Taliban Campaigns for Muslim Support

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by jimnyc, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    They need more money so they can continue their wave of cowardly killings. And yes, I said cowardly! Please note the areas I've put in bold. I hope all these muslims meet an untimely death.
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    KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban have launched an unprecedented campaign to win money and support from Muslim militants outside Afghanistan amid a resurgence by the group marked by roadside killings, ambushes and public statements boasting of their successes.

    After remaining relatively quiet for months, a bevy of Taliban spokesmen have been turning up on Arab TV and the Pakistani media, and a handful have started making direct phone calls to the international press, including The Associated Press.

    The calls have increased in step with a bolder, bloodier insurgency that has shaken faith in the Washington-backed Afghan government's ability to assert its control, and the U.S. military's resolve at crushing the rebels.

    Omar Samad, the Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the Taliban are using the media blitz to try to get their message out to hard-liners in neighboring Pakistan who share their strict brand of Islam.

    "I think it is all part of a more organized effort," he told The Associated Press. "They have lost much of their ability to be a real threat to the whole process of change here, but they unfortunately still have substantial support among influential groups in Pakistan with money and access to arms and manpower."

    Most of today's Taliban fighters are not the same young men as those who fought with the militia during the U.S.-led bombing campaign in 2001, Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali said recently. They are new recruits, many drawn from the poor religious madrassahs of neighboring Pakistan.

    Jalali told AP during a recent interview that several recently captured Taliban said they came to Afghanistan on the instructions of hardline Pakistani clerics, who convinced them it was every Muslim's duty to fight jihad, or holy war, against the Americans and their Afghan surrogates. One of the men said he was paid $55 in Pakistan to come and fight.

    With Taliban leader Mullah Omar and other top figures in hiding, captured or killed, a crop of frontmen — some new, some old names from the regime's heyday in power — has gone into high gear.

    Sometimes their claims sound outlandish: that the Taliban killed 10 U.S. soldiers in fighting in September in southern Zabul province. The Americans say one special operations soldier died in a fall during a combat operation there.

    The militia also calls to take credit for recent attacks or to warn of bloody repercussions for those who collaborate with the international community. A fax sent to AP in September claimed the Taliban were behind a wave of recent killings of employees of international aid groups — often referred to as non-governmental organizations, or NGOs.

    Aid workers have been pulled from their cars and executed in southern Ghazni, Helmand and Zabul provinces in recent months.

    "Our government has always respected the people who are working in NGOs that really want to build Afghanistan," read the Taliban statement. "But there is another kind of NGO which only uses the name NGO but is actually working and spying for the United States. We advise Taliban all over the country to attack them and extradite them from Afghanistan."

    A purported Taliban spokesman who calls himself Mullah Hedayatollah Akhund appeared on the Arabic television channel Al-Jazeera two weeks ago threatening resistance to the U.S.-backed government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Another, Mohammed Hanif, claimed responsibility for the recent assassination of an Afghan official in southern Kandahar province in a phone call to "The News," Pakistan's largest English-language daily.

    The Taliban have also used the media to manage its image.

    One of the main Taliban spokesmen, Sayed Hamid Agha, faxed a signed letter to AP in late September to deny a widely-circulated report that Taliban fighters had threatened to disfigure Afghans who listen to music or men who shave their beards.

    "We would never cut the nose or ears off of people who do not have beards," the statement read. Taliban supreme leader "Mullah Omar declares anybody who uses the name of the Taliban to issue such threats an enemy of Islam and the people of Afghanistan. They are not Taliban."

    It is impossible to independently confirm the credentials of the men claiming to be Taliban spokesmen.

    Some professed Taliban spokesmen are quite openly operating from Pakistan.

    Attiqullah Azizi, the former Taliban information minister in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, has met with journalists in Pakistan. Calls and faxes from at least two purported Taliban spokesman appear to come from the southwestern Pakistani province of Baluchistan.

    Samad said the Taliban are using neighboring Pakistan as a center of its new PR campaign, and the presence of at least some spokesmen there is of growing concern.

    "Almost all of them are across the border," said Samad. "We know very well that if the authorities across the border wanted to put an end to this Taliban fiasco, they could. There is nothing to stop them from shutting them down."
     
  2. vasuderatorrent
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