The Devastating Consequences of Talibanization of Life

By: Mazdak Parsi

The Taliban Ministry of Education lately announced the plan to build ten religious schools in each district; a scheme which the Taliban have been implementing since returning power in Afghanistan, and now it appears to expand further. With this account, the danger of Islamic extremism is getting wider and more worrying than before, especially when the Taliban regime is backing the institutions that promote terrorism with all the financial and political resources.

The concern about promoting Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, where religious schools are one of its main sources, is stern. These centers, by promoting hatred, violence, and religious bigotry, breed people who with absolute and unshakable faith in superstitious and regressing ideas very easily engage in indescribable violence and are even ready to commit suicide.

Localization of Terrorism

Afghanistan has mostly been a victim of Islamic extremism, whose production and supply centers are outside its borders. These centers were established during the Cold War with the unrelenting support of the West, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, in order to defeat the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan, and following the collapse of the Soviet Union, they not only did not disappear, but their number also increased. Since then, tens of thousands of religious schools in Pakistan have been terrorist factories, a source of recruitment for dozens of terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda, Islamic State-Khorasan (ISS-K), Afghan Taliban, and Pakistani Taliban.

Now that they are reinstated, the Taliban plan to establish religious schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well. Pakistan has been sufficiently active in this field and now the Taliban must also fulfill their responsibility. The rise of the Taliban in establishing more religious schools in Afghanistan shows that the Islamists are attempting to take larger regional steps to implement the global jihad project. It appears that the Taliban are endeavoring more than before to make themselves self-sufficient in terms of providing human resources for terrorism and have achievements in exporting terrorism.

The capacity of localizing terrorism in Islamic countries, including Afghanistan, is very high, because these countries, besides Islamization, are encountering extensive political, economic, and cultural challenges and crises, and the leading forces do not have a large and calculated presence in them. Islamic extremists can easily position themselves in the countries which claim to be “saviors of humanity” and gather the helpless and inferior majority around them. The Talibanization of life in Afghanistan through the creation of more religious schools gets a more precise meaning.

Why Is Promoting Islamist Extremism Dangerous?

Promoting Islamist terrorism in Afghanistan has hazardous consequences due to various reasons:

• Since the majority of Afghans are Muslims, there is a natural tendency to accept Islamic extremism. Radical Islamic groups can easily attract a large part of young people to their radical teachings through the establishment of religious schools and other ostensibly harmless cultural institutions.

On the other hand, in Afghanistan, an Islamic country with its people keen on religious education, madrasas have existed for a long time, and almost all Afghans have undertaken Islamic education centers in their childhood. These spontaneous madrasas, which the previous governments had no role in creating, do not have any formality in the Taliban regime, and thus it is difficult for this group to monitor them properly.

Therefore, religious schools, while they can serve the survival of the Taliban regime, can also be used by other terrorist groups, including ISS-K. In this case, we will witness the repetition of the same disaster that the Taliban brought upon the people of this country during the twenty years of the presence of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. This time, however, the role of the Taliban is played by ISS-K.

• Afghanistan’s culture is strongly xenophobic which is an important reason for the historical resistance of Afghans against the superior powers. This xenophobia existed in our land even before Islam, which cannot be sought only in the Islamization of Afghan culture. The xenophobia that Islam fueled with its presence in Afghanistan was once a troublesome enemy of Islam itself. The hard resistance of our people against the Muslim Arabs is a part of history. However, with the institutionalization of Islam in our land, the power of xenophobia in Afghanistan increased more than before and one of the reasons for the failure of the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan was that the Russians clashed strongly with Islam and the Islamic fundamentalists seized the opportunity to theorize the war of “Islam against infidels” and masterfully mobilize people.

The xenophobia of Afghanistan’s culture has intensified with each invasion of foreign forces and has been bolstered. When mixed with Islam, xenophobia becomes even more deadly and terrifying.

• Afghanistan is a country where leftist politics has not been able to prevail due to various reasons. The groups that have been active in the country under such a name, instead of offering effective and constructive alternatives, besides imitation and wrong education of Marxism, have been deeply immersed in nationalism and ethnocentrism (the dominant trend in power relations in Afghanistan). The Afghan type of ethnicism is hazardous, long-lasting, and unbreakable that it has absorbed even the leftist ideas that defended proletarian internationalism. At present, the nationalist left is fueling ethnocentrism and linguistic issues more than the right-wing and jihadi nationalists.

In the absence of a strong and mass leftist movement that organizes and leads the just and humane demands of the people, the regressive forces, by exploiting the social foundations they have among the people, can easily keep themselves popular among the inferior citizens and lead astray their justice-seeking protest through alternatives.

The twenty years of the presence of Western forces in Afghanistan provided an opportunity for the intellectual community and dissident groups to take an active part in the macro-politics by informing and mobilizing the inferior people and offering new alternatives for leading the people and freeing them from the Islamic fundamentalism. However, these movements were immersed in promoting NGO-related activities in Afghanistan after 2001 and they forgot their main responsibilities. The movement that should have taken advantage of the opportunity gained for the benefit of the people and the leftist liberation movement, was trapped in everyday life and populism, and eventually, resulting the Islamic fundamentalists in returning in the form of the Taliban, stronger and more organized than before.


• During the Cold War, Western intelligence agencies created a frightening figure in Afghanistan, which not only created a disaster for Afghans but also sometimes went beyond the control of its breeders and caused trouble for them as well.

• The recruitment sources of international terrorism are now gradually becoming domestic and the Taliban, as an Islamist group that rules Afghanistan, are seeking to train a new generation of Islamic extremists to guarantee the survival of this group in the country.

• Islamic fundamentalists are present in Afghanistan with different faces and appearances, but with the same and similar theme, and each of them is active on different fronts to achieve a single goal.