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I think we need some elaboration, external references to substantiate the list of Taliban deeds. -- css

Some links:

I added a few links to external references that give specific mention of the abuses. Don't assume that if there is no reference listed that it is erroneous; I just didn't have time to research those particular ones. -- BryceHarrington

Controversy around destroying Buddist statues

It's quite suprising that Western media cared more about these statues than about breaking human rights in Afganistan. Moreover, destroying statues isn't really unusual in history. For example, when communism were overthrown in Eastern Europe,

most of Lenin statues were destroyed and nobody really cared.

In earlier times, new dominant religions often destroyed sacral objects of the previous one.

Another important point to note is that representational art is at best irrelevant to Muslims (ever see a Mosque? all patterns and designs... no pictures of people) so big statues that represent a real person (Buddha) would be sort of sacrilegious. Furthermore, it has been reported on NPR in an interview with a leading Taliban official that the story behind the destruction is more complex than has been reported. According to the official, the problem arose when a Western art preservation group came to the country to do work on the statues. The Taliban said, "Great, come on in and fix the statue... but can we ask you one favor? There is this town near the statue where the people are starving and the children are dying. Could you split your budget in half, giving half to the statue and half to the children of the town?"

And the art preservation group said no way. So the Taliban blew up the statues rather than re-hear the request.

Certainly the Taliban official could have been lying or exagerating WRT to this account, but it is an interesting lesson nonetheless.

given the way they behave towards other aid workers trying to feed people, I have my doubts. From what I've read the statues are quite isolated. From the point of view of Muslims and representational art (a) they have never banned other people's represenational art so long as it is not publically displayed. Thus, if the statues were isolated, they were not offensive. Islam has long banned any external display of other religion's symbols (even including the ringing of bells by Christians), but never interfered on the inside of churches or synagogues. When Islamic groups took over a building belonging to a former religion they often painted over earlier art (see Hagia Sophia, for instance) but they did not often go further than that. They never, for instance, chiselled off the Persian reliefs at the Sassanid tombs. (b) The Wahabbi style of Islam practiced by the Taliban is not just opposed to images - it is opposed to minarets (the Prophet didnt' have one) and gravestones (they 'lead to idolatry'). They even refuse to practice a normal decorative technique of mosques -- yes, the ones I've seen are covered with inscriptions of Koranic texts, except the ones that are empty. Those are Wahabbi-influenced ones. They don't like that. I forget why that would be bad, but they don't do it. They DO use Koranic inscriptions and secular inscriptions outside mosques (the new airport in Riyadh has an incredible dome with inscriptions). --MichaelTinkler

I did a little research on the Taliban for a few weeks in August, coincidentally just before they became famous. A lot of the statements made about them on the main page are false. I would definitely take any remarks made by the media SINCE September 11th with a BIG pinch of salt. I would DEFINITELY not trust statements by RAWA, many of whose claims about the Taliban can be seen to be false even from the sources they keep on their own site (RAWA's web site that is). RAWA is the self-proclaimed opposition. They are wrt the Taliban completely biased. One example: the statement that women's schools are closed or don't exist is contradicted by the UN on a regular basis. There are hundreds of schools for girls currently in Afghanistan supprted by UN or NGO agencies (with the knowledge of the Taliban when they were in government) and hundreds more that are not supported by the agencies. You can easily find photographs on UN web sites of schools teaching girls. Many statements circulated about how the Taliban treat women are exagerated nonsense. David Byron

Documentation, please. If there is in fact a page on a U.N. site that documents that it belongs in the article. I find it hard to believe your statement, especially after seeing some of the screeds you've written already on Wikipedia, but I'm willing to look at your research. --Dmerrill
I will provide documentation if you first apologise for that comment. Otherwise I suggest you use a search engine. David Byron
Apologize for what, referring to your work on, for example, Feminism as a "screed"? I wasn't the only person to see it that way, just read the Feminism/Talk page. Egern used the word "diatribe". I will not apologize for expressing my opinion. And if you won't produce documentation for your claim without an apology, then I guess the article will stay as it is. --Dmerrill
The article would be better labeled US anti-Taliban war time propaganda currently. You (rhetorically?) ask The Taliban are really goodhearted souls who love women, do you know how the Taliban originated? Why does this page contain the RAWA POV and the US POV with no balancing view from the Taliban themselves? The article even assigns intentions and goals to the Taliban based only on what their political enemies have said!! Have you ever read anything by THEM? Why do I even bother.... truthfully I haven't. I didn't even bother to update the main page.
Please do put in their point of view. It certainly belongs in the article. --Dmerrill

See vandalism/Talk for a comment on the statues and a link to the Taliban ambassador's statement.

