Who is smarter? Has the Taliban embraced use of the distinctly western Internet?
Former rejection of all modern communications appears to have grown lax with Islamist group
It appears that the Taliban no longer outright bans such evil western
devices as iPhones and the Internet, but is rather just slow to adapt
them for their own causes. A problem now exists as it does for those
making a blind date on the Internet as it does for conversations between
Taliban officials online - is the person who says who they are really
who they say they are?
The chief irony here is a short 10 years ago, under Taliban control, the Internet, like many other forms of media, was banned in Afghanistan. The Taliban, and those said to be associated with them have since embraced digital media.
An offer was made to Abdulqahar Balkhi, who describes himself as a "servant to the Islamic Emirate" behind the @ABalkhi account on the micro-blogging service. The account has engaged with this person in a series of back-and-forth online spats with Balkhi's account for over a year.
Balkhi sees it as his duty to "recover from the spiritual and material losses caused by three decades of war and invasion [in Afghanistan]" - 140 characters at a time.
The chief irony here is a short 10 years ago, under Taliban control, the internet, like many other forms of media, was banned in Afghanistan. The Taliban, and those said to be associated with them have since embraced digital media.
From iPhones, to Twitter, and even an online appeal for donations, "the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," as the group refers to itself, made a concerted effort to use online outlets to counter the actions of what it calls the "invaders" and " puppets" of the Afghan occupation.
Balkhi says the change in policy is indicative of a generational shift in the group.
"Our elders banned the internet since they did not fully understand the power of conveying the Prophet's message . There is recognition within the organization that all skills and experiences need to be utilized to support the Afghan people."
If the group does come back to power, Balkhi says they will not ban the internet, but will "filter out the filth of the West."
Balkhi's account was largely ignored outside the small, but active Afghan Twittersphere. But it gained international notoriety after a series of Taliban-orchestrated attacks rocked the Afghan capital in September 2011.
Skeptics point out that most people in the impoverished country of Afghanistan do not have internet access. Western intelligence analysts say appeals from Balkhi and his fellow Taliban "neti-zens" are probably falling on deaf ears.
The Taliban's conservative, rural base is mostly made up of individuals "who have little or no interest in things like social media," experts argue.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
- - -
Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Internet, Taliban, Afghanistan, technical
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Asia Pacific News
- Chinese hackers gained valuable information in Google breech years ago
- Savage and Deadly, Cyclone Mahasen batters Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, moves into India
- Indian families go to drastic measures to protect daughters from rape
- Organ Trafficking: Indian family says their young daughter was killed for organ harvesting
- NK's Kim Jong-Un appoints THIRD army chief in less than two years
- Astonishing miracle in the heinous Bangladesh building collapse: 'God is so merciful!'
- Children as young as five years old forced to work in India's coal mines
- China deals major financial blow to Kim Jong Un
- Five killed in sharp, violent volcanic eruption in the Philippines
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?