The Taliban is an organization of fundamentalist Afghani Muslims who first emerged in 1996, following the collapse of the Soviet-backed Afghan government. Among the lawless turmoil and civil war that dominated Afghanistan, the former graduates of Pakistani Islamic schools founded the Taliban Islamic Movement of Afghanistan and asserted revolution. After capturing the nation’s capital, Kabul, the Taliban initiated a version of proper Islamic social order characterized by a suppression of human rights. Specifically, the Taliban Islamic Movement of Afghanistan instituted a vision of a pure Islamic state based on strict adherence to the Sharia, the implementation of the Hudood Ordinance and enforcing debilitating laws governing women that was directly responsible for the ultimate demise of Afghanistan.
For the five years that the Taliban held power in Afghanistan they were able to successfully enforce the Islamic law known as the Sharia. This particular law began with the Prophet Muhammad whereby some of the laws were direct commands stated in the Qur'an and others were rooted in the prophet's personal experiences and judgments that he passed down on cases that occurred during his lifetime. These secondary laws are based on the Sunnah, which means the prophet’s words and way of life. Under the guise of establishing a return to traditional values and pure living the Taliban presented the people of Afghanistan with the Sharia as a means of reclaiming their identity following the Soviet retreat. In truth, the Taliban manipulated the traditional essence of Sharia law:
Taliban officials employed rhetoric of Islamist revolution, but their points of reference seemed light years removed from the militant struggles being waged elsewhere in the world, struggles which married the legitimizing principles of traditional Sharia law with concepts of social justice which had their roots in the canons of dialectical materialism. (The Nation, 19 0ctober 1996)
Although the Taliban’s ideals of reigniting the Sharia may have initially been met with a degree of acceptance, once the extreme severity became apparent to the world and in particular the “regional guardians of Islamic correctness, such as Iran, Egypt and Pakistan, all of which had political ties with the Taliban,” they became “fiercely critical of the movement’s social experiments which they condemned for giving Islam a bad name.” (Griffen, 9) Public outrage grew when the Taliban repeatedly invoked the most extreme penalties for crimes not specified in the Qur'an or the Sunnah. (Farah, 158). The Taliban decreed that Sharia Islamic law forbade music, the representation of living things which included photographs, most forms of entertainment, including radio, with the exception of its own station, alcohol, television, and even childhood games. In Western civilization there is a general belief that the principle of God's will is to bring about justice tempered with compassion and fairness as opposed to the tyranny, cruelty and exploitation that authored the penalties for disobeying the Sharia law, which to the extreme limit of the penalty, was the basis for the implementation of the Hudood Ordinance.
The Hudood Ordinance began in Pakistan in 1979, under the military ruler Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization. The Hudood Law was adapted by the Taliban to implement Islamic Shari'a law, by enforcing punishments mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah. Muslims justify the severe punishments administered under the Hudood Ordinance as crimes that are deserving of the most extreme consequences because they are crimes "against God and a threat to the moral fabric of the Muslim community." (Bahmueller) Capital punishments for robbery resulted in death by a sword, crucifixion or amputation of hands or feet. Stoning was the punishment for crimes of a sexual nature and flogging was commonly used for drinking alcohol and gambling. The argument surrounding