Once the Taliban took power in most of Afghanistan, they began a violent, repressive rule. The Taliban outlawed television, radio, and even kite-flying; under the Taliban, Afghan women seen in public without their burqua faced severe beatings or death.
When the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001, the American government traced the incident to Osama bin Laden, who had taken refuge in Afghanistan. The Americans demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden and other suspected terrorists, but the Taliban refused. The United States led a multinational bomb attack in 2002, forcing the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.
The Taliban is an Islamic fundamentalist political movement in Afghanistan. While in power, the Taliban enforced its strict interpretation of Sharia, though many Muslims have been highly critical of the Taliban’s interpretations of Islamic law.
The Afghan people held national elections in 2004 and chose a democratic government. Women were allowed to vote and run for office for the first time in the nation’s history.
The United States ended its twenty-year occupation of Afghanistan in 2021. Almost immediately, the Taliban toppled the American-backed democracy. The Taliban pledged to rule more gently than before, but girls can no longer attend school past sixth grade.
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Mr. Donn has an excellent website that includes a section on the Middle East and North Africa.