The Taliban in Afghanistan


The Taliban, the militant terrorist group of the Middle East, has regained control in Afghanistan. The group originally emerged in the early 1990s and began to take power in 1994. They controlled Afghanistan for five years until the United States military forces defeated the Taliban after the events of 9/11, when Osama Bin Laden and other members of Al Qaeda were being harbored in Afghanistan. Despite their defeat twenty years ago, the Taliban have now risen back to power and are taking hold of Afghanistan.

In April of 2021, President Biden announced that the U.S. military would begin to leave Afghanistan. Summer ramped up the Taliban’s attacks, and beginning in August, they started to invade and take over different cities across Afghanistan. On August 15th, 2021, they invaded the capital of Kabul. This caused the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, to flee the country. The Afghan government collapsed, and the Taliban assumed full control.

The policies enforced by the Taliban are anything but humane. They are extreme oppressors towards the rights of women, education, religion, and freedom of expression. Failure to abide by their rules would entail brutal punishments such as public beatings, amputations, and executions.

They have strict and demeaning policies towards women that limit their rights to live. Women are not allowed to go to school, or work most jobs. They are also forced to completely cover their faces in public. Women seen without a veil were severely punished. There is also a strict religious policy that forbids anyone from practicing anything other than Islam. The Taliban follow a harsh and warped interpretation of the Quran, the central religious text of Islam. Punishments as fatal as death are given to LGBTQ+ individuals, and women who commit adultery.

With their reemergence, the Taliban have spoken saying they are more progressive than they were twenty years ago. They have claimed to allow more freedom, more rights for freedom, and that they will abstain from harsh punishment. Despite this statement, there has already been many reported attacks. The Taliban military was seen shooting guns into crowds. There have also been many documented attacks on women, and some have even disappeared.

The Taliban and their new power have ensued mass panic, and popular effort to flee the country. It isn’t that easy though, and millions are fearing for their lives, trapped behind the Taliban. The United States military has begun an effort to evacuate people out of the country and has saved more than 58,000 people. Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid, asked the Americans to stop encouraging Afghans to leave. The Taliban started blocking people from reaching the airport as well, stopping anyone from leaving.

What will happen going forward is a pressing concern. President Biden decided to stand by the previously agreed upon decision by the Taliban and United States to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by August 31st. Biden’s decision was followed by lots of discourse over whether it was right. Many are angry that he pulled the troops, and argue he should continue to help Afghanistan. Some believe his decision was correct though, and that we have helped them long enough and should stand by the previous agreement. Conflict in this case is unavoidable, no matter the option.