Sample Essay

When the Taliban gained control of Kabul, the movement declared Afghanistan to be the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” and established an extremely strict variation of Sharia law on the people of Afghanistan. Experienced government bureaucrats who were not Taliban were replaced with often inexperienced Pashto Taliban loyalists and the government quickly fell into confusion and failure.

The influence of the Taliban extended out through regional and local governments as well and this became a particular problem in areas where the Pashto-speaking Taliban leaders were unable to communicate with citizens who spoke only Dari or one of the other languages common to the country. During the five year reign of the Taliban, only a handful of Muslim countries granted the government formal recognition (Schetter, 2002).

The strong-arming techniques of the Taliban to further its influence and to impose Sharia law on all areas of Afghan culture — including, the brutal slaughter of civilian populations in regions that defied Taliban rule — engendered outrage and resistance among non-Pashto Afghans in particular. Under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Northern Alliance Mujahedeen forces coalesced and began to effectively challenge Taliban forces throughout Afghanistan.

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