Taliban & Shia forces Essay

Abstract:Since the beginning of modern world, the strategies for wars had changed drastically giving rise to an   era of proxy wars. Militancy was a byproduct of proxy wars between nations having conflict of interests, but eventually militant groups have risen to new powers and are even more potent than defense system of many nations.  Radical Muslim groups have given new face to Islamic terror and their wrath is prevalent in numerous countries.  Fanaticism and profits when go together, it creates an aura of magnified terrorism.

The Taliban and Shia militants are two such outfits that have thrived on continued violence and degradation of democracy.“Taliban and Shia forces”Taliban forces in most realistic terms are the brainchild of Pakistan’s ISI. It was created for different purpose, but it became a monster on its own. Taliban has been ruthless in their approach and have been very vocal with the punishments they incurred on civilians. Taliban had showcased itself as pioneering group who believed in religion and fair play, but eventually became religious fanatics, who would amputate and behead people for eloping and kissing.

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They came into limelight with their constant human rights violation, which included giving lashes to women for wearing jeans and shutting down girl’s schools.  However the violence projected by Taliban was much higher, and eventually the world saw how a pathetic state of violence was being been bred in Afghanistan. With constant funding from Arab states, and governance power of Afghanistan in their hands, Taliban became highly proactive andstarted having higher ambitions of spreading “Talibanism” in their surrounding states.

The Swat valley of Pakistan is an example of their ambitious deeds.  Apart from having “Jihad” (holy war) on other militia groups and western forces, Taliban is one of the primary militant groups that have glorified their way of living and have always standardized their culture to normal citizens. The surprising element of Taliban was the use of the word “Jihad” against other “Mujahedeen” groups for the battle of power (M.J Gori.

Page xi.2000). One the biggest difference of Taliban with other militant groups like Shia militants is, Taliban has waged wars but also laid equal stress on dictating people to follow them. This has been the missing factor in Shia militant groups.Shia Militant groups have been one of the most dominant forces in Islamic terror.  It can be denoted with the early movement groups which created sophisticated circles of spreading terror.

“Hezbollah” is an example of Shia militant organization that has taken terror to the next level. It is a group that has kept Mossad occupied more than often and has reach to sophisticated warfare technologies which other militant groups can only dream of.  Hezbollah gave Shia militancy a new decree and evinced the world their ruthless power and extremities they can produce when they are cornered in battles.  However this militant organization has also become a political party in Lebanon and comes under a rare phenomenon, where a militant group is democratically elected.

Unlike Taliban this Shia militant groups like Hezbollah have won public support more democratically than them.There are massive differences in Shia militant organizations and Taliban. Primarily both belong to diverse religious sect, which makes them at loggerheads with each other.  Since Taliban are Sunni Muslims, they are more inclined towards Islam that is preached keeping their sentiments in mind. Shiites on the hand follow a different Islam and operate on different levels to combat enemy forces.

  “Ahmed Shah Massoud”, also known as the lion of Panjshir was dynamic Shiite leader in Afghanistan. He played a crucial role against the Russians and was a famous guerilla leader of Afghanistan.  Massoud had formed an anti-Taliban united front (UF) and kept alliance with US intelligence (Hannah Carter & Anoushiravan Ehteshami. Page 126. 2004). Massoud led valiant attacks against Taliban and was on the verge of victory, when Taliban with the support of Al-Qaeda assassinated him.  This was one of the major displays of Al-Qaeda’s support of Taliban.

Osama Bin Laden the chief of the fanatic terror group has shown advent liking towards the Taliban way of culture and along with having common hatred against Shias. The indifference towards Shias has been one of the crucial factors for bringing them closer and making them allies.Shiites militant groups and militias have always been a thorn for the Al-Qaeda, and they have been many attacks on Shiites in Iraq and Iran due to it.

The following quote by Abu Musab al Zarqawi who was a prominent top brass Al-Qaeda leader, sheds light on the hatred embedded by them against Shiites.“They [the Shias] are the insurmountable obstacle, the lurking snake, the crafty and malicious scorpion, the spying enemy and the penetrating venom. Shia Islam, he concluded, is the looming danger and the true challenge” (Mehdi Hasan.2010)Since Pakistan also has a major populace of Sunnis, the outfit of terror they created in the name of Taliban, was only filled with radical Sunnis. All Taliban followers are not Al-Qaeda, but they have a deep rooted support system with them. Al-Qaeda has been major financer for warfare equipments and has led support in terms of strategy and weapons to counter Shia militia and against western forces. The Iraqi government is led by Shiites, which has been the cause of major unrest in Iraq, as Al-Qaeda has stepped up violence activities in Iraq against the new government and US forces.Shia militant groups in the initial years were formed to counter atrocities done against them by Sunni radicals.

Historically it has always been seen that Shiites right from Massoud to new governance of Iraq, have supported US in most occasions.  This has also been a prime reason which the Al-Qaeda has displayed, to be against Shiite groups. Taliban with its rigid Islamic laws have found a common ground with Al-Qaeda and have been given the younger brother treatment by the latter. Shiites in Afghanistan have formed armed militia groups and organizations and have fought wars against Taliban. However Taliban has always been mightier as the majority population of the Muslim world is Sunnis, which is why Shiites have not received financial support at the levels which Sunni militant organizations receive.Terror doesn’t have a face when it strikes, but intricate details on religious sects have divided the Muslim terror organizations. This division in one way has been beneficial for the Western allies as they have always manipulated Shiite organizations with arms and supplies against warlords of Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The Hamas is probably the only terror outfit which though being a Sunni terror based group has a decent support from Shiites militant organizations because of their common ground of hatred against “Israel”.

Taliban and Shiites militant organizations vary on religious lines but also on style of operations and financial resources. Taliban with the backing of Al-Qaeda is comparative much stronger than local Shiites militant groups.References:·         Gori.M. (2000). The Taliban: ascent to power.

                      Oxford printing press.·         Carter.H & Ehteshami.

A.(2004). The Middle East’s relations with Asia and Russia.        Routledge.·          Hasan.

M(2010). The great divide. Retrieved from http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2010/02/mehdi-hasan-sunni-shia-iraq;


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