In Khaled Hosseini's novel depicting real world Afghan life, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Hosseini depicts the Taliban parading down the streets of Kabul welcomed by the cheers of a crowd.
These religious extremists were heroes to the Afghanis at the beginning of their seizure of power. A few years later this happy picture would change.
The Taliban-which translates into 'religious students'-were considered mujihideen, or holy warriors. Their rule was based on a "strict interpretation of Sharia- Islamic law."
But in the Taliban's enforcement of Islamic law, they responded with often an unmatched cruelty, a contradiction to most philosophies of religion. It was a regular occurrence for violators of the law to be flogged or stoned in huge soccer arenas. Women were beaten if they were seen without a male escort. Women could have their fingertips sliced off if they were caught wearing fingernail polish.
Another contradiction to the 'unwavering' beliefs of the Taliban was their source of income. They generated capital through smuggling and the dealing of opium.
The Taliban do not hesitate at the murder of innocents. One of the greatest American tragedies is the destruction of the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. On September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden arranged the hijacking of four planes. This series of attacks killed thousands of innocent Americans.
I find it hard to believe that the Taliban can call themselves devout Muslims despite their Sharia jurisdiction. They are known murders. They ran a large opium cartel. They were overly cruel to minor offenses. They beat their own country men in the primitive form of the gladiators of Rome.
In my eyes, the Taliban are a fellowship of cruel hearted men who have lost sight of their god-Allah.