Cover image for Taliban : militant Islam, oil and fundamentalism in Central Asia
Taliban : militant Islam, oil and fundamentalism in Central Asia
Rashid, Ahmed.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New Haven, Conn. ; London : Yale Nota Bene, Yale University Press, 2001.

Physical Description:
xi, 279 pages : 2 maps ; 22 cm
General Note:
"First published as a Yale Note Bene book in 2001"--T.p. verso.
Kandahar 1994: the origins of the Taliban -- Herat 1995: God's invincible soldiers -- Kabul 1996: commander of the faithful -- Mazar-e-Sharif 1997: massacre in the north -- Bamiyan 1998-99: the never-ending war -- Challenging Islam: the new-style fundamentalism of the Taliban -- Secret society: the Taliban's political and military organization -- A vanished gender: women, children and Taliban culture -- High on heroin: drugs and the Taliban economy -- Global jihad: the Arab-Afghans and Osama Bin Laden -- Dictators and oil barons: the Taliban and Central Asia, Russia, Turkey and Israel -- Romancing the Taliban 1: the battle for pipelines 1994-96 -- Romancing the Taliban 2: the battle for pipelines 1997-99: the USA and the Taliban -- Master or victim: Pakistan's Afghan war -- Shia and Sunni: Iran and Saudi Arabia -- Conclusion: the future of Afghanistan.
Corporate Subject:
Format :


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DS371.2 .R367 2000C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS371.2 .R367 2000C Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS371.2 .R367 2000C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
DS371.2 .R367 2000C Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Shrouding themselves and their aims in deepest secrecy, the leaders of the Taliban movement control Afghanistan with an inflexible, crushing fundamentalism. The most extreme and radical of all Islamic organizations, the Taliban inspires fascination, controversy, and especially fear in both the Muslim world and the West. Correspondent Ahmed Rashid brings the shadowy world of the Taliban into sharp focus in this enormously interesting and revealing book. It is the only authoritative account of the Taliban and modern day Afghanistan available to English language readers.

Based on his experiences as a journalist covering the civil war in Afghanistan for twenty years, traveling and living with the Taliban, and interviewing most of the Taliban leaders since their emergence to power in 1994, Rashid offers unparalleled firsthand information. He explains how the growth of Taliban power has already created severe instability in Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and five Central Asian republics. He describes the Taliban's role as a major player in a new "Great Game"--a competition among Western countries and companies to build oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets. The author also discusses the controversial changes in American attitudes toward the Taliban--from early support to recent bombings of Osama Bin Laden's hideaway and other Taliban-protected terrorist bases--and how they have influenced the stability of the region.

Author Notes

Pakistani journalist and bestselling author Ahmed Rashid was born in Rawalpindi in 1948. He was educated at Malvern College in England, Government College in Lahore, and Fitzwilliam College in Cambridge. He works as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and the Daily Telegraph and writes for the Wall Street Journal, The Nation, and academic journals. His titles include Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia, and Descent into Chaos.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Rashid, a journalist of Pakistani descent, covered the war in Afghanistan for 21 years, and in this book he brings urgency to a conflict in Central Asia of which most Americans and many Europeans are mostly ignorant. He reveals a nation with a rich culture of contradictions and complexities that have never been fathomed by its numerous conquerors: the Persians, Mongols, British, Soviets, and Pakistanis. Rashid examines the social, economic, and political cost of fighting off its rulers as Afghanistan is beset with drugs, weapons, corruption, and violence. He focuses on the rise of the Taliban, which translates as "students of Islam," prompted by a moral void in a religious land. The fundamentalist movement aims to restore respect for Islam, but in its strict interpretation of Islam it is guilty of its own forms of repression, particularly against women. Heroin and other drugs become central to the Taliban economy. Western interests in the oil pipelines and the drug trafficking through Afghanistan promise to keep this troubled nation "important" to Americans. --Vernon Ford

Library Journal Review

Afghanistan's position as a crossroads in Central Asia made it part of the 19th-century Great Game of imperialism and brings it to international strategic prominence once again. Rashid is a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review who has covered Afghanistan's changing fortunes since the 1978 Soviet invasion. In his second book, he covers the origin and rise of the Taliban, its concepts of Islam on questions of gender roles and drugs, and the importance of the country to the development of energy resources in the region. His account of the Taliban's origins among the Pashtun refugees in Pakistani camps and their minimal education in Koranic schools from poorly educated teachers explains their lack of knowledge of the history and culture of their own country and of what it means to govern. The failed state that is now Afghanistan threatens to destabilize its neighbors by exporting both drugs and extremist views. Unlike Peter Marsden's Taliban: War Religion and the New Order in Afghanistan (Oxford Univ., 1998), this new work emphasizes the international implications of the Taliban and its government. A lucid and thoroughly researched account, it is recommended for academic and most public libraries.--Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgementsp. vii
Mapsp. xiii
Introduction: Afghanistan's Holy Warriorsp. 1
Part 1 History of the Taliban Movement
Chapter 1 Kandahar 1994: The Origins of the Talibanp. 17
Chapter 2 Herat 1995: God's Invincible Soldiersp. 31
Chapter 3 Kabul 1996: Commander of the Faithfulp. 41
Chapter 4 Mazar-e-Sharif 1997: Massacre in the Northp. 55
Chapter 5 Bamiyan 1998-99: The Never-Ending Warp. 67
Part 2 Islam and the Taliban
Chapter 6 Challenging Islam: The New-Style Fundamentalism of the Talibanp. 82
Chapter 7 Secret Society: The Taliban's Political and Military Organizationp. 95
Chapter 8 A Vanished Gender: Women, Children and Taliban Culturep. 105
Chapter 9 High on Heroin: Drugs and the Taliban Economyp. 117
Chapter 10 Global Jihad: The Arab-Afghans and Osama Bin Ladenp. 128
Part 3 The New Great Game
Chapter 11 Dictators and Oil Barons: The Taliban and Central Asia, Russia, Turkey and Israelp. 143
Chapter 12 Romancing the Taliban 1: The Battle for Pipelines 1994-96p. 157
Chapter 13 Romancing the Taliban 2: The Battle for Pipelines 1997-99--The USA and the Talibanp. 170
Chapter 14 Master or Victim: Pakistan's Afghan Warp. 183
Chapter 15 Shia and Sunni: Iran and Saudi Arabiap. 196
Chapter 16 Conclusion: The Future of Afghanistanp. 207
Appendicesp. 217
Notesp. 248
Indexp. 266