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Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and Muslim Fundamentalism
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Al-Qaeda (also al-Qaida or al-Qa'ida or al-Qa'idah) (Arabic: القاعدة al-qāʕida, translation: The Base) is an international alliance of militant Sunni jihadist organizations. Its roots can be traced back to Osama bin Laden and others around the time of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989.[1] Al-Qaeda's objectives include the end of foreign influence in Muslim countries and the creation of a new Islamic caliphate.

Al-Qaeda has been labeled a terrorist organization by the United Nations Security Council,[2] the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,[3][4] the European Union,[5] the United States,[6] Australia,[7] Canada,[8] Israel,[9] Japan,[10] the Netherlands,[11] the United Kingdom,[12] Russia,[13] Sweden,[14] and Switzerland.[15] Its affiliates have executed attacks against targets in various countries, the most prominent being the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Following the September 11 attacks, the United States government launched a broad military and intelligence campaign known as the War on Terrorism, with the stated aim of dismantling al-Qaeda and killing or capturing its operatives.

Due to its structure of semi-autonomous cells, al-Qaeda's size and degree of responsibility for particular attacks are difficult to establish. However, this may also be because its size and degree are exaggerated. Although the governments opposed to al-Qaeda claim that it has worldwide reach,[16] other analysts have suggested that those governments, as well as Osama bin Laden himself, exaggerate al-Qaeda's significance in Islamist terrorism.[17] The neologism "al-Qaedaism"[18] is applied to the wider context of those who independently conduct similar acts through political sympathy to al-Qaeda ideology or methods or the copycat effect.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Taliban (Pashto: طالبان) (also Taleban) are a fundamentalist Sunni Muslim and ethnic Pashtun movement that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when their leaders were removed from power by the a cooperative military effort between the United States and the Northern Alliance. Committed fundamentalist insurgents, often described as "Taliban" in the media, originating[citation needed] in the Frontier Tribal Areas of Pakistan, are currently engaged in a protracted guerrilla war and terrorist campaign against the current government of Afghanistan and allied NATO forces.

The movement was headed by Mullah Mohammed Omar. Beneath him were "a mixture of former small-unit military commanders and Madrasah teachers,"[2] and then a rank and file most of whom had studied in Islamic religious schools in Pakistan. The overwhelming majority of Taliban movement were Pashtuns from southern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, along with a small number of volunteers from Eurasia to China. The Taliban received valuable training, supplies and arms from the Pakistani government, particularly the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), and many recruits from Madrasahs for Afghan refugees in Pakistan, primarily ones established by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam JUI.

Although in control of Afghanistan's capital (Kabul) and much or most of the country for five years, the Taliban regime, or "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," gained diplomatic recognition from only three states: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Human rights abuses denied it United Nations recognition and most world's states, including Iran, India, Turkey, Russia, USA and most Central Asian republics opposed the Taliban and aided its rival (Afghan Northern Alliance).

While in power, the Taliban implemented the "strictest interpretation of Sharia law ever seen in the Muslim world,"[3] and became notorious internationally for their treatment of women.[4] Women were forced to wear the burqa in public.[5] They were allowed neither to work nor to be educated after the age of eight,[4] and until then were permitted only to study the Qur'an.[4] Women seeking an education were forced to attend underground schools, where they and their teachers risked execution if caught.[4] They were not allowed to be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperon, which led to illnesses remaining untreated. They faced public flogging in the street,[6] and public execution for violations of the Taliban's laws.[7




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