Where did the Taliban come from?

The first devotees came from the poverty-stricken refugee camps that sprung up along the Pakistani border during the Afghan-Soviet war. The young men of these camps learned a fierce and fundamental strain of Islam through the madrassas, Islamic schools that dotted the Afghan-Pakistani border. In September 1994, Mohammad Omar, then a mullah and today the leader of the Taliban, created the militia in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar. From the start, its goal was to unite a divided and war-plagued Afghanistan under a strict and unyielding version of Sharia — Islamic law as written in the Koran, the life of Mohammed and his followers, and Muslim scholars through the ages.

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Filed under Abou Ali, Religion

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