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In this article, we'll be looking at 10 Facts about the Taliban that people definitely want to know.
10. The Meaning Of The Name
I was surprised to learn that they call themselves "students" or sometimes "seekers," and that's the exact translation of the word Taliban from the Pashto language. A student is someone who's seeking knowledge. Now the singular form, "Talib," meaning student, is an adopted word from the Arabic language, using the Pashto plural ending in "an."
The group took its name from its membership which consists largely of students trained in Madrasahs, which are Islamic religious schools that had been established for Afghan refugees in the 1980s in Northern Pakistan.
9. Formation Of The Group
This political and religious faction emerged in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. To be more specific, in 1994, a man by the name of Mullah Mohammad Omar, a member of the Pashtun Tribe, formed a group of nearly 50 followers. Mullah Omar himself, became a Mujahideen commander. The term "Mujahideen or Mujahid," in a broad sense, means Muslims who fight on behalf of the faith or the Muslim community.
Now, Mullah Omar aimed to wage a war against the Soviets who were forced out of Afghanistan in the year 1989. Following the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the collapse of Afghanistan's communist regime, and the subsequent breakdown in civil order, the country fell into a civil war. And, Mullah Omar's followers were meant to fight the corruption and crime that prevailed in Afghanistan during the Civil War in the post-Soviet period.
8. Initial Promise
The movement promised to put Islamic values first and to battle the corruption that fueled all of the fighting. This mission quickly attracted new followers and the group was generally welcomed by the people. And these people, by the way, had lost belief in corrupt commanders and forces. Now, the group in 1996 established the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," making and enforcing laws based on their interpretation of the Quran.
7. Control Of Afghanistan
By late 1996, the movement had made progress in controlling a large part of the country; however, it would be very inaccurate to say that they controlled the entire country. In fact, in the north, where many of the Mujahideen commanders had occupied, there remained strongholds of resistance. And this resistance continued particularly among non-Pashtun ethnic groups like the Tajik, the Uzbek, and the Hazara.
And they resisted because they saw the Taliban as nothing more than a continuation of the traditional Pashtun dominance of the country. So, pretty much, they viewed them as a group that is just going to cause the same exact problems, but just under a different title. And by the year 2001, the movement controlled all but a small section of northern Afghanistan.
6. Role Of Women
The Taliban was founded on the ideology, stating that women should play only the most limited roles in society. And the last time they ruled, they barred women and girls from most jobs and going to school. From the years 1996 - 2001, girls above the age of 8 were banned from receiving an education. It has also been said that women will be allowed to work within the framework of Islam under the most recent regime, though.
Under the first regime however, women had to wear a burqa. They were also to be accompanied by male relatives outside of their homes. Now, in the most recent regime, it is said that women will be able to wear the hijab for safety and security in public. So, there's some modifications happening there in what the Taliban is saying - that women are going to experience, as well as society on a whole.
5. End Of The First Regime
We all know that there's huge controversy surrounding this, but it needs to be discussed. We will address this issue very tastefully in presenting the facts, free from personal opinion. After the attacks in September of 2001, United States President at the time, George W. Bush, vowed to win the war against terrorism.
From there, President George W. Bush signed into law, a "Joint Resolution," and this authorized the use of force against anyone responsible for attacking the United States on September 11, 2001. This Joint Resolution was later cited by the Bush administration, as a legal rationale for its decision to invade Afghanistan. The end of the first Taliban regime in early December 2001, is generally tied to when it is said that the Taliban surrendered Kandahar, and Mullah Omar fled the city.
4. New Regime
We touched on them a little bit, but there's some new information. So, on April 14, 2021, the current U.S President Joe Biden, announced that "It's time to end America's longest war," and that all remaining troops in Afghanistan would be withdrawn. From there, the Afghan government collapsed, as the new regime took back Kabul, which is the capital of Afghanistan.
And the leaders of the new regime said that they would hold talks with Afghan officials to form an open, inclusive, Islamic, government. See, like I mentioned, they want to implement certain changes in how they govern things.
3. Fate Of Mullah Omar
The head of the first regime, Mullah Omar fled and went into hiding, as there was a 10 million dollar bounty that was being offered for his capture. But in the year 2015, the Taliban, they officially confirmed that Mullah Omar had passed away saying that, he had passed away more than two years ago, but he had always lived in Afghanistan, and never fled into other countries.
It was his eldest son, Mohammad Yaqoob, that said that his father died in Afghanistan after suffering from Hepatitis C. And the new regime, they had released a photo of the house in Afghanistan where they say that Mohammed Omar lived for years before his passing.
2. Head Of The New Regime
Haibatullah Akhunzada, who's known as the "Leader of the faithful." This Islamic, legal scholar, is the Taliban Supreme Leader. Akhunzada, he took over when his predecessor, Akhtar Mansour’s life was ended in a U.S drone strike near the Afghan-Pakistan border back in the year 2016.
1. Why didn't Mohammad Yaqoob become the leader of the Taliban?
Well, this son of the regime founder, Mullah Omar, he actually oversees the new regime's military operations. But as a son, it makes sense to question, "Why didn't he take on the leadership role back in 2016, when the new successor was being chosen?" Well, he was proposed to be the overall leader of the movement, but he personally recommended Haibatullah Akhunzada in 2016, because he, himself, felt that he lacked the experience, and that he was too young for the responsibility.
And, that concludes this article on 10 Surprising and Interesting Facts about the Taliban. Hopefully you guys found this article informative, educational, and useful. Definitely want to know your thoughts and comments down below.