|“||There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.||„|
|~ The shahada; the Taliban's motto.|
The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان, ṭālibān "students") are a Islamic fundamentalist jihadist terrorist organization based in Afghanistan. Founded in 1994 by former mujahideen commander Mohammed Omar in the aftermath of the Soviet-Afghan War, the Taliban have been waging an on-again, off-again insurgency in the country since then to become the primary governing power in Afghanistan.
They were successful in 1996 in becoming the principal governing body in Afghanistan, shortly after kidnapping, torturing, and brutally murdering former President of Afghanistan Mohammad Najibullah. Known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (a name that the group is still known by), the Taliban remained in power for five years, establishing themselves as a totalitarian regime that enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia Law. Under its rule, the people of Afghanistan suffered numerous severe human rights abuses. Women and girls were forbidden from getting jobs or attending school, massive taxes were imposed on corporations, which would be punished if they weren't paid, severe corporal or capital punishment, such as death by stoning, was carried out against those who didn't abide by their fundamentalist beliefs, and many more.
The Taliban were overthrown by a U.S.-lead NATO coalition in 2001 following the beginning of the War in Afghanistan. Despite this, they have continued to wage war against American forces the Middle East as part of the ongoing War on Terror. Recently, the Taliban has attempted to negotiate peace with Afghanistan and NATO, but as of November 2020 attacks continue despite these efforts.
The Taliban's ideology has been described as an "innovative form of sharia combining Pashtun tribal codes," or Pashtunwali, with radical Deobandi interpretations of Islam favored by JUI and its splinter groups. Also contributing to the mix was the militant Islamism and extremist jihadism of Osama bin Laden Their ideology was a departure from the Islamism of the anti-Soviet mujahideen rulers they replaced who tended to be mystical Sufis, traditionalists, or radical Islamism inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to journalist Ahmed Rashid, at least in the first years of their rule, the Taliban adopted Deobandi and Islamist anti-nationalist beliefs, and opposed "tribal and feudal structures," eliminating traditional tribal or feudal leaders from leadership roles.
The Taliban strictly enforced their ideology in major cities like Herat, Kabul, and Kandahar. But in rural areas the Taliban had little direct control, and promoted village jirgas, so it did not enforce its ideology as stringently in rural areas
The Taliban regime interpreted the sharia law as to forbid pork, alcohol, music, many types of consumer technology such as television, filming and the Internet as well as most forms of art such as paintings or photography, and female participation in sport. Men were forbidden to shave their beards, and required to wear a head covering.
The Taliban also carried out ethnic cleansing of the Hazara peoples in Afghanistan while they were in power, leaving an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 dead.
The Taliban emphasized dreams as a means of revelation.
Like Wahhabi and other Deobandis, the Taliban do not consider Shiites to be Muslims. The Shia in Afghanistan consist mostly of the Hazara ethnic group which totaled almost 10% of Afghanistan's population.
The Taliban were averse to debating doctrine with other Muslims. "The Taliban did not allow even Muslim reporters to question [their] edicts or to discuss interpretations of the Qur'an.
The Taliban frequently used the pre-Islamic Pashtun tribal code, Pashtunwali, in deciding certain social matters. Such is the case with the Pashtun practice of dividing inheritances equally among sons, even though the Qur'an clearly states that women are to receive one-half a man's share.
According to Ali A. Jalali and Lester Grau, the Taliban "received extensive support from Pashtuns across the country who thought that the movement might restore their national dominance. Even Pashtun intellectuals in the West, who differed with the Taliban on many issues, expressed support for the movement on purely ethnic grounds.