The History and Origins of the Taliban

Evan Pimentel, Staff Writer

As of August 15th, 2021, the Taliban have yet again taken over Afghanistan. Before, the Taliban took Afghanistan back in 1996, but were soon attacked by other forces such as resistances and rebels from Afghanistan. 


After the Taliban hid Al Qaeda from U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the Taliban was fought by the United States, and soon lost their high position. After hiding from the majority of all the conflict, the Taliban came out of hiding, and tried to recapture Afghanistan. Now, the Taliban are in more control over Afghanistan this time, with rising protests and resistances. But how did the Taliban come back for this quick turn of events? What’s the background behind Afghanistan’s long history with the Taliban group? In order to understand how this group appeared out of nowhere, we need to go back to when ideas and systems clashed together in a long, tense staredown between two countries: the United States and Soviet Russia.


Communism is a form of political system that first was recommended as a theory in 1848 Russia by Karl Heinrich Marx. Years later, communism grew very rapidly in Russia, turning it into Soviet Russia back in 1922 with this very system told by Karl Marx. To make this system happen in Russia, Joseph Stalin, an old retired soldier and strong political leader, took the words and ideas of Karl Marx’s old book “The Communist Manifesto,” and changed Russia’s political system, economical system, and changed the original rules of what Russia was originally about into a new and formed country.


Following the new super power after the second world war, the United States of America, this country took notice of the rising spread of communism around Soviet Russia’s area. The spread of communism concerned the United States, and the country decided the best decision of stopping communism, was by doing so by force. Across the world, the U.S. would constantly support other troops of different countries going toe to toe to fight with communism in that country. 


With this information, and fast forwarding a few more years later, and we are brought to 1979, the invasion of the Soviets coming into Afghanistan.


After the fighting, groups and factions in Afghanistan started to fall apart, and the country fell into a deep civil war. A new group of Islamic fighters not funded or supported by the United States, or any other country for that matter, known as the Taliban, would put religious values and fight off other opposing factions and groups that would disagree or those that differ from what they prefer. The Taliban believed that putting law and order first would make the country greater and more strict, while also following Islamic values and their beliefs to strengthen the country as well.


The Taliban’s rule had a cost for a lot of the people living in Afghanistan. One of them was that women should not be playing the role that the man can play. Last time they ruled most of Afghanistan, they were barbarous and without any kind of remorse against these laws and rules they would set up, especially against women who would not follow their rules. Women were not allowed service for schooling, they were not allowed most jobs, and if they were caught without some kind of cloth covering their face, they would be severely punished. 


To start with the Taliban’s rules first, they would declare an Islamic Emirate, which would be brutal against certain rules and ways people would follow the original values that Afghanistan would work with the most. This rule the Taliban set forth made it to where they were able to deal public punishment to those who would not follow their values and overall set rule. This means that amputations and any kind of killings would be allowed under their rule, and this also didn’t allow women to attend any kind of education system at all. The reason being for these committed atrocities was that the Taliban believed that their ideologies were the right kind of thing that Afghanistan needed. Although, this would be proven false by all the protests and resistance fighters that would soon leak all of the controversy, building up more and more awareness surrounding the problems in Afghanistan and what the Afghan people face. 


However, they didn’t control the entire country of Afghanistan. In fact, resistances would be set up in cities that haven’t yet had any kind of contact with the Taliban, which would mean that most people would go to that defended city in order to be more safe.


When the Taliban were first defeated and were sent back to their original hiding place, women were able to freely do whatever they wanted. They could get jobs that they couldn’t otherwise get without the help of coalitions led by American support, and women in Afghanistan could now enter schools without the supervision and restrictions of the Taliban locking them away. However, this did not last forever. When the president of the United States of America said to pull out of Afghanistan and get our troops home, this would be the downfall of Afghanistan’s original rule, and would soon fall under Taliban control yet again.


The Taliban today control most of Afghanistan once again, with the same old rules and concepts they followed before.