How about that. That, after all, is the aim of jihad in general. And while this story makes a point of branding the Taliban’s enforcement of sharia as “antiquated and regressive,” the penalty it singles out as an example, amputation, is found in the Qur’an more than once (5:33, 5:38). The reporter probably thought she was going the extra mile to put in a good word about the “real” Islam; as James Thurber said, “You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.”
“AP: Taliban say buildup under way,” by Kathy Gannon for the Associated Press, April 18:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – The Taliban are moving fighters into Kandahar, planting bombs and plotting attacks as NATO and Afghan forces prepare for a summer showdown with insurgents, according to a Taliban commander with close ties to senior insurgent leaders.
And they will strive for the utmost propaganda mileage out of the civilian casualties they cause as a result.
NATO and Afghan forces are stepping up operations to push Taliban fighters out of the city, which was the Islamist movement’s headquarters during the years it ruled most of Afghanistan. The goal is to bolster the capability of the local government so that it can keep the Taliban from coming back.
The Taliban commander, who uses the pseudonym Mubeen, told The Associated Press that if military pressure on the insurgents becomes too great “we will just leave and come back after” the foreign forces leave.
Despite nightly raids by NATO and Afghan troops, Mubeen said his movements have not been restricted. He was interviewed last week in the center of Kandahar, seated with his legs crossed on a cushion in a room. His only concession to security was to lock the door.
He made no attempt to hide his face and said he felt comfortable because of widespread support among Kandahar’s 500,000 residents, who like the Taliban are mostly Pashtuns, Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic community. […]
“We are always getting instructions from our commanders, what suicide attacks to carry out, who to behead if he is a spy,” Mubeen said, gesturing with a maimed hand suffered during fighting in 1996 when the Taliban were trying to gain control of the capital of Kabul. […]
“Our brothers are already here and ready,” he said. “Our people are skilled now. They know a lot of things, how to make things more difficult and to be more sophisticated in our attacks.”
Mubeen said Taliban fighters had received better training, although he would not say where and by whom.
“But we were interested to get the training and we understood that we needed the training,” he said.
Mubeen said the Taliban’s main goal in the war is the establishment of sharia, or Islamic law, in Afghanistan. When they ruled the religious militia enforced an antiquated and regressive interpretation of Islamic law that appalled the West, including publicly amputating hands and feet for theft and carrying out public executions…