Here's a list of what I would call doubtful statements on the front page:

  • movement was characterized by young, educated uneducated surely?
  • withdrew their recognition because of the Taliban's refusal to hand over Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden I suspect they really withdrew because of US pressure. Taliban's attitude to Osama (which has NOT refused to hand him over incidentally) was unchanged from three or four years back.
  • This has similarities to the Wahhabi branch of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia although the Taliban have taken it to extremes Really? It's pretty extreme already as I understood it.
  • The Taliban is decried by many in the country and around the world community as oppressive Well so is the US but I doubt that is going to be put on an encyclopedia entry for the US. Better to be specific.
  • While they may have led to reform of government argumentative
  • most appointed local leaders have no education and are barely literate Source?
  • some in the United States have been lenient on the human rights abuses by the Taliban Huh? Lenient? What does that imply?
  • Taliban did initially start out with much popular support Initially?
  • RAWA is a group of women inside Afghanistan who attempt to document and minimize the damage caused to women by the Taliban RAWA has existed for about 25 years now - even before the Soviet invasion. What is RAWA even doing on this page? Maybe on the Afghanistan page?
  • Things that have been banned in parts of Afghanistan I'm glad to see "parts". Need to differentiate between statements by the department of religious enforcement and what actually happens. The two are usually quite different and the former is what gets reported as if it were the latter.

  • ok the whole banned list needs sorting out...... David Byron

I'm going to incur the wrath of Godwin's Law, I'm sure, but I have to make this comment: Oh, well, I guess Hitler had defenders in his day, too. --Jimbo Wales

I tried to address the issues you raised, but I'm not qualified to speak to all of them. However, the statement I was criticizing was the one where you said the Taliban are not as oppressive of women as believed, and girls are educated.
(Jimbo, don't you know you can't invoke Godwin's law intentionally?) --Dmerrill

Ok I'm out of here. Very disapointing to see the propriatry attitude of so many people on this project. NPOV = supporting Hitler. Prospective new members insulted if they bring new knowledge to the project. LOL. This is a farce. And as I understand it Jimbo is some kind of administrator? Perhaps this is just an American bias with the Taliban thing? I really cannot be bothered to knock my head against a brick wall here. Not a second time. The so-called 'facts' on this article could be proven false by any idiot with 5 minutes to spare and a web search engine. If you really think that it is immoral to have a NPOV on certain issues then it would be more honest to label the pages as such, but I think the real issue here is not morality of the Taliban but the parochialism of the American contributors.

"Whatever" David Byron

You have a browser and 5 minutes, and I would very much welcome your proving the facts as presented in the article as false. I promise you that if you can show such evidence, I will fully support its inclusion in the article. So far I've seen only unsubstantiated claims that sound outrageous. Your leaving in a huff rather than providing the evidence says to me that you don't have it.
And, what makes you assume we're all American? We aren't, you know. --Dmerrill
David, I'm sorry I upset you. I thought my reference to Godwin's Law was sufficient to indicate that I didn't think my response was serious. According to the most popular use of Godwin's Law, I automatically lose the debate by invoking Hitler. (And, I even lose out at ending the debate, since I tried to do it immediately.)

Anyhow, I'm sorry about that.

However, let me address some specifics. It is extremely important to have an NPOV article about the Taliban. But I think your claims are unsubstantiated and absurd. Many of us, including me, have spent far more time than 5 minutes with a web browser studying the Taliban, and reading all points of view that we can find. This includes, for me, two books, RAWA's website, the websites of various international aid groups, news reports, etc. And although I'm still very far from an expert, I can say that defending the Taliban requires a serious distortion of the facts. They're very extreme people.

