The XX Factor

Taliban Redux

There is a sickening article today about the Taliban-ordered death by stoning in of a young couple for the crime of eloping against their families’ wishes: Relatives of the couple were among the many who threw the rocks. This is a good reminder that-as the Afghan government discusses reconciliation with the Taliban, allowing them to return to some sort of supposedly limited power-there is no moderate or reformed Taliban. The cause of the Taliban is to plunge citizens into dystopia, and the organization takes special pleasure in destroying the lives of women. It is soul-wrenching to think that after all the sacrifice of life, all the billions spent, we may watch a triumphant Taliban return. As Tom Malinowski of Human Rights Watch points out , there is no “power sharing” with such monsters, only power grabs. It’s also a good reminder that regimes that violently oppress its women (see: Iran) tend to make trouble for the rest of us.