Who are the Taliban? – Thomas Ruttig

The Taliban (meaning ‘students’ in Pashtun) is a jihadi movement based in Afghanistan, which ruled the country as ‘the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ between 1996 and 2001. The movement mainly emanated from Deobandi Islamist madrassas in Pakistan and received significant financial support from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. Localised “Taliban fronts” emerged within different mujahedin tanzim from the early 1980s onwards, particularly in Afghanistan’s south. They were organised by ulema or mullahs who mobilised their students into mujahedin fronts, and mainly fought autonomously. One of those petty commanders was Mullah Muhammad Omar who ran a sharia court and a small front just … Continue reading Who are the Taliban? – Thomas Ruttig