Well you could start by reading the ambassador's view and then (because obviously the Taliban lie right?) checking out the facts about education with the UN site, which will confirm it. I know it didn't take *me* very long. It didn't take me long of reading the RAWA site to find that their own site contradicts thoroughly their own claims. Oh but my views are 'absurd'. Guess you'll have to do it for yourselves.

Also, in the context of writing articles and slash-Talking about articles, I have no special powers or privileges. You will not be banned or anything else fr disagreeming with me. The only thing I care about is getting at the truth -- and you ranting about Americans isn't going to help. --Jimbo Wales

I would like to make a few comments:
  • Information that challenges the established wisdom of what "everybody knows" to be the case is often a very good, good thing. For example, everyone "knows" that Charles Darrow invented the game of Monopoly. Well, actually he didn't, in fact he and Parker Brothers kind of took it from the public domain, and I updated the Wikipedia article on that game to reflect the fact that he didn't invent it(although I didn't go into a great deal of detail about it, and I didn't mention just how shady the whole story was).
  • On the other hand, web browsers are great for returning information about the range of opinions that exist on a subject. It is great for knowing that there are people who believe X or Y. Unfortunately, it also features the opinions of every fringe or revisionist point of view, no matter how outlandish or unsubstantiated. So it is important to take what we find on the web with a grain of salt. Just finding "information" on the web doesn't mean it it true.
  • On the other hand, just because the US government says something is true, that doesn't make it so.
  • On the other hand, I consider the Taliban to be pretty evil.

-- Egern

Why not mention that the US is considered oppressive in a lot of places? a lot of people do believe this. On the other hand, the US govt is recognized almost universally, while the taliban govt isn't. thats because a lot of people vehemently disagree with their policies, right?

BTW, I wrote some of the things that were taken issue with, and as a matter of fact I learned them FAR before any of this stuff happened. also, is CNN an authoritative source? If some people think not, then how can we resolve any of this?

--alan d

Alan, the reason why not to mention that is that the article is about the Taliban, not about the U.S. I have now edited the article to say that the Taliban are oppressive; the old wording seemed to suggest that the problem was that many people think they are oppressive, thus leading to these silly (in my opinion) questions comparing the U.S. to the Taliban.

The point is: it does not matter how oppressive the U.S. may be. It may be extremely oppressive in your view. This is still not reason to excuse or ignore the oppression in Afghanistan, and even more no reason for this article to 'soft pedal' the issue. David tried to suggest that people who say these things about the Taliban are just swayed by propaganda in the news, where only 5 minutes of research on the net would tell you that they aren't so bad. Well, that's just false. I don't know what David's 5 minutes of research taught him, but my study of the issue tells me that the Taliban were bad enough. --Jimbo Wales

I assume he meant you could mention it on the US page.

As I said its not all that hard to find UN sites with PICTURES of girls schools in Taliban controlled Afghanistan (though most of their pages are text). I think the Swedish Commitee for Afghanistan would really like to know where all its money went to because they certainly THINK that they are funding over a hundred schools with hundreds of female students, and yes the BBC and others have run plenty of stories on them. As a matter of interest I'd like to know how many UN sites, US government sites, Taliban sympathetic/Arabic sites or reports from independent journalists you all looked at before reaching your conclusions. Oh but sure, we all know that news is never slanted during war time or anything like that right? Maybe the US should bomb Al Jazeera again just to make sure there's no more of that awful media bias. Well I'd love to help you figure it out but I'm off to my Nazi meeting you know.

Let's see...

Unicef says, in 1997, "Since their military victories in the summer of 1995, the Taliban, known for their ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam, have barred girls and women teachers from the classroom and that women may not work." http://www.unicef.org/newsline/afghwarn.htm

The UN says, in 1999, that they are "Deeply concerned about the continuing deterioration of the situation of women and girls in Afghanistan, in particular in all areas under the control of the Taliban movement, as documented by the continued and substantiated reports of grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discrimination against them, such as denial of access to health care, to all levels and types of education, to employment outside the home and, in repeated instances, to humanitarian aid, as well as restrictions upon their freedom of movement..."

