| Party Like It's 632|
|Turning towards Mecca|
The Taliban (طالبان, ṭālibān) are a politico-religious group of fundamentalist Sunni Muslims. Taliban actually means "Students" in Pashto.[note 1] Their numbers were comprised of Orphans displaced after the Soviet-Afghan war who had been taken in by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (a far-right political party in Pakistan) religious schools.
Most analysts see Taliban doctrines as being closely related to those of the Muslim sect of Wahhabism.
Life of Brian meets Der Untergang
The Taliban de facto governed most of Afghanistan from 1995 until 2001,[note 2] before being forcibly removed from power by a coalition of NATO forces (most notably the United States and the United Kingdom) and the Afghan Northern Alliance. Since their removal they have continued to fight against the occupying powers, especially in the Kandahar region.
While they were in power they took the opportunity to implement their fanatical interpretation of Sharia law to the full.
They were notorious for their treatment of women, who were not allowed to work or obtain education after the age of eight, and were then obliged to wear the burka when in public.If they wished to obtain further education they were obliged to attend underground schools - the punishment for which could include public flogging or execution.
In a fine example of the suffering which often follows from extremism, the ban on women working caused considerable hardship for many families as they lost a source of income, affecting especially those with only a female parent. Families often had no choice but to flee the country, beg their communities for support, or resort to prostitution.
In what was either a petulant snit fit at the international community's lack of support for their top-quality government, or boggle-eyed insecurity about another faith's ancient gods, the Taliban were also responsible for the total destruction of massive sixth century works of art representing the Buddha,[note 3] carved into the mountains of the Bamyan Valley. This event alone was enough to result in international solidarity of support when the U.S. offered to seek out and destroy the Taliban after 9/11, in retaliation for its chumminess with Osama bin Laden.
It is possible that the example of Afghanistan under the Taliban give us some idea of what might happen if the dominionist factions came to power in the USA.
Interesting, though not actually humorous, examples of Taliban law-making included:
- Banning kite flying
- Banning music
- Banning graven images
- Blowing up the Bamiyan Buddhas, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Mandating the growing of beards
- Persecuting ethnic minorities who were insufficiently hairy to grow beards
- Persecuting ethnic minorities, just because
- Forcing all Afghan Sikhs to wear yellow badges when out in public
- Cutting women's hands off for wearing nail varnish
- Making all soccer chants illegal except for "Allahu Akbar!"
- Banning brown paper
- Banning chess
- And, of course, some of the most backwards gender policies the world has ever seen