Taliban fighters atop a Humvee vehicle take part in a rally in Kabul as they celebrate after the US pulled all its troops out of the country. (Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 2:15 PM PT – Saturday, September 11, 2021
The Taliban has turned over a new leaf, or so they have claimed. Since taking over Kabul last month, these has been a hesitancy among the Afghan people to resume everyday life.
“Praise God, our behavior is very good now. We’ve changed a lot,” one Taliban spokesman stated. “We are polite, our manners are good, and our behavior is much improved.”
Half of the nation’s population did not seem to remember the Taliban rule of 20 years ago and likely associated the group more with war than with governance. However, the Taliban has promised to behave and blamed much of their behavior on the U.S. occupation.
Some Afghans may be receptive to their new rulers.
“The situation in Afghanistan now is good, not bad,” one resident explained. “Just the women are not coming out of the houses and some people are worried because of the bad history the Taliban had set before.”
A Taliban spokesman promised to uphold women’s rights. However, women had the most reason to remain skeptical as their lives have been changed the most drastically since the fall of Kabul.
Even though music was largely restricted for everyone, the Afghan Women’s Orchestra was completely banned from ever playing again. They were also barred from boarding a plane at the airport and would be lucky to escape their homes under the Islamist government.
The Taliban administration has reverted back to its old policy of confining women to their houses. Protests against this treatment have often been met with violence.
Two Afghan journalists, who reported on the Taliban’s treatment of response to the protests, were savagely beaten.
“No matter how hard that I tried to tell them that I was a reporter and I wasn’t inciting violence they wouldn’t listen,” one reporter expressed. “They even made fun of me. They said ‘You’re a reporter? You show these protests and spread them?’ I only yelled.”
Despite this track record, the Taliban assures the Afghan people they have nothing to fear.