Afghanistan: Taliban take back power – who are the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan?

Taliban representative reveals plans for Kabul to host

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The Taliban is a fundamentalist Islamic movement that held power in Afghanistan from 1996 until they were ousted from power by US forces. American troops overthrew the Taliban in 2001 as they refused to handover Osama bin Laden, leader of Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks.

After their initial defeat, the Taliban militants soon regrouped and have been fighting to take back power ever since. 

US President Joe Biden, has vowed to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks September 11, 2021.  

US, UK and other foreign forces have began their withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan forces to fight off the Taliban. 

This withdrawal of western troops has left a vacuum the Taliban has since started to fill, taking territory across the country.

Who are the Taliban? 

The Taliban are an ultraconservative political and religious faction that rose to power after the collapse of Afghanistan’s communist regime in the 1990s.

The Taliban call themselves as the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan”.

When the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan they quickly imposed strict Islamic rules. 

They outlawed instrumental music and much public music-making as well as banning girls from going to school. 

Under their rule women had to wear burqas and all TV was banned. 

Anyone caught owning or watching TV were arrested and punished.It was the Taliban who provided Osama Bin Laden sanctuary while he planned the 9/11 attacks.

What is the history of the Taliban? 

The group was established by Mullah Mohammad Omar and it first emerged in Southern Afghanistan in the 1994.

Civil order broke down as the communist Soviet Union withdrew its troops from Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. 

The Taliban gained popularity in light of this chaos as they promised to restore order to the southern province of Kandahār 

The group rapidly subdued the local warlords who controlled the southern Afghanistan in 1994. 

By late 1996 the Taliban manage to capture the capital Kabul and so gained control of the country.

The Taliban’s power grab was enabled as conservative Islamic movements abroad helped them and because of popular support from many Afghan Pashtuns. 

Despite much heavy resistance to Taliban rule by 2001 the group controlled the entire country except for a small area in northern Afghanistan. 

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