Taliban Control


About The Taliban

  • The Taliban is a radically militant Islamic movement that controlled 90 percent of Afghanistan between 1995 – 2001.(6)

  • The Taliban emerged from their base on Kandahar in southwestern Afghanistan following the defeat of Russia in the Afghanistan Soviet War in 1989.(5)

  • Mullah Mohammed Omar rose to power and became the leader of the Taliban(6)

  • The fail of Kandahar provided the Taliban with nucleus of fighters as thousands of Afghan refugees, mostly students at madrassas near the Afghan-Pakistani border joined the movement.(5)

  • The Taliban set out to create the world’s most pure Islamic regime by introducing a disturbing and revolutionary form of Muslim culture.(6)

  • Only Three countries established diplomatic ties with the Taliban government (United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia).(6)

  • The Taliban, next to Al Qaeda, is the most notorious terrorist organization known to the world.(6)


  • The highest level of the Taliban is the ten member leadership council known as the Rahbari Shura. The group also supports a council of advisers called the Majils-e-Shure, who provide guidance to the Rahbari Shura.(6)


  • Since 2006 the, the Iranian government gas provided training and logistical support to Taliban members. Most of the weapons include small arms, rocket –propelled grenades, assault rifles and Aks.(6)


  • Many jihadis join the fighting because they need to make a living, and use the funds to support themselves and their families. Others fight because of Taliban intimidation tactics. (6)

Mullah Mohammed Omar

Mullah Mohammed Omar Leader "Commander of the Faithful" Taliban

  • Born 1953 in Nodeh, Afghanistan(5)

  • Politicalparty is Islamic and National Revolution Movement of Afghanistan Taliban.(5)

  • In office from September 27 1996 – November 13 2001(5)

  • Religion is Sunni Islam(5)

  • Uprising that he led against former Mujahideen warlords in the Kandahar area in 1994 earned him wide respect.(5)

  • Protected Bin Laden after allegations that he masterminded 9/11.(5)

  • It has been said that Mullah Omar has taken Bin Laden’s daughter as a wife.(5)

  • No western journalists has ever met Mullah Omar, who left virtually all contact with the outside world to his foreign minister, Wakil Ahmad Mutwakkil (5)

  • It is believed that Mullah Omar is in hiding somewhere along the rugged border of Afghanistan and Pakistan(5)

“We used to get up every morning and call around to friends and relatives, see who was still alive.”(2)
Life Under Taliban Control
  • Taliban are commonly known for:
    • Providing a safe haven to Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden (1)
    • Rigid interpretation of Islamic law (1)
    • Strict
      • Wanted to create a pure Islamic regime by a revolutionary form of Muslim culture (3)
      • Jailed men who’s beards were not long enough (1)
      • Publicly executed criminals (sometimes stoning) (1)
        • Ghazi Stadium
        • Amputated the hands and feet of thieves (3)
        • Banned TV (1)
  • When Taliban initially took control, Kabul’s residents hailed them as saviors (2)
  • Destructed Buddha statues in Bamiyan to symbolize their intolerance of the regime (1)
    View from a woman's burqa
    View from a woman's burqa

Women & the Taliban (3)
  • Required to wear head to toe veils that covered everything including their face (burqa)
  • Could not leave the house without male guardian
  • Restricted access to health care and education
  • Did not work out of the home
    • Were allowed to practice medicine

Public Response to Taliban Control (1)
  • “There was nothing to distract you – no cinema, no snooker parlors, not too many people on the streets. You could catch your breath”
  • “we wanted an end to warlords and national unity, the Taliban gave us that”
  • “It was like being in prison”
  • “We were very comfortable under the Taliban…security was not a problem”
  • “The Taliban did not let us work or go to school, but they did not rape us and they did not kill us.”
  • One other woman commented that if the Taliban returned to control, she would kill herself.

Kite Runner and Taliban Control
  • During their reign, the Taliban announced that I was okay to kill Hazara’s
    • In the book, you can see how there is a lack of respect for the Hazara’s (i.e. Assef and Hassan)
  • In the story, the people of Afghanistan suffer from civil war and corruption
    • In actuality, people were actually happy to have the Taliban because they maintained some sort of order and stopped the war and gang tensions

  • What other connections can you make between Kite Runner and the Taliban lifestyle discussed here?
  • How can you see yourself reacting to this lifestyle? As a woman? As a child?
  • If Amir was in the country during the time of Taliban control, how do you think he would act in this situation?


(1) Bajoria, J. (2011, October 6). The Taliban in Afghanistan.Retrieved from
(2) Kenzie, J. (2009, August 7). Life Under the Taliban. Retrieved from
(3) "Taliban". International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. William A Darity, Jr. 2nd ed. Vol. 8.
Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 262-263. Gale World History in Context. Web. 21 Mar. 2012.
(4) Malik, H. "Taliban". Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Ed. Philip Mattat. 2nd ed.
Vol. 4. New York: Macmillian Reference USA, 2004. 2154-2155. Gale World History in Context. Web.
21. Mar. 2012.
(5) Bbc news. (2011, May 24). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13501233
(6) Matinuddin, Kamal. , & Marsden, Peter., ( 2004.). Taliban encyclopedia of islam and the muslim world.
(Vol. 2 ed., pp. 676-678). New York: Gale World History In Context. Retrieved from