By: Hamayun Khan and Ziaullah Akhtar
Talibanan like other renown insurgent groups in the region emerged as a so-called religious group being waged by some regional powers to fight for their political purposes, and they gave this war the name of Jihad that they do so to diminish mischief and ensure a government based on Islamic rules in Afghanistan.
At the very outset, they cunningly misled the people of Afghanistan by showing up religious platforms. Leveraging from the low level of literacy the Taliban easily indoctrinated people’s minds with radicalized teachings and dominated the country using religion as a tool.
Two key reasons that led people to be misled:
1:Lack of Media Platforms
Post-soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the country’s institutions had been woefully obliterated including media platforms; therefore, people had less or no access to media and the required awareness about the concurrent affairs of the country. Given this fruitful opportunity, the warlords stimulated the young generation to go to Madrasas (religious seminary) where they were taught Jihadist teachings and being radicalized. Having no proper access to media and lack of awareness, the youth was easily brainwashed by instilling fundamental teachings into their minds. A great majority of Taliban militants are unaware, antipathetic to modernization, and influenced by propagandized speeches of the religious scholars (mulaas).
2:Low level of literacy
Among the Taliban militants except those with high ranks, the rest of the Taliban are all absolutely or less educated, in Afghanistan Taliban don’t let young boys and girls go to schools, they have burnt hundreds of schools in the far-flung regions of Afghanistan, well the reason is obvious that they don’t want the people of Afghanistan to be educated.
Their leaders know as long as the literacy level in the country increases, people get much awareness about what exactly terrorism is? They can easily differentiate between terrorism, politics, and religion. Luckily much has been done in this regard so far, and people are aware enough as compared to the erstwhile.
The untiring technique through which warlords use to brainwash youngsters is that they relate Islam with terrorism, the term “terrorism” is what they call Jihad, in fact, Islam never favors any sort of violence, since war/violence is exceptional, and peace is a must in Islam.
Not only Islam does contradict terrorism but so does every religion. Ever since the Taliban have begun the armed-struggle movement they have still not been able to rationalize the widespread legitimacy that they have created for themselves, because of their earnest engagement and optimism for violent acts, they have started losing the trust of people. Further, they have been targeting academic platforms and other educational institutions which lead to widespread illiteracy.
They claim that a mere way to gain knowledge is to go to religious places i.e.(madrasas), but the fact is that they divert people’s enthusiasm from schools to a so-called religious institution that indeed engenders militants and suicide attackers.
Since very long the Taliban have been burning schools, colleges, and have brutally thrown acids on school girl’s faces. Besides in the Taliban controlled regions they have allotted many school buildings for their disguised purposes i.e. training centers. People that refuse to join madrasas are threatened and forced to accept the Taliban’s demands. Later on, those youngsters are brainwashed and stimulated to join the Insurgent groups.
How they define academic institutions as religion-averse platforms:
Recently on Teacher’s Day, the Taliban again showed their barbarism by attacking a government school, the attack left dozens of students and ordinary civilians killed; the Taliban rationalized their attack by claiming that celebrating Teacher’s Day resembles the western culture.
Among numerous of the Taliban offensives, we still remember their brutal attack on the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) Kabul (Afghanistan) which took place in the year 2017 and left many teachers and students killed, due to which the Afghans still suffer the unforgettable grief.
Introduction of Culture as a religion-averse practice:
The attacks that have been launched by the Taliban are not only harmful for the civilians but also affect the cultural aspect of people’s lives. Ever since the Taliban has come into being their rapid development in training suicide bombers, planning and execution of attacks have been inevitably infrastructural based on disputed strategies. As one of a famous politician and religious cleric claimed in a TV interview that since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan they have trained tens of hundreds of thousands of suicide bombers to fight in Afghanistan against the Soviet troops and the incumbent Afghan government.
In Afghan culture, the waistcoat is a widely known and famous attire among Afghans and worn only by men, which symbolizes the morality of manhood. But when the Taliban’s insurgents and the suicide attackers have embarked attacks wearing waistcoats filled with explosive materials, by doing so they misinterpreted the value of this traditional outfit as an insurgent dress which is now detested internationally.
How their school of thought violated women’s rights?
The Taliban predominantly interfered with our culture by adding superfluous thoughts, such as cover (known as Chadari generally worn by the Afghan women). The Taliban forced women to use cover. By introducing cover to women they mentally gave them a sense of disability, spreading a message that women are the creatures on earth with low-level recognition and cannot do anything innovative and ultimately must be enslaved. Generally, the cover expresses a sort of enslavement of women in which they are only allowed to look straight through small pores, in fact, the hijab has been interpreted differently in the Holy Quran which opposes the claims of the Taliban insurgents.
According to rules of the Taliban framed for women outline that women must be bound to house chores and not allowed to engage in social activities. Therefore, the violent stance of the Taliban concerning women made them endure the prolonged darkness of being restricted to the house and deprived of getting an education.
Before the Taliban regime the social, institutional and political engagements that were based on gender equality and all the activities required equal involvement of both male and female but after the dehumanizing reactions of the Taliban against women ruined the social cohesiveness of women.
The Taliban militants easily ouster the incumbent regime in the year 1996, by using religious rituals as the main source of gaining their political objectives which caused them to dominate the whole country without facing any hurdles. They contradicted scientific education with Islamic rituals misinterpreting verses of the Holy Qur’an and hadiths. Due to the lack of access to media and a high level of illiteracy in Afghanistan, the regional powers found it a lucrative opportunity to mislead the uneducated youngsters and recruit them to their groups. The government of Afghanistan should consider the following factors:
1: Spreading awareness regarding terror
2: practicestopreclude such activities.
3: Provision of job opportunities for youngsters.
4: Access to media.
5: Access to education.