Until you get to rules 24 and 25, which make it clear that the Taliban’s current campaign of destroying schools around Afghanistan and terrorizing teachers will continue as long as schools dare teach something other than the Taliban version of Islam…. “It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels,” says rule 24. And if a teacher refuses a warning to give up his job, reads rule 25, “he must be beaten.”…. “If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him,” it continues.
Man, talk about a public image in desperate need of a makeover. Afghanistan’s Taliban thugs, whom no one will ever mitake for followers of Mother Teresa, have apparently decided that even thuggery, rampant igorance, and brutal oppression need a rule book. Mullah Omar’s latest literary effort, which could probably carry the title, “So you want to be a benevolent Taliban thug?”, lays out a 30-point plan for how to be an effective Talib. Hey, without rules, you have anarchy, right?
Of course, no one seems to have taken into account that a large portion of the Taliban is illiterate. Most of these folks have the intellectual candlepower and agility of a can opener.
I just wish I’d known about the rules for killing teachers when I was in school. I can think of a couple PE teachers I might have wanted to dispatch to the Afterlife. Of course, if you’re a teacher, these rules are probably going to leave you feeling just a wee bit on edge…and likely in no hurry to teach in Afghanistan.
“This is an effort from the senior leadership to reassert basic command and control over the troops,” Jarret Brachman, research director at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, says of the handbook.
He says many of the rules show how the Taliban leaders, including Mullah Omar, are trying to reassert control while in hiding and removed from direct contact with the rank and file.
The Taliban rose to power in the 1990s in response to corrupt warlords who were busy tearing the country apart.
Corruption is once again a serious problem, this time for the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, and the Taliban code of conduct is aimed at exploiting that advantage.
“Taliban may not use Jihad equipment or property for personal ends” reads rule nine, while rule 10 says each Taliban is held “accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage.”
This is clear PR, Brachman says. “The Taliban recognizes that it has the reputation of being a band of brutal barbarians interested only in clubbing women back to the Stone Age. This rule sheet reads like an effort to put a kinder, gentler, more moderate and professional face on the movement.”
Yeah…a kinder, gentler, more moderate, and professional Taliban. That’s the ticket, eh?
This will no doubt go down as the first time in modern literary history that the words “brutal barbarians” and “kinder, gentler, more moderate, and professional” have EVER appeared in the same paragraph. Let’s hope it’s the last….