The resolution then "Condemns the continuing grave violations of the human rights of women and girls, including all forms of discriminationand violence against them, in all areas of Afghanistan, particularly in areas under the control of the Taliban"


"Also condemns the Taliban's denial of women's access to health care and the systematic violation of the human rights of women in Afghanistan, including the denial of access to education and to employment outside their home, freedom of movement, and freedom from intimidation, harassment and violence, which has a serious detrimental impact on the well-being of Afghan women and the children in their care..."


I'll be happy to do more of your research for you, but you're going to have to give me something more substantial. You said to look at the UN, and the UN agrees with me completely.

Try again. --Jimbo Wales

I tried searching the UN site, too, and found the same report of 1999 that you did, Jimbo. I think we've been trolled. :-/ --Dmerrill

This site is a fucking joke. Can any of you even use a search engine? Heard of Google? Type in "SWEDISH Committee for AFGHANISTAN girls schools" Like I TOLD YOU TO (spoonfeeding). Find over 7000 references. READ SOME. How about the first one even? Morons. Can't be bothered with the UN sites. See comment on "banging head against brick walls" Look you don't even have to know anything about the Taliban do do a web search.

Fuck, the UN sites even turns up with just that one search. Here's the FIRST mention on a UN site

UNESCO -- http://www.unesco.org/education/efa/know_sharing/grassroots_stories/afghanistan.shtml

Did I say five minutes? Not EVEN.

Did you say anything remotely intelligent? not EVEN

That picture of the woman teacher seems to be from 1995. also:

The percentage of female teachers, too, has slid from 59.2 per cent in 1990 to 13.5 per cent in 1999. Of these, 96 per cent work in schools run by [international] agencies.

Oh, and, In schools run by the Directorate of Education, only 1 per cent of the pupils are girls. I don't think this could be what Mr. Byron meant. Surely he has better evidence that the Taliban hasn't been that bad for women's education. --MichaelTinkler

O.K., I found a Swedish supported project with a (1) girl's school mentioned: http://www.humanities.mcmaster.ca/~mpeia/projectoverview.htm

Since, however, this training took place in Peshawar, it's not clear where the girls school supported by the Society of Afghan Women (including Mrs. Fatana Gailani, President of the latter) is located.

And here's one with UNICEF undertook an informal survey, which revealed more than 100 home-schools with enrolment of some 2,500 girl students in the eastern region: http://www.pcpafg.org/news/weeklyupdate/1999_Issues/1999_07_13_321.shtml

Still, this is not looking like the Taliban were friends of female education. O.K., I've putg in my 5 minutes and am not very impressed by the record. I was searching google with 'swedish' 'girl' 'afghanistan'. --MichaelTinkler

I do realise that at this stage you lot are truly desparate to defend your little pond here, but surely even Americans know the difference between zero and a positive number? Or is the Florida election representative of US counting skills? I believe you were trying to prove that all education for women was banned were you not? That is the statement made in the article (still). I'm pretty sure it wasn't The Taliban are no friends of female education. Here it is (as it stands currently)

schools for women are all closed Four sources no less. And in this little chat we've added to that -- supposedly -- more from the UN. Kinda of sucks to be proved wrong I guess. Perhaps you should quickly edit the main article to say no friends of female education or do you think that would sound less than professional? How about this for an entry many western sources spread the lie that the Taliban had no education for girls that would seem to be more accurate than most of the statements on that page.

The percentage of female teachers, too, has slid from... I'm sorry I thought we were talking about the pupils not the teachers. Still now you mention it, this it does seem to contradict the "fact" that (occording to the article) there is a ban on women working outside the home (except in health care)

more than 100 home-schools shall we start a page called More than 100 and say that number is defined as zero when talking about the Taliban education for girls? Would any of you brain-boxes like to now hazzard a guess as to why all these sources have to this day continued to insist there is no education for girls in Afghanistan when there is ample evidence that statement is false?

Well congratulations on disproving two of the statements. I take it as a testiment to the incredible commitment to a NPOV that after finding the evidence for yourselves the main article remains unchanged and you in fact seem to insist that *I* was wrong -- to say it was false that there was no education for girls.

And just for those who missed it let's highlight this little fact shall we,

Whereas the country had 3,459 primary schools in 1978, there were only 589 in 1990.

