Taliban too begins to tweet

May 16th, 2011 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Afghanistan’s puritanical Taliban, which had during its regime banned all forms of entertainment and modern technology, has now taken to the internet to propagate its views, setting up two websites and a twitter account.

The id, in the name of Mostafa Ahmedi, has the user name “alemarahweb”. Purporting to be based in Kabul, it describes itself as: “The official website of islamic emirat (sic) of afghanistan”. It links to a website: http://alemarah-iea.net, which is in Pushtu.

The twitter account has tweets both in Pushtu and English, with the latter linking to a website: http://shahamat-english.com, (checkmate in Farsi) which also has Arabic, Farsi, Pushtu and Urdu versions.

This website has sections for news, weekly analysis, statements, articles, movies and interviews. It also has a facility for contacting the rebels, where you can post your email-id and query.

The twitter account was set up as far back as Dec 22, 2010 though tweets were only in Pushtu or Farsi and only began to appear on English from May 12, when it spoke of an attack on a supply convoy in Ghazni. As of 10.30 p.m. Sunday night, it has has 824 tweets and 4,855 followers.

“4 vehilces (sic) destroyed in attack on NATO convoy: FARAH, May. 15 - A NATO logistical convoy travelling on Kandahar-..” said the latest tweet, posted at around 10.15 p.m. Sunday.

The armed militia comprising “talibs” (students of Islamic seminaries) began emerging in mid-1990s and by September 1996, had taken control of Kabul from the warring mujahideen factions. They soon gained control over 90 percent of Afghanistan and ruled till November 2001, when they were overthrown by US-led coalition forces that invaded the country in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Most Taliban went underground or fled to neighbouring Pakistan where they regrouped as an insurgency movement.

While in power, the Taliban enforced one of the strictest interpretations of Sharia law ever seen. The prohibitions included satellite dishes, cinematography, music, chess, masks, dancing, and kite flying. Women were not allowed to work or study or come out for their homes alone and all men had to sport a long beard and pray the stipulated five times a day.

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