The Taliban

August 27, 2009

With the war in Afghanistan all over the news, people keep asking me “Who are the Taliban?” 

The Taliban were originally a band of madrasa (seminary) students (taliban) who were living as refugees in Pakistan. Many of the men who made up the Taliban were veterans of the Afghan-Soviet war. They had returned to Afghanistan after the Soviets departed. They spent their first couple of post-Soviet years pushing their ideology and cultural moral codes across the country. The group was primarily made up of Pashtuns (ethnic Afghans), but quickly overwhelmed the Northern Alliance of non-Pashtun minorities.

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Not Theology

August 27, 2009

The terror attacks of September 11 caused millions of internet users to search online for their concerns and issues involving religion. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project (www.pewinternet.org), 23% of users used internet sources to get information about Islam. No doubt, these people wanted to educate themselves on what they were hearing in the media. And since that tragic time in American history, people have continued to use the web as an enormous sacrosanct library. Not only searching for Islam, but a myriad of religions. In doing so, they travel from site to site like virtual pilgrims, they read articles which claim intellectual authority, and they interact with strangers as they swap guidance. In this way, the internet has become a medium for religious communication. However, there is a danger of obtaining inaccurate information on the web. In a world where anyone can post, credentials have become increasingly important. 

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