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History of the Taliban in Afghanistan

When the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the country was left in a political vacuum. The mujahadin (Islamic warriors) that fought the Soviets together split into factions based on ethnic and regional positions. Widespread poverty, corruption, and chaos gave rise to what is known as the Taliban or ôseeker of knowledgeö (Qureshi, 2003, 1). Far from being enlightened, Taliban members represent the most puritanical, restrictive and harshest group of Islamic fundamentalists.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in the late 1970s, children of Afghan refugees who fled the country were educated in religious schools in Pakistan by the religious party known as the Jamiat-ul-ulema-e-Islam. It is many of these children who as adults became attracted to and members of the Taliban. The strict interpretation of Islamic law is known as Wahabi and provides the most moderate interpretation of Sunni Islam. Having grown up with years of conflict, the Taliban culture views guns and violence as norms. The Taliban is also comprised of numerous Islamic fighters or mujahedin warriors. The Taliban gained support in the aftermath of the Soviet invasions and through military victory gained control of Kandahar and Kabul and most of Afghanistan except for the northern region. In 1994, a former mullah, Mohammad Omar, became the leader of the Taliban and rules it today.

The majority of Taliban members and their supports are Pushtuns who makeup nearly half of AfghanistanÆs population. The history of Afghanistan demonstrates that to rule the nation one needs the support of the Pushtuns. Since Afghanistan was created in 1747 ôall rulers of modern Afghanistan have been Pushtunsö (Qureshi, 2003, 1). The mujahedin and the Islamic fighters of the Taliban enjoyed the economic and military aid of the U.S. during the conflict with the Soviet Union. However, since the Soviet withdrawal, the Taliban has resorted to increasing terrorism and...

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History of the Taliban in Afghanistan. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:26, February 18, 2019, from