Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan

The Taliban is an Islamic militant group operating in Afghanistan and western Pakistan. In 1994 it started a government in southern Afghanistan called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

The Taliban governed Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001. During this time, its leaders put in place the strictest forms of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world.[1] Much criticism of the Taliban came from important Muslim scholars.[2] For example, if a thief was caught stealing something the Taliban would cut-off one of his hands so that he does not use it to steal again, no matter what it was that he stole. Many criminals were put to death fast and without a fair trial. Anyone who refused to follow the law was considered a non-Muslim enemy. Every male had to go to mosque for prayer (except Afghan non-Muslims) during praying times, which is 5 times daily. The Taliban became known around the world for their very bad treatment of women and girls.[3] The Taliban also did cultural genocide when they destroyed the Buddhas of Bamiyan in February and March 2001.[4]

After the September 11 attacks in 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban had been giving al-Qaeda a safe base from which to operate. The U.S. government said that Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda members did the attacks in New York and Washington, but the Taliban asked the U.S. for proof of this before it would arrest them. The aim of the invasion was to remove the Taliban government from power, destroy al-Qaeda and capture bin Laden. The Taliban is still fighting the Afghan and Pakistani governments in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan.

In February 2020, the United States and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement that would remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021.[5] U.S. President Joe Biden said that the U.S. exit from Afghanistan will start on May 1, 2021 and end by September 11, 2021, which would be exactly 20 years since the September 11 attacks.[6]


  • Griffiths, John C. (2001), Afghanistan: a history of conflict, London: Carlton Books ISBN 1-84222-597-9
  • Rashid, Ahmed (2000), Taliban: militant Islam, oil and fundamentalism in central Asia, New Haven: Yale University Press ISBN 0-300-08340-8


  1. Rashid 2000, p. 29
  2. http://www.onislam.net/english/ask-about-islam/islam-and-the-world/politics-and-economics/166241-taliban-and-al-qaeda-true-sects-of-islam.html
  3. Dupree Hatch, Nancy. "Afghan Women under the Taliban" in Maley, William. Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban. London: Hurst and Company, 2001, pp. 145–166.
  4. "The Death of the Buddhas of Bamiyan". Middle East Institute.
  5. "Can the US exit Afghanistan?". Can the US exit Afghanistan?.
  6. CNN, Kevin Liptak. "Biden announces troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11: 'It's time to end America's longest war'". CNN.