Ok? 1990? Before the Taliban turned up the majority of the schools had already been destroyed by the war. Gee, I wonder if that little old war thing might just possibly have something to do with the high unemployment rate in the country too? (70% unemployment) Huh? Ya think? Nah. They must just hate women. That makes much more sense (besides operating as another excuse for bombing civilians). Everyone knows people in foreign countries are insane anyway, right?

Don't any of you think these statements are just a little on the simplistic side? Is there ANY skepticism here? Even after proving for yourself that at least two of the most well circulated "facts" about the Taliban (no work for women, no school for girls) are false?

Ok, well I don't really care much about the Taliban one way or the other but this has been an eye-opener on the state of this project.

Seige Heil! David Byron

Gotta love the RAWA site....

Hang on a sec... this is RAWA - the self-proclaimed totally Taliban-hating opposition group - and even they know that these statements about women not working and girls having no education are false. So why do they keep on repeating these statements? Wow it's almost as if they might be a biased source or something! That's incredible.

Well I'm shocked I tell you. I was always told that everything you read in the newspapers is true and that politicians never lie. David Byron -- are we having fun yet?

Question- In view of the fact that the BBC, PHR, UN, RAWA and the other sources are now known to have lied about the Taliban should they been considered a good source for all the other statements in the Taliban article?

I tweaked the statements on girls in schools to reflect that information. David Byron, do you realize that if you had simply given the additional information it would have been added?

Oh I'm sure I would.

Making sweeping claims about "lies" when in fact the article was simply overgeneralizing was very detrimental to your credibility. --Dmerrill

Well the information you have is still wrong isn't it? And I did not make sweeping statements about lies. Do I need to quote what I said or can you make the effort all by yourself this time to pan up a page or two? What would be a good word to describe your latest attempts? "screed" maybe? Let's see...
  • formal schooling for women is not allowed - except that we know it is.
  • punishment for women who attend school source?

However, yes, the statement is a lie. There is all the difference in the world between saying that schools are banned for girls (totally false) and saying there aren't many schools (for either sex) because of 20 years of war.

Do you realise that all of you had this data from the beginning? I directed you to the ambassadors speach which says,

Similarly we don't have any problem with women's education. We have said that we want education, and we will have education whether or not we are under anybody's pressure, because that is part of our belief. We are ordered to do that. When we say that there should be segregated schools, it does not mean that we don't want our women to be educated. It is true that we are against co-education; but it is not true that we are against women's education.

We do have schools even now, but the problem is the resources. We cannot expand these programs. Before, our government numerous curriculums were going on. There were curriculums that preached for the kings, curriculums that preached for the communists, and curriculums from all the seven parties. So, the students were confused as to what to study. We have started to unify the curriculum and that is going on.

Recently we reopened the faculty of medical science in all major cities of Afghanistan and in Kandahar. There are more girls students studying in the faculty of medical sciences than boys are. But they are segregated. And the Swedish committees have also established schools for girls. I know they are not enough, but that is what we have been able to do.

Now we have established that the Western sources have lied on this issue of education of women in Afghanistan. Can you demonstrate the Taliban ambassador is lying? What I did upon reading this was check out the facts and that is what led me to the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and numerous web pages by the UN confirming some of these facts. Seems like I have to post this because folks here don't like reading much.

Here's another quote from a british reporter (before September) http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n06/burk2306.htm

The repressive edicts that so outrage the West have long been the practice in most of rural Afghanistan, where 80 per cent of the population live. In the rural regions around the western city of Herat a year before the Taliban took control, there were, according to Save the Children UK, nearly 75,000 boys at school and fewer than 2000 girls. In the Afghan countryside women have never gone to school, left the village unaccompanied or chosen their husbands. There is no need to ban television - there aren't any sets.

So around Herat the proportion of girls in school was - before the Taliban - less than 3 percent. I don't see any of the articles criticising the state of girls education in Afghanistan (among those not simply lying and saying there is none) taking into account this godawful baseline. Its as if the impression they wish to present is that somehow before the Taliban there was a 50% representation of girls and now all girls are banned from schools (0%). Yes, I would characterise this as a lie. Wouldn't you? Especially when you consider who it is that is spreading this story.

