology and weaponry, when they were barely allowed the technology needed to live. The tyranny imposed by the Taliban left Afghani civilians powerless, immobilized by fear and authority.
As a result to the power the Taliban held in Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East, the amount of personal freedom was restricted greatly. Freedom was especially limited for Middle-Eastern women, and many of the activities or choices they held on a daily basis were stripped away from them. If women were not dressed accordingly to Taliban standards, or if they were not accompanied by a mahram, a close male relative, in public, the women would be publicly abused in methods of whipping, beating, or verbal abusing. Women were forced to wear a Burqa, which was a long veil that covered them from head to toe (Rawa). Even deciding what women could wear under the Burqa was controlled by the Taliban, they were not able to wear bright-colored clothes because it was thought to be sexually attractive, nor could they wear wide legged-pants (Rawa). Women were also limited to the medical treatment they received, due to the Taliban banning the ability for women to be treated by male doctors. The ramifications included womens’ deaths because of the failure to be treated for illnesses. Unfortunately, women were not the only people affected by the Taliban’s rule. For example, both genders were banned from listening to music and watching movies, videos, or television (Rawa). The Taliban only wanted Afghans to see or hear what they wanted to be true. The Taliban deemed many things as un-Islamic and by creating their own rules which everyone, especially women, must abide by, they limited much of the freedom and natural rights of the citizens of Afghanistan.
Due to the Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islamic law, the constrictions of education were extremely rigid. In many places under their jurisdiction, women were not permitted to attend school, while only few other places allowed education until children reached a certain age. Without proper education or literacy, they could not obtain jobs that require the knowledge taught in school, nor could they be intelligent enough to rebel. Women had to resort to attending underground schools in order to obtain an education, or even learn how to read. If caught, they faced many punishments including death, poisoning, and more. “‘It’s risky for the teachers and it’s risky for the students, but these underground schools show the thirst people have for education under the Taliban,’ said Shukriya Barakzai, a parliamentarian who ran her own underground school when the Taliban held power in Kabul in the 1990s” (Washington Post). When the Taliban was mostly removed, girls began to return to school, in small separated classes nonetheless. Many people felt as if the new government was not making this problem a top priority. According to Global Citizen, “The rights group’s new report says the government of Afghanistan has not devoted enough of its budget, most of which comes from international donors and foreign aid, to rebuilding its education system and ensuring that girls have equal access to education, calling it ‘a project that is half finished at best, and crumbling.’” Even today, girls are only allowed education until puberty and face cruel attacks, which include deadly acid attacks that have resulted in the loss of eyes and burned faces. The Taliban’s rule has left a lasting imprint on Afghan society that will not be undone for many years to come. The tension and turmoil caused by the Taliban will always remain, and education is still widely restricted.
During the Taliban’s rule, a war within the country was waged for a substantial period of time, inducing many troubles for the people of Afghanistan. War is extremely costly, especially for an extensive amount of time. This resulted in the economy taking a deep downwards turn, so people could no longer afford to take care of their families or themselves. “Due to 20 years of war, the sources of income for people and the socioeconomic fabric of the country have been damaged severely’, says Muhammad Naizmand, spokesman for Afghan Red Crescent, a branch of the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent in Kabul. With the economy spiraling downhill, people were struggling, and “These people don’t have any home, any food, any income” (Csmoniter). Not only did the Taliban drain Afghanistan of its economic resources, but they also prohibited the buying and selling of an opium poppy, a drug, which was a large source of income for the country. “The militia announced recently that virtually all the country’s growers had heeded the ban. That would mean that the source of the world’s heroin has abruptly shrunk by 75 percent” (Rferl). Although this was beneficial as it decreased the amount of drug use, it decreased the amount of businesses and jobs people depended on to make a living. The Taliban spent a considerable amount of money and time in an attempt to stay in control, misadvertently causing the downfall of Afghanistan’s economic structure.
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