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Subject History

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631209379.1999.x


An Islamic group which fought in the afghan civil war and conquered most of the country by 1997. It was founded in 1994 by a senior mullah from Kandahar, Muhammad Omar Alchund, who had been a field commander during the soviet invasion of Afghanistan . He drew his forces from refugees, mainly Pushtuns, in Pakistan. The Taliban had a collective leadership in which much authority was delegated to local commanders. Its main funds came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The Taliban were educated in Quranic schools in a rigid form of sunni Islam and they imposed a harsh regime in the areas they conquered. The Sharia (Muslim law) was stricly applied: thieves had limbs amputated and adulterers were stoned to death. Women were forced back into purdah and were not allowed to mix with men outside their immediate family. They were forbidden to work, except in hospitals and clinics and then only with women. Girls were denied education and outside the home women had to wear the traditional burqa , which covered them from head to foot and had a netted slot over the eyes. Articles of Western depravity such as television sets were destroyed. The Taliban had remarkable success in defeating the other guerrilla groups which fought one another after the Soviet occupation ended. Backed by Pakistan, they controlled two‐thirds of the country by the autumn of 1996. They captured ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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