Let's look at some other practises listed in the article.

  • public executions Would you like to guess which state executes more of its citizens, the US or Afghanistan?
  • recently destroying ancient Buddhist statues I think the article I linked to above covers this, but whatever your feelings how is this one event a "practise"?
  • use of torture to obtain confession; no provision for legal counsel if arrested Source? You're not confusing this with the way the CIA operates are you? Or the new powers Bush just gave himself?
  • Hindus and other non-Muslims must wear a yellow identity symbol Taliban claim that local Hindus supported this measure because the religious police kept punishing Hindu men for not practising the Islamic prayer 5 time a day - which they don't have to do but Muslims do have to do. Sure that's what THEY claim but I've never seen anyone suggest that isn't true. Have you?
  • women are beaten for going outside without a male relative Again the RAWA site contradicts this statement, http://www.rawa.org/sajida.htm a story of a woman with no mahram going around Kabul for several days with another woman with no mahram meeting and talking to various other women with no mahram and even being stopped by the police for another reason with absolutely no mention of anything about any mahram except that they couldn't go with a strange male by themselves (taxi). In the US that rule's terrible for a woman. In Afghanistan it might save your life.

Have you ever watched any clips from Afghanistan (before the Taliban left power)? You can see the women plainly going about with no mahram. How about this story from the BBC's Afganistan correspondent? http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1674000/1674146.stm

When Western politicians decry the Taleban's treatment of Afghan women, it is difficult to recognise the picture they paint. Many stories repeated as fact never happened - at least not as far as I can judge from living in Kabul for two years.

Contrast this staement in the wikipedia article,

women are not permitted to wear white socks or shoes, nor to wear shoes that make noise when walking

With her comment of life as it happens,

Indeed, in Kabul, they walked proudly - wearing high heels, platform shoes, fish-net stockings and tailored trousers, letting their burqas flow behind them to reveal what clothes they wore underneath.

And as for the burqa?

However, even in a city like Kabul - with a sophisticated population by Afghan standards - only a tiny number of women are taking off the burqa.

You know all this wouldn't be so fucked up if at least the article mentioned the things which the Taliban have ACTUALLY done which is bad, namely massacre thousands of people in reprisals for massacres by the Northern Alliance, the US's buddy-buddies. Starvation used as a weapon of war (again like the US) against the Hazaran minority. THAT is what is bad about the Taliban not some stupid dress code or an Islamic set of laws which is pretty similar to Saudia Arabia. But I do think its worth mentioning that the Northern Alliance were the first to start massacring people. I do think its worth mentioning that the numbers klilled before the Taliban were a lot larger; thousands, thns of thousands and millions of refugees. I do think its worth mentioning that they restored peace to most of the country, when no other faction could.

Generally speaking most of the reporting on the Taliban proceeds from an assumption that if anything isn't just like it is in the West it must be the Taliban's fault, when almost certainly the better explanation is thet either their traditional ways are different (difference of culture) or that 23 years of war have made normal functioning civilian life almost impossible.

I ask you - what is a good number for girls school atendance for the poorest country in the world which has just been through 23 years of unbroken civila war and invasion, has land mines all over the place, schools bombed, 70% unemployment, no money coming into the government except heroine sales which they just stopped, the biggest drought in the country for years, and millions dead or fled their homes as refugees, the country run by uneducated religious students with no government experience, trying to rebuild their shattered country, but with only 5 years in power?

What's the average figure for girls school atendence in those conditions, just so we can compare how well the Taliban are/were doing like for like?

