During their five-year rule until 2001, they banned women from their homes, banned music and most sports, and imposed harsh punishments on offenders. Prostitutes stoned in public; The hands of the thieves were severed. The perpetrators were all hanged to see.
Anything that did not fit their strict interpretation of Sharia was targeted. They blew away the centuries-old Bamiyan Buddhas because they saw the art of depicting the human image as an insult to God.
The Taliban come from a rural, deeply conservative organization – their view of religious purity and sacred cultural traditions is more than anything the modern world can offer: education, technology, discourse, the idea of will.
They believe that their success is God-given. Anas Haqqani, one of Afghanistan’s most powerful family, defeats CNN against Taliban 52 [countries]. It is not because of the world plan; It is due to the blessing of faith. ”
Running the country will have only one inspiration. Khalil Haqqani – Anas’ uncle and minister of the interim government – said at a tribal summit in Kabul: “The goal is to establish a pure Islamic government in Afghanistan, a government centered on justice and its laws. ”
The Taliban see themselves as the forerunner of a national uprising in which the Afghans overthrow an alien culture imposed by foreigners. Anas Haqqani told CNN that Western nations “should not try to impose its culture and thoughts / beliefs on Afghanistan.” This is good news for many Afghans who have valued independence for the past 20 years.
The Taliban really believe that they have defeated the United States – which gives great power to their ideology. Haqqani compared the Taliban to George Washington and told CNN he “liberated”[d] His homeland; He defeated the British; He got freedom from them. Here our elders are heroes to their nation … they have liberated their land; They have defended their religion and dignity.
Seeking popular roots
A Taliban spokesman said when the group visited Kabul on August 15, they may have surprised the world, but did not surprise themselves “because we have roots among the people”.
This is especially true in their southern hubs and small farmers. In cities, especially in Kabul, less. For all the corruption and relatives of US-backed governments in Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s health, wealth and education have been improved by almost every metric in the last 20 years of the Taliban’s rule. A vibrant independent media outlet expressed a wide range of opinions; Private universities grew. A generation of Afghans tasted freedom.
As they progressed from one province to another, the Taliban revealed the potential for a more tolerant rebirth. The word “inclusive” fell from the lips of their spokespersons; They were allowed to go home instead of killing several soldiers. They promised amnesty to all enemies.
On the day the Taliban entered Kabul, the Taliban’s proposed ambassador to the United Nations, Suhail Shaheen, promised CNN that women would be educated until university age.
And within days of them expelling the previous one There was a big show to talk to the government, former President Hamid Karzai and former CEO Abdullah Abdullah. There were tribal meetings in Kabul.
The truth seemed very different. Negotiations with Karzai and Abdullah evaporated. Their personal security is minimal. The Provisional Government consisted of senior hardliners. There are no women in government, no public position; The Ministry for Women became the Ministry for the Preservation of Charity.
The protests were suppressed very quickly – illegal unless destroyed by the Interior Ministry. Dozens of Afghan sports women walked out.
The Taliban made a security pledge – creating themselves in response to insecurity. Their latest release is “Security and Stability Across Afghanistan.”
Anas Haqqani asked eloquently about the many years of civil war: “Is it better to kill 200 people every day?”
Murders – and kidnappings
This is justified in the name of social peace. “Peace has now arrived – what the people of the world want,” Haqqani said. “100% peace has come, there is security, the thieves are gone, there is no ceasefire but the war is over.”
Thieves may be missing, but ISIS is not obvious. IS Coroner – who considers the Taliban to be a treacherous regime – has carried out attacks in Jalalabad, Kabul and Kunduz since the Taliban came to power – with the intention of showing that the Taliban cannot provide security and is ‘soft’ on minorities. As the attack on the Shia mosque in Kunduz last Friday, IS Coroner has no qualms. The Taliban’s reputation for bringing peace and security depends on their ability to disable IS – the group that has thwarted serious efforts to destroy it over the past five years.
They vowed to put an end to corruption, saying that the United States had “handed over control of power to big thieves and corrupt people, who were harassing sellers and farmers and collecting royalties.”
As for August’s bright promises, there is some “reconsideration”. Taliban spokesman Jabiullah Mujahid told CNN: “We have not yet decided on women’s issues or rights, but we are discussing them.” Different transportation and teaching arrangements are necessary, he said.
Simply put, their worldview is quite the opposite of that of Western democracies.
Anas Haqqani argued that the freedom that women have elsewhere is not real freedom, he told CNN: “Women are our mother, our sister and our daughter. The respect that women have in this country – no one in the world. Look – in the West you forced them to be servants.”
The military victory of the Taliban was so complete that they were not at all encouraged to compromise or negotiate with the Afghan war veterans. They also moved quickly to eliminate dissent from social activists, insurgents in the Panchsheer Valley, or Salafists who follow Islam differently from the Taliban.
But the group is not a single one. The lengthy internal debate over the formation of the government revealed differences of opinion, while tensions between pragmatic political leaders and ideological military commanders were being overcome by fierce militarists.
That alone can limit the leadership room that deals with women’s rights, elections and media freedom, even if they want to make a moderate gesture. In the past, some Taliban have turned to more extremist groups – and in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, ISIS is waiting for an opportunity to recruit dissidents if the Taliban reduce their fundamentalism.
The Taliban elite in Kabul have every opportunity to make a soft voice when challenged on these issues by foreign media and governments, while the truth for the people of Afghanistan is far from the eyes of the international community.
Two months after they entered the presidential palace, evidence suggests that Taliban 2.0, which runs Afghanistan as a Taliban 1.1, is not.