Tag Archives: Taliban

Afghanistan: Taliban plans for suicide brigade reveal changing nature of warfare in 21st century

Lily Hamourtziadou, Birmingham City University The Taliban recently announced it will establish a battalion of suicide attackers as part of the national army of Afghanistan. These “martyrdom brigades” will be “under the control of the ministry of defence and will be used for special operations,” according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid. This was condemned as “horrific and appalling” by Shaharzad …

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As the Taliban returns, 20 years of progress for women looks set to disappear overnight

Michael Reynolds/EPA/AAP Azadah Raz Mohammad, The University of Melbourne and Jenna Sapiano, Monash University As the Taliban takes control of the country, Afghanistan has again become an extremely dangerous place to be a woman. Even before the fall of Kabul on Sunday, the situation was rapidly deteriorating, exacerbated by the planned withdrawal of all foreign military personnel and declining international …

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How the world’s biggest Islamic organization drives religious reform in Indonesia – and seeks to influence the Muslim world

A gathering during the 73rd anniversary of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2019. Eko Siswono Toyudho/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images Ahmet T. Kuru, San Diego State University After its return to power in Afghanistan, the Taliban are again imposing their religious ideology, with restrictions on women’s rights and other repressive measures. They are presenting to the world an image …

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Fostering girls’ education will be challenging under a Taliban regime, but Afghanistan can learn a lot from Indonesia

M Niaz Asadullah, University of Malaya Since the return of the Taliban to power, concern has been growing over the “Islamisation” of Afghan society – including the education sector. Many fear that either schools will be shut down or girls will be excluded. This could reverse 20 years of progress in narrowing the gender gap in school enrolment. There have …

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Releasing US$9.5 billion in frozen assets can’t help the Afghan people as long as the Taliban remain in power

Weeda Mehran, University of Exeter Afghanistan is in a major humanitarian crisis: the health sector is failing, the economy is collapsing, and amid the COVID pandemic, famine is inflicting ever-larger numbers of casualties. According to the most recent report by the UN World Food Programme, more than half of the resident population of 38 million are facing acute hunger and …

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What did billions in aid to Afghanistan accomplish? 5 questions answered

International Committee of the Red Cross rehabilitation center staff members assist a Taliban member on Oct. 11, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Bulent Kilic/AFP via Getty Images Mohammad Qadam Shah, Seattle Pacific University The government of Afghanistan and that country’s economy relied heavily on foreign aid until the U.S. withdrawal. That support is on hold, although the United States and its …

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Afghanistan’s war rug industry distorts the reality of everyday trauma

The rug designs tend to contain symbols – AK-47s, 9/11 and drones – that reflect an outsider’s understanding of war. Kevin Sudeith, courtesy of WarRug.com, CC BY-SA Jamal J. Elias, University of Pennsylvania The end of the U.S.-led military intervention in Afghanistan has resulted in the withdrawal of most foreign aid workers and contractors. It may well also spell the …

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Afghanistan: the west needs to stop seeing women as in need of ‘saving’

Hind Elhinnawy, Nottingham Trent University The west has long had a fascination with “saving” Afghan women – a theme we have seen in many media reports since August when Kabul fell to Taliban forces. It was a narrative which was also front and centre in 2001 when the administration of US president George W Bush launched the “war on terror” …

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Afghanistan: the warlords who will decide whether civil war is likely

Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham Unsurprisingly, the Taliban’s rapid takeover of power across Afghanistan has prompted headlines about a renewed “civil war”. This is misleading, however. “Civil war” implies a situation where an insurgent movement is taking on a ruling government. But in 2001, it was not just the US-backed Northern Alliance that removed the Taliban from Kabul – other …

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