"women without complete body coverings (banned by the Quran)"

I don't believe this is so... I believe that this is banned by the Sharia or "Quran-derived" law, not by the Quran itself... So, I'm going to remove it for now. --Alex Kennedy

What I don't understand is why if you care so much, DB, you don't revise. Now that you have proven (well, irritated me to the point that I went and looked) that 1% of the students in the government schools of the Taliban were female, I suppose I could change it myself. I wonder, however, why you didn't do it earlier rather than merely decrying our American-thinking-inside-the-box and how-horrid-this-site-is? Let me point out, DB, that until you started emoting all over the place I was not paying much attention to the entry. If you care, you revise. I tend to work on things that interest me more. I'll put some revisions into this, now. --MichaelTinkler

Clearly any changes I had made would have been wiped out by someone. I was called a Nazi and a troll simply for voicing these comments on the /Talk page. I'd've been called a vandal (again) if I'd dared to change the main page. Like I say -- a brick wall. Your comments perhaps showing the most intransigence. And 1% isn't correct in any case. Even that source only said 1% of a certain type of schhool. It said 13% of another type of school. Why don't you suggest posting 13% instead of 1%? Bias? Also you are not getting the bigger picture here. No one really knows what the proportion is/was. And more often than not the information is being reported falsely. So I would refrain from making any statements about the numbers too explicit if I were you.

No one seems to have changed my insertion of the UNICEF info on girls schools yet. Why don't you try something and see if it gets changed? Please note that my response explains what the 1% represents rather than simply quoting a figure (13, 18.2, or 1%). I thought that if the question is Taliban attitude toward the education of women rather than Swedish attitudes toward the education of women in Afghanistan the Directorate of Education schools figure is more directly useful. Am I being unfair? Obscurantist? --MichaelTinkler

Yes you are being unfair. Do you think the SCA is holding these schools in a secret cave somewhere, without the Taliban's knowledge? Naturally the Taliban knew of and supported their actions. Are you going to accuse *Sweden* of gender apartheid because only 13% of the pupils in *their* schools were girls? Or maybe there's more to these figures? How many schools are represented by the 1% figure? How many by the other? David Byron

Having been successfully irritated by Mr. Byron (I suppose that was his goal, to get someone to do the revision for him?) I wonder about 'practices in Afghanistan'. I think we could divide it into 'practices in Afghanistan enforced in other Sharia countries' (dismemberment, public execution, admitted use of torture), since these are true of several other countries, and then the ones like restriction of women's education (which isn't so true of Saudi Arabia, at least - separate but sorta equal seems to be the rule there for education, if not driving). On the other hand, given how shallow this entry is (my Lord, you'd think from his ranting that Wikipedians had written a carefully phrased and well-developed indictment of the Taliban drawn entirely from the web pages of CNN rather than a short article that's fairly dispassionate followed by a list that is supported by links, any one of which could have been amplified with counter examples the way I just did with women's education), I don't know that it's worthwhile. Those things should go on Sharia with a strongly worded link. Speaking of which, I'll do that. --MichaelTinkler

Ranting didn't start until I voiced my concerns. See Screed, Hitler supporter and Troll. And what did you call me?
nothing at all, so far as I remember, except commenting on the tone of your rant and your failure to edit. --MichaelTinkler

Taliban by Ahmed Rashid has an appendix listing the sharia-style religious police fatwahs, issued from the Kabul department of religion. This represents the "theory" so often not persued in practise, or only persued in practise in Kabul. If you want to make the Taliban look silly I suggest you get Jimbo to copy that list in. David Byron

If you have a copy and think it's informative, why don't you? If you think it's uninformative, then feel free not to. The heart of Wikipedia, despite your unfortunate experience, is actually doing something to the pages, not talking. --MichaelTinkler.
My experience of editing a page is that a bunch of people insult you and call it 'vandalism', delete your entries when you make edits and generally act like their turf is being invaded. That's happened on both pages I've made a comment about - and in this case I only edit the /Talk page. So whoever feels like this is their turf can either make the edit or not. Argue amongst yourselves. I think this behaviour is unfortunate, but you did contribute to it (above) with your idiot sarcasm where you equated banning girls education with having over a hundred schools for girls. No serious and knowledgeable person is going to put up with this bullshit. I asked a friend if he'd like to contribute and he was put off by the amateurish look of many of the pages here. But he didn't know the locals would treat him like crap if he contradicted what they "knew".

  • tosses a few ice blocks around*

Ok, I think that should cool everyone down. In order to return to the goal of the /talk page (to make the article better) I think we should stop the ad hominems (on both sides) and just look at the facts... I note that the "no women's education" clause has been removed and "reduced women's education" has been entered instead. I don't know if all of you agree that that resolves the issue, but it's a step in the correct direction.