Taliban Bans Smartphones Use, An Attempt to Covering Crimes

One of the fundamental issues that many have talked about is the media and its unconscious service to terrorism in the pathology literature of media studies. In this topic, media researchers and critics of the virtual world believe, that the media unconsciously serves the propaganda and goals of terrorism, which is to create terror and intimidation, and by publishing and broadcasting events related to terrorist attacks, they contribute to the basic goals of terrorism. This is one side of the issue, which is sometimes logical and correct, but on the contrary, the media, regardless of its type, is one of the best tools for recording horrible crimes, reporting on hidden truths, and making the world community aware of the situation, and the countries prone to the birth of violence, and especially terrorism, which we all struggle with, and it has darkened our lives.

By stating this fact, in the past year, when the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan with a secret and intelligence agreement and open and terrifying violence, thousands of voices, images, and videos of crimes, tortures, field court executions, brutal assaults, and beatings of civilians, which are generally carried out by The Taliban militants themselves have been recorded and published. The Taliban themselves unconsciously took part in recording these horrific crimes, which is of course important for the judgment of history and the international community’s decision about this group. However, the cases that have been leaked are a small part of the huge and widespread crimes that have occurred throughout Afghanistan, especially in war zones. In other words, what was recorded by the smartphones of the Taliban militants from the criminal process is like an iceberg, only the tip of which was recorded by the smartphones and published in social media. With a glance on the Internet, one can get thousands of videos of these crimes, some of which are quite shocking.

Recently, however, the leader of the Taliban group, and its media propaganda machine, which has the intelligence services of several countries as its collaborators, has ordered that the fighters of this group should not use smartphones in the war zones, especially Panjshir province, which is considered the center of the national resistance against the Taliban group. They have commanded their militants to adhere to this new command. Although the closed system of information in the Taliban Emirate causes many events and reports to stay away from the eyes of the national and international media, some of them are accidentally reported by the Taliban themselves. Therefore, the Taliban are determined to keep their fighters away from smartphones, social networks, and the media. Despite this, according to the author, the Taliban pursue two major goals from this policy, which has recently created problems for their positions and claims at the global level, in neighboring countries, and among their military ranks. Part of those problems is related to the use of smartphones and social networks by the militants of this group.

Hiding the Crime

The Taliban’s crimes in the past year have been unprecedented; They have brutally harassed, tortured, and killed thousands of people. This issue is one of the important reasons based on which, no country, even the supporters of the Taliban in the last two decades, has not been willing to recognize the illegitimate, ineffective, and forced regime. Therefore, one of the goals of the Taliban is to hide the crimes, torture, and intimidation that have become normal in the society under their rule. Previously, the Taliban published their crimes and intimidations, to use fear as one of the most important tools of war, and to manage brutality; But now that they have taken power, they are trying to hide their crimes and promote themselves from a terrorist group to a modern state. Therefore, the media propaganda machine and famous figures of this group always insist that they should not be called a group. The Taliban are trying to prevent their fighters from having mobile phones not only in the war zones which are the center of resistance but also in all of Afghanistan. They try to make the crimes, tortures, and beatings be done secretly and leave no evidence behind. This will greatly affect the circulation of information.

Awareness of the Local Allies in the North

Division by ethnicity and group is very evident in the military body of the Taliban. In Badakhshan and Panjshir provinces, part of the Tajik Taliban is not ready to fight with the National Resistance Front, and in other cases, Taliban fighters have come out of the ranks of this group and are confronting them. It seems that social networks have not been ineffective in changing the mentality of many Taliban fighters. They see with their own eyes that the Taliban incite ethnic issues, denies the culture and art of others, and invades people’s homes. The mainly southern fighters in Panjshir province and Andarab district of Baghlan province, Northern areas, and Takhar province have committed very horrible crimes, that their Tajik and Uzbek comrades, in general, have watched on social media and even from close quarters. All this has caused the Taliban’s religious narrative, which was propagated among their native allies in the north, to fall apart, and several fighters and military commanders of this group have realized that they are fighting for nothing. The role of smartphones and social media in creating this mentality has not been unaffected.

The Taliban and the intelligence advisors of this group, who are mainly from neighboring countries, know very well that this matter has played a major role in past revolutions and situations, and is considered important in future events as well. For this reason, they are trying to prevent their fighters and commanders from accessing smartphones and social media. Today, the media draw the mental world and worldview of the audience and have tremendous power in changing mentalities and life decisions. For these two purposes, the Taliban are gradually reducing the access of their fighters and commanders to the media, social networks, and smart technologies, and they are turning them into unquestioning soldiers who do not know internal and political situations and, on the contrary, the crimes, killings, and tortures of this group should remain hidden.

Moreover, the Taliban fear that social networks and smartphones will reveal the true face of this group and will wake up the native allies in the north, and areas other than its strongholds, and separate them from the ranks of this group. This is a policy for the internal cohesion of the Taliban, which is based on ignorance, and on the other hand, the denial and concealment of their daily crimes, which are carried out by this group.

Aasoo – Contributor and Opinion Writer, Hasht-e Subh Daily