WHO ARE THE TALIBAN? First, let’s talk about what they are not. They are not the government of Afghanistan, legally, morally, or in any other way. They seized power by force. They are not recognized by other governments. The United Nations and most nations of the world recognize the government-in-exile of President Burhanuddin Rabbani. His military leader, Ahmad Shah Masood, was assassinated the day before the terrorist attack on America. Until September 11, 2001, only three governments out of hundreds in the world recognized the Taliban: The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The first two cut diplomatic relations with the Taliban shortly after the Attack. Pakistan, which fears terrorists coming across its border with Afghanistan, is the only "friend" the Taliban have left.
In simple terms, the Taliban is a movement of hard-line Islamic militia that seized power in Afghanistan in 1996. But that only tells part of the story. This is not a government as the civilized world thinks of governments. The people of Afghanistan have absolutely no say in who governs or how they govern. The Taliban is nothing more than a gang of thugs who use their religion as a club with which to beat their own people into submission.
The word taliban has nothing to do with government or leadership. In Pashto, the language of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group, "taliban" is the word for a religious student. The Taliban have their roots in the refugee camps of Pakistan, where hundreds of thousands of Afghanis fled during the war with the Soviet Union. In their culture, women have little or no value, and therefore girls are not allowed to attend school. The boys were trained in madrassas (religious schools) in these camps, thus the name Taliban. Unfortunately, they were taught a religion of hate and murder.
Since Islam was introduced to Afghanistan, the Taliban have been part of the social order. In addition to the madrassas, they control the shrines and mosques and direct religious affairs in general. They consider themselves mujahideen (holy warriors) and believe that dying for Islam guarantees them special favor with Allah. Most people outside of the Middle East had never heard of the Taliban until recently, so the international community tends to think of them as some kind of new movement. The truth is that they have been an integral part of Afghan history for centuries; they just never had power. Now that they control the government as well as religion, they are out of control.
Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s leader is reportedly married to Osama bin Ladin’s daughter. He claims to share power with ten other mullahs (religious leaders), but Omar actually makes the decisions. He formed a militia in 1994 which began attacking his native Afghanistan. In 1996 the capitol, Kabul, fell to Omar’s militia, and he now controls over 90% of the country.
All regimes controlled by Islamic clerics are oppressive, but Afghanistan under the Taliban gives new meaning to the word. Their "religious laws" range from the cruel (residents must paint over the windows of any home in which a woman lives) to the ridiculous (no kite flying is allowed). Women cannot work, vote, attend school or college, and they must be escorted by a male family member whenever they are allowed to leave their homes. They cut off the hands of thieves, and stone adulters to death. Summary executions are common.
Lately we have heard well-meaning but uninformed people saying things like, "All religions serve the same God. They just call Him by different names. I’m sorry. I don’t know the God of these hate-filled Islamic fanatics. My prayer is that the next time I write an article about the Taliban, the title will be "Who WERE The Taliban."
SUPPORT THE RED CROSS TO HELP ATTACK VICTIMS, NOT THE UNITED WAY. I would have given the same advice the day following the Attack on America, based solely on the United Way’s demonstrated hostility to religion and their merciless attempts to destroy the Boy Scouts. However, the United Way has given America new reason to mistrust them since September 11, 2001.
Bill O’Reilly has reported on Fox News that the United Way has raised over $87 Million in the name of helping victims of the Attack in New York City and in Washington, D.C. The families of many of the victims are in desperate straits. Many widows with small children can’t afford their homes or apartments and depend on family and friends for food. Yet as of thirty days after the Attack the United Way had distributed only about one per cent of the funds they had collected. And they have adamantly refused to answer questions about why they are withholding these funds, or whether they have been diverted to some other purpose.
By contrast, the Red Cross spent millions of dollars in disaster relief funds immediately after the Attack. Instead of concentrating on raising money, as the United Way did, the Red Cross concentrated on spending money to help with the emergency needs of the victims and their families. After that they started making appeals to replenish their coffers. The Red Cross has proved itself trustworthy and worthy of our support. The United Way has proved itself to be the opposite.
THE ACLU CRAWLS OUT FROM UNDER ITS ROCK.. Since September 11th, the ACLU has been mercifully quiet. Perhaps they have been sensitive to the fact that the vast majority of Americans don’t care for their unpatriotic, mean-spirited attacks on everything that is good about our country. I doubt that is the case. They probably spent the time planning their next attack. As news analyst Mary Mostert reveals, this time the ACLU has chosen school children as their victims.
The ACLU - AMERICA’S VERY OWN TALIBAN - Demands End of "God Bless America" October 8, 2001 by Mary Mostert, Analyst, Banner of Liberty (www.bannerofliberty.com) ACLU Demands Elementary School Remove Patriotic Sign...The Sacramento Bee reported Saturday, October 6th that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California has demanded the removal of a sign which elementary school Principal Terry Thornton of Rocklin, California said "reflects a grass-roots effort following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The offending sign says "God Bless America." (To read the rest of the story, go to www.bannerofliberty.com/OS10-01MQC/10-9-2001.1.html )
OUR READERS RESPOND. We have received emails from all over the world recently responding to our articles and offering their support for America. In just the last week we have heard from India, Pakistan, Argentina, England, Australia, New Zealand, and a dozen other countries. We thought you would enjoy hearing the thoughts of your fellow subscribers.
"We’ve learned so much from your writings. Thanks and may God bless your ministry. Mike & Suzanne Rearic, Loxahatchee, Florida."
"Dear Brothers & Sisters, My name is Tariq Abi Nazir and I am a Christian living in Pakistan. I have no words to share my condolence and sympathy on this terrible and horrible time in the history of America. Whole night I was in front of the TV, watching CNN and Fox news stations, my kids were also with me and we prayed many times with broken hearts and eyes full of tears. Well this is not just pain full time for the Americans only but the whole believer?s world is shocked. I am totally touched with the brave, full of hope speech of President Mr. Bush. He not only quoted the Bible in his TV address to the nation but he also said ?Enemy can destroy the buildings of this country but can not destroy the faith and determination of these people.? He also requested for prayers and He openly showed his full trust on the almighty God. What a great witness. This is the true character of a believer that whatever may be the worldly circumstances are, his hope is only the true God. I am far away from all of you, but my prayers are for you, for your families and all the people of your country that may God provide His limitless strength, wisdom and tolerance to face this hard and crucial time in your present."
"Finally a forum that is not afraid to speak out! I am a conservative & proud of it. This is one very cool paper - glad to receive it. Rick Spitzbart"
"I love the way you write. I reviewed some of your items in the archives and I am intrigued with what you say and how you say it. Even more intriguing, you are a minister making such bold statements that I have yet to hear from ministers. Richard Becker."
"Tom, Thanks for your great newsletter. Appreciate you, your writing and the suggestions of sites. In His Fellowship, Dr. Joseph B. Kennedy, Sr."
"I heard about you from a friend in India. Thank you for this newsletter. Kay Phillip, South Carolina."
"I liked the article on Airport Security. What people need to realize is that stopping terrorism requires a ’defense in depth’ philosophy. Airport security is a key layer in this protective strategy for the reasons outlined in your piece, interstate commerce and the protection of our borders. The problem as I see it, is one of labor policy. That is, no private organization wants the government restricting their ability to recruit cheap labor. Regulation would do just that, require background checks and minimum training and qualification. You are right. The government should take over airport security, and pass the majority of the costs on to the air carriers and passengers using those services, rather than as a general fund expense. Patrick W. O’Hara."
"Dear Rev. Barrett, I was forwarded a copy of your newsletter that contained the America Humbled essay. I found a lot of truth in it, and, as a conservative, I would be interested in hearing more of what other conservatives in the United States are thinking. Please forward a copy of your letter to the Palm Beach Post. I would be extremely interested in reading of your experiences. All we heard was the liberal press side of what happened in Florida. I was watching Jeopardy a few nights ago, and one of the questions on it was, ’Who was the Presidential candidate who won the popular vote but lost the election?’ Even Jeopardy has now been tainted - how many recounts does it take to put this thing to bed? Thank you, Pam Phillips."
"Dear Sir, I come from an English/Greek bloodline. Both sides of my family have fought in wars that many have never even heard of, but with one common enemy, those that denied others freedom. We, from the Mediterranean to the east Atlantic support you all fully with out feign or distraction. James Parsons Exeter, England."
"Thank you for your e-mail regarding the most patriotic website. Normally I automatically delete forwarded emails, but I’m thankful that I did not do that this time. I also like your religious aspect regarding our enemies and have been wondering how God feels about all of this, but you have put it in perspective for me. Sincerely, Colleen Bartlett."
"I would like to subscribe to these very interesting editorials. You seem to have found the proverbial Nail and are hitting it on the Head. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Phyllis Watson.