Understanding the Taliban and its Origin

Afghanistan on world-map
Afghanistan location on world map. (Representative Image)

Taliban, a word derived from the Pashto language that means students or seekers, today is synonymous with an insurgent terror group that has taken control of Afghanistan.

Let us know in this article: Where did the group come from? What do they want, and what are their demands?

The origin of the Taliban

The 1980s saw Afghan Mujahideen’s fight against the Soviet government that had occupied Afghanistan. The US-funded group was in a cold war with the Soviets. The group was first formed in Pakistan. After the Soviets backed away from Afghanistan, the Taliban soon began its rise to power in 1994. Leaders among the high ranks of Afghan Mujahideen started to fight for power, leading to the Taliban forming total control over the country.

Their first conquest was the seize of Afghanistan’s second-biggest city, Kandahar. They formed headquarters in Kandahar and began their militant rule. In 1996 they publically hanged president Najibullah Ahmadazi. Soon enough, Afghanistan had turned into a theocratic Islamic nation with rigid rules and strict interpretations of the Quran. However, there is more to the group than what meets the eye.

Women under the rule of the Taliban

Even in tough times, women always end up with the shorter end of the deal. Under the rule of the Taliban, from 1996 to 2001, women were denied education. They weren’t allowed to work outside their homes or even leave their houses without a male relative. In addition, women were forced to wear burqas at all times. Failing to do so resulted in women being beaten or in public executions. However, the situation wasn’t the same, as women were allowed to study in some parts of the country. Women could also become gynaecologists in fewer regions.

Acts of violence against minorities

Under the reign of the Taliban, other religions faced hardships and troubles. Everything was regulated and controlled according to the wishes of the Taliban, and people couldn’t exercise their freedom of choice.

Females weren’t allowed to participate in any outdoor activities. In addition, games, music, television shows, and other art forms were banned for recreational purposes.

In 2001, the Taliban destroyed various statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan province that led to a lot of international dissent and contempt.

The fall of the Taliban lead Afghanistan

In 1999, the UN raised worries against the group over its connections and support of Al-Qaeda, a militant terrorist group.

In 2001, Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the harrowing 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda, was rumoured to be in hiding with the support of the Taliban.

On October 7th 2011, the USA invaded Afghanistan over the Taliban’s refusal of giving up Osama bin Laden.

The group was dismantled for some time when then-president George Bush refused to negotiate.

Under the invasion of the USA, the world witnessed a transformation as Afghanistan tried to regain its strength and lost culture. The nation once again became open to the world women were again allowed to attend schools and colleges. As a result, women received better opportunities and became journalists, doctors and engineers. In addition, men and women participated in the Olympics and other international events.

Now that the USA is dismantling its base in Afghanistan and backing its troops, the Taliban has regained control over the nation within two weeks.

A religious insurgency?

To call the Taliban a group motivated by religious ideals is a misconception. The movement first began as a group against the communist leaders and the Soviets. However, with time, the group’s objectives may have changed. For years, the Taliban has been interpreted as a group of orthodox Islamic men. Their main motive might be to achieve Sharia law in Afghanistan, but their methods have been up to debate even within the group.