The Taliban and the “Islamic State” (IS) have one thing in common: Sharia – Islamic law based on the Koran and the traditional statements of the Prophet Muhammad – as a comprehensive set of rules for social life, politics and the economy. Western values, equality between men and …
The Taliban and the “Islamic State” (IS) have one thing in common: Sharia – Islamic law based on the Koran and the traditional statements of the Prophet Muhammad – as a comprehensive set of rules for social life, politics and the economy. Western values, the equality of men and women and a secular democratic order both strictly reject. They are also both activists, Sunnis and known for their cruelty. So why are the Taliban and ISIS enemies? And what about Al Qaeda?
The Taliban – the name is derived from the Arabic word “talib” (student) – emerged from Koranic schools in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, which represent a strictly Orthodox and anti-Western education. IS is flogging the Taliban and their traditions, which are also shaped by the Pashtun ethnicity, as un-Islamic. Moreover, the Taliban’s claim to power is limited exclusively to Afghanistan and areas close to the Pakistani border. For IS, on the other hand, nationalism is a kind of apostasy: it aspires to Islamic domination of the world. The two organizations vie for power, influence and religious sovereignty in Afghanistan.
Daesh first appeared in Afghanistan in 2015, when the Taliban – funded by the Saudis, bored with the American CIA and armed by Pakistan – had already made a name for themselves there as a militia in 1994. They have made a name for themselves there. captured Kabul for the first time on September 26, 1996. The struggle against Western influence in Islamic countries is a religious duty for them. The break with Washington only came when the Taliban stubbornly refused to extradite Osama bin Laden to the United States. The head of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda is responsible for the attacks of September 11.
Bin Laden comes from a wealthy Saudi family. He had already supported the struggle of the Islamist mujahedin against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. In 1988, along with like-minded people, he founded the al-Qaeda terrorist movement in Peshawar, Pakistan, which ideologically refers to the Islamist Sayyid Qutb, who was executed in 1966. According to his writings, Any Form secular government is a blasphemous presumption. Unlike the Taliban, who are largely supported by the Pashtuns, al-Qaeda is not anchored in any country of the population. The organization initially relied on educated cadres and Arab mercenaries who had fought the Soviet army in Afghanistan in the 1980s. According to their own statements, their fight is directed against the enemies of God. After Moscow’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, these include the United States, Arab leaders allied with Washington and Israel. Today, al-Qaida is an international network with branches in Arab countries, West Africa and Southeast Asia.
Al-Qaeda has been keeping a low profile in Afghanistan for a long time. In a UN Security Council report from June this year, however, the terrorist network is said to be present in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. “The Taliban remain closely linked to al-Qaeda and show no signs of breaking off relations. A significant part of the organization’s leadership is in the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan – and strives to maintain its “safe haven” there.
Thanks to the Taliban, who opened more than a dozen prisons during their triumphant advance through Afghanistan, al-Qaida again gained large numbers of visitors. Terrorism expert Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute in Washington estimates that thousands of jihadist supporters have been freed. The danger increases because Al Qaeda terrorists again lead attacks around the world and destabilize other countries – in order to initiate a revolution in the mind of their ideological father to achieve God’s rule on earth .
This is why the Islamic State, which emerged from an Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda, is more threatening to the Taliban. Observers now fear that after the victory of the Taliban, Afghanistan will become fertile ground for terrorists. ISIS wants to establish a “province” called IS-Khorasan in Afghanistan and Pakistani territory. Some observers speculate that a number of Taliban fighters who rejected their leaders’ peace talks with the United States have now joined IS. According to media reports, the ISIS flag already flies over Tora Bora, the mountain fortress east from which Osama bin Laden fled to Pakistan in 2001. In the chaos, however, the ultra-radicals of ISIS and Al Qaeda are also infiltrating the Afghan capital. Apparently, “Spiegel Online” writes, Pakistan has long supported radical groups such as ISIS in order to gain the upper hand in the predictable victory of the Taliban. “They want to pressure the Taliban if they were too sure of themselves. Or: too moderate.”
It is not known how many operational fighters the Taliban have under arms. Experts assume that there are 40,000 to 60,000 full-time fighters – too few to be able to control everything across the country.
The Taliban are faced with a dilemma: because they depend on humanitarian aid from the West, their leadership is moderate. But many Taliban would like to see a more radical government. This is why there is a rumbling in our own ranks. The fanatics among them are threatening more and more inwardly to take action themselves against traitors, unbelievers and deviants. According to “Spiegel online”, reports of mistreatment and killings of former police officers, officials and Shiites are on the rise. Last week, reinforcements were reportedly sent to Kabul only from the most loyal provinces, including the southern provinces of Irajuddin Haqqani, vice-emir of the Taliban. “The people of Haqqani have strong ties to al-Qaeda and the Pakistani secret service and would most likely revert to the terror of the early years,” Spiegel writes online. At the same time, resistance is forming in the Pandjir valley, 150 kilometers north of Kabul. There, members of the regular armed forces and special forces gather around Ahmed Massud, son of former Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massud. They are said to have taken over much of the region.