The Taliban: War, Religion and the New Order in Afghanistan

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Palgrave Macmillan, Sep 15, 1998 - Religion - 162 pages
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The Taliban are yet another manifestation of the growth of radical Islam worldwide. This book explores what they stand for and the factors leading to their rapid rise to military and political dominance over Afghanistan. It considers the many influences on their ideology emanating from within the country, the Indian sub-continent and the Middle East. It describes the war which continues to afflict the Afghan people as well as the geo-political context and the possible part played by certain powers in the region, and by the United States, in the Taliban’s dramatic expansion. Peter Marsden examines the unique and complicated character of an Islamic revivalist movement like the Taliban. He confronts the issue of international responsibility in situations of chronic conflict brought on by external interference, and considers the dilemmas faced by humanitarian agencies in seeking to reconcile the evident need for assistance with the often difficult political and human rights context in which they are working. He examines the cultural conflict between Western thinking and the Taliban’s interpretation of Islamic values, particularly in relation to gender, and asks how the international community should deal with this conflict.
 

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The Taliban: war, religion and the new order in Afghanistan

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Marsden has written a compact book about the ultra-fundamentalist Islamic movement known as the Taliban that has ruled most of Afghanistan since 1996. Afghanistan, one of the world's least developed ... Read full review

Contents

The nature of Afghanistan
8
The Mujahidin
27
The warriors of God
43
The Taliban creed
57
Earlier Islamic movements
67
The Afghan Islamic tradition
78
The gender policies of the Taliban
88
The dialogue with the humanitarian agencies
102
The Taliban and the international community
114
The regional picture
126
Conclusion
147
Bibliography
154
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About the author (1998)

Peter Marsden has worked for the last 13 years as a specialist on aid to Afghanistan and has provided information to aid agencies, donor governments, the media and academics on the political, economic and humanitarian context in the country. He has conducted extensive research both in and out of Afghanistan over many years and has a specialist knowledge of the rapidly changing sequence of events since the Soviet withdrawal of February 1989.

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