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Old 28th March 2006, 06:41 PM   #703
Euromutt
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Originally Posted by thesyntaxera View Post
...the american government practically created extremist islam to combat the Soviet Union.
Wrong; there were Islamist groups in Afghanistan well before the Soviets invaded in 1979. It should also be noted that the various Islamist groups were by no means the only ones fighting the Sovs; (moderately Islamic) nationalist groups, Iranian-backed Shi'ite groups, and Maoists, among others, also took part in the resistance.
Originally Posted by Kevin_Lowe View Post
Well, he's got one finger on a correct idea. Al Qaeda and the Taliban did get the power they did in Afghanistan partially thanks to support from the USA.

They were called "mujihadeen" in the western press and considered heroic freedom fighters at the time, if you recall. Later when they were the bad guys they were referred to as the Taliban and Al Qaeda and were oppressors or terrorists, but they were the same people.
Also incorrect. Many of the Taliban may have been members of Islamist groups during the Soviet period (those old enough to fight at the time, that is), but the Taliban did not exist as an organization during that period. The two most prominent Islamist groups during the Soviet period were Burhanuddin Rabbani's Jam'iyyat-e-Islami (Association of Islam) and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami (Party of Islam). If you look up the Taliban siege on Kabul in 1995-96, you'll notice that their opposition consisted of those two same groups, led by those same two men, who had put aside their factional infighting to deal with their common foe (i.e. the Taliban).

It should also be noted that Hizb, Jam'iyyat and their precursors were primarily inspired and influenced by the Egyptian wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas the Taliban, as we all know, had Saudi Wahhabism as its religious basis. If anything, much of the Taliban's motivation and initial popular support came from disaffection with the very groups that had composed the mujehadin, as these had continued to fight amongst each other after the Sov-backed communists had been defeated.

The notion that the Taliban were/are simply the Soviet-era mujehadin under a different name is a fiction.
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