“But we don’t burn or close down schools if they are in accord with Islam.” Not that this has anything to do with Islam, of course. The Taliban is setting up Sharia courts and ruling according to Islamic law, and Western Islamic apologists (and angry, arrogant, and self-righteous MSA college students) would have us believe that they are all Misunderstanders of Islam.
“Some Afghans live under Taliban rule — and prefer it: In provinces just south of Kabul, the insurgents have a shadow government that polices roads and runs courts,” by Anand Gopal for the Christian Science Monitor, October 15 :
Porak, Afghanistan – After a gang of thieves had continually terrorized an Afghan neighborhood near here months ago, locals decided they’d had enough. “We complained several times to the government and even showed them where the thieves lived,” says Ahmad, who goes by one name.
But the bandits continued to operate freely. So the villagers turned to the Taliban.
The militants’ parallel government here in Logar Province — less than 40 miles from Kabul, the capital — tried and convicted the men, tarred their faces, paraded them around, and threatened to chop off their hands if they were caught stealing in the future. The thieves never bothered the locals again.
Amputation for theft is mandated by Qur’an 5:38.
In several provinces close to Kabul, the government’s presence is vanishing or already nonexistent, residents say. In its place, a more effective — and brutal — Taliban shadow government is spreading and winning local support.
“The police are just for show,” one local says. “The Taliban are the real power here.”…
When President Hamid Karzai’s government first took power in 2001, “authorities gave every family in Logar two kilos of food,” says a local resident who works with an international nongovernmental organization and identifies himself as Abdel Qabir. “When that ran out each family received $200 assistance. But that, too, ran out, and people had no money and there were criminals everywhere.
“So people turned to the Taliban,” Mr. Qabir continues. “They may not provide jobs, but at least they share the same culture and brought security.”…
An Islamic scholar heads the judicial committee of each district under Taliban control and usually appoints two judges to try cases using a strict interpretation of sharia law, according to locals and Taliban members. “We prefer these courts to the government courts,” says Fazel Wali of Ghazni city, an NGO worker. Taliban courts have a reputation of working much faster than government ones, which often take months to decide cases and are saddled with corruption, he says….
Abdul Hakim, a Taliban “Emir of Education and Culture” in Ghazni Province, says his group checks all schoolbooks to ensure that they adhere to their version of sharia law. “We want to ensure that our youth are trained in Islamic education,” he explains. “First, they should learn sharia law and religious studies. Then comes science and other subjects…. But we don’t burn or close down schools if they are in accord with Islam.”
However, locals say that the number of schools in Taliban-controlled territory is dwindling fast. Of the 1,100 schools operating three years ago in Ghazni, only 100 are left, according to the Ministry of Education. Almost no girls’ schools remain, except nearly a dozen in the government-controlled provincial center.
The group also brings its austere interpretation of Islam to the areas they control, banning nonreligious music and flashy wedding parties. In Logar, guards at Taliban checkpoints regularly stop vehicles and beat drivers playing music….
“We have no TV. We can’t listen to music. We don’t have parties,” says Abdul Halim of Ghazni Province, who, like others in the area, is a Taliban supporter. “But at least we have security and justice.”
Justice, you say?