Difference between Taliban and Mujahedeen
Taliban vs Mujahedeen:
Taliban and Mujahedeen are two names that are familiar to the ears of Islam devotees around the globe and somehow, these two words sometimes do not ring a bell in many people’s ears. However, Taliban and Mujahedeen are two organizations that function in the name of Islam and yet, the many differences between them set them apart and give them their own identities, defining what each groups stands for and what they believe.
Taliban, literary meaning ‘student’ in English, is an Islamist militant and political group which ruled a large part of Afghanistan as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from September 1996 until October 2001 which only gained diplomatic recognition from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and united Arab emirates. Taliban is made up mostly of members from Pashtun tribes and is also known to have practiced the strictest interpretations of Sharia law ever seen in any part of the world. Taliban has also been condemned all over the world for their brutal suppression of women. Influenced by Deobandi fundamentalism and a cultural norm called Pashtunwali, its leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, is known to be a parochial, local-minded figure. The roots of the Taliban have sprung from the incident where the boys and girls of a family travelling to Afghanistan has been raped. Taliban however, has its own political agenda as well.
What is Mujahedeen?
The term ‘Mujahedeen’ in Arabic is translated to ‘Muslims who struggle in the path of God’ in English. Derived from the two words ‘Jihad’ and ‘Mujahid’ which stands for struggle and the person who struggles respectively, Mujahedeen was an organization that was spread right across various countries such as India, Chechnya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, Iran, Iraq and Somali. The origins of the Mujahedeen can be traced back to Muhammad, his Quran and his helpers who were known as Ansars and Mujahirs, whose property were confiscated in Makkah. And thus, Muslims from Jihads were summoned by the prophet himself in order for the Quraysh to be fought. However, the best known Mujahedeens are the late 20th century and early 21st century armed fighters who were summoned from all parts of the