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The Taliban menace - a letter - The Observer

Kris Mitel (Connecticut) ()
5 December 1996

Title : The Taliban menace
Author : Kris Mitel (Connecticut)
Publication : The Observer
Date : December 5, 1996

Two months ago, Muslim clerics knows as the Taliban,
educated in "religious" schools (madarsas) in Pakistan
and armed and trained by its ISI, captured Kabul and
thereby seized control of most parts of Afghanistan. One
of the first things Taliban mullahs did after entering
the Afghan capital was to drag the former president
Najibullah out of the UN compound (where he was shelter-
ing after relinquishing power following a UN-sponsored
peace plan) and castrate him: then they killed him and
hanged his body to a traffic control post - a fact wit-
nessed by multitudes of Afghans and photographed by
scores of news reporters.

The mullahs executed Najibullah without pity or trial and
denied him any opportunity to speak in his own defense,
even as he pleaded for that. Apparently Taliban mullahs
not only defied the UN authority and assaulted it, but
also acted in defiance to the Koran's injunction against
the mutilation of the human body. Yet, strangely, not one
world leader condemned their brutality, nor an Imam
admonished them for their blasphemy.

Since capturing power, Islam's new graduates have imposed
strict Islamic laws repressing women, barring them from
education and outside jobs and handing out brutal punish-
ments for theft and adultery. Women are veiled and men
without beards tortured because of the Koran's injunction
against shaving. And televisions, stereos, cameras
smashed, cinemas closed and their film feels burned again
because of the Koran's injunction against making images
of the human form.

Over the past two years, Taliban mullahs have forced
millions to flee their homes and reportedly "secularist"
India is hosting over half a million Afghans, probably
permanently. All this, they claim, is.intended to create
a purist Islamic state as preached by prophet Mohammed.

"We take our lead from our Holy Prophet," said Mullah
Mohammed Hassan, a spokesman for Taliban recently. The
culture minister in the Taliban government, Mullah Amir
Khan Mutaqui, earlier said: "We are committed to estab-
lishing 'a new society' and a new 'order' based on the

Another cleric Mullah Mohammed Zalmani, also a deputy
commander of police, reported The New York Times, said:
"By following the eternal precepts of Islam, we are
building a perfect society. " No wonder the next day
(October 22), The Times spoke out: "At the level at which
Taliban decrees are enforced, clerics speak in a way that
is chillingly reminiscent of other absolutist systems."
Clearly, the allusion here was to Hitler and his band of

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