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This title in other editions
Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil, and Fundamentalism in Central Asiaby Ahmed Rashid
Synopses & Reviews
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 Talibans 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 Ladens hideaway and other Taliban-protected terrorist bases—and how they have influenced the stability of the region.
Book News Annotation:
Rahshid, a journalist who covered the Afghan civil war and the emergence of the Taliban in 1994, examines the Taliban's history, relationship to Islam, and their new global role in the oil trade, especially the building of pipelines. He verifies the usual American media presentation of the Taliban when he states that they closed down all the girls' schools and forced women behind domestic doors, banned all entertainment (sports, games, music, tv, card games), forced men to grow beards, and continue to keep the personages and workings of government secretive. The book is important for its close attention to a country now the focus of a new cold war over oil and Islam, and a theocratic faction that has gained the support of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and the enmity of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, India, and Russia, all of the latter contributing money and arms to the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. Several appendices offer valuable information on such items as Taliban decrees concerning women, the Taliban power structure, and a chronology of Taliban-related events.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A journalist who covered the civil war in Afghanistan for 20 years and interviewed leaders of the Taliban organization brings into focus this most radical of fundamentalist Islamic movements, which is creating instability in the East and taking an increasing role in the development of oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia to Western and Asian markets.
About the Author
Ahmed Rashid is a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and Daily Telegraph reporting on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. He is the author of The Resurgence of Central Asia: Islam or Nationalism?
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