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Sabtu, 11 September 2021

The Taliban held their own women's march, with armed guards and scripts for the protesters - ABC News

The Taliban have raised their flag over the Afghan presidential palace, as the US and the world marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

The white banner, emblazoned with a Koranic verse, was hoisted in a low-key ceremony by the prime minister of the Taliban interim government Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, said Ahmadullah Muttaqi, multimedia branch chief of the Taliban's cultural commission.

The flag-raising marked the official start of the work of the new government, he said.

The composition of the all-male, all-Taliban government was announced earlier this week and was met with disappointment by the international community, which had hoped the Taliban would make good on an earlier promise of an inclusive line-up.

Two decades ago, the Taliban ruled Afghanistan with a heavy hand. Television was banned and on September 11, 2001, the day of the horrific attacks on America, the news spread from crackling radios across the darkened streets of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The city rarely had electricity and barely a million people lived in Kabul at the time.

It took the US-led coalition just two months to drive the Taliban from the capital and by December 7, 2001, they were defeated, driven from their last holdout in southern Kandahar, their spiritual heartland.

Twenty years later, the Taliban are back in Kabul. America has departed, ending its 'forever war' two weeks before the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and two weeks after the Taliban returned to the Afghan capital on August 15.

Some things have changed since the first period of Taliban rule in the 1990s.

This time, the gun-toting fighters don't race through the city streets in their trucks. Instead, they inch through chaotic, clogged traffic in the city of more than 5 million.

taliban march escort
Taliban fighters escorted women to the march in support of the Taliban government.(

AP: Bernat Armangue

)

In Taliban-controlled Kabul in the 1990s, barber shops were banned. Now Taliban fighters get the latest haircuts, even if their beards remain untouched in line with their religious beliefs.

But the Taliban have begun issuing harsh edits that have hit women hardest, such as banning women's sports. They have also used violence to stop women from protesting to demand equal rights.

On Saturday, the Taliban even orchestrated a women's march of their own.

This one involved dozens of women obscured from head to toe, hidden behind layers of black veils.

They filled an auditorium at Kabul University's education centre in a well-choreographed snub to the past 20 years of Western efforts to empower women.

Speakers read from scripted speeches celebrating the Taliban victory over a West they charged was anti-Islam.

The women marched briefly outside the centre grounds, waving placards saying "the women who left don't represent us," referring to the many thousands who fled in fear of a Taliban crackdown on women's rights.

A white sign with black lettering is fixed to a wall
The Taliban flag is painted on a wall outside the American embassy compound in Kabul.(

 AP: Bernat Armangue

)

"We don't want co-education," read another banner.

Outside the hall, the Taliban director of higher education, Maulvi Mohammad Daoud Haqqani, said 9/11 was the day "the world started their propaganda against us calling us terrorists and blaming us" for the attacks in the United States.

At a dusty book store in Kabul's Karte Sangi neighbourhood, Atta Zakiri, a self-declared civil society activist, said America was wrong to attack Afghanistan after 9/11.

He blamed the invasion that followed the 9/11 attacks for creating another generation of hardline Taliban fighters.

"The Taliban should have been allowed to stay. Why didn't we work with them? Instead, they went to fight," he said.

"And now we are back to where we were 20 years ago."

AP

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiUmh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTA5LTEyL3RhbGliYW4tc2VwdGVtYmVyLTExLXdvbWVucy1tYXJjaC8xMDA0NTUzNjbSAShodHRwczovL2FtcC5hYmMubmV0LmF1L2FydGljbGUvMTAwNDU1MzY2?oc=5

2021-09-12 03:07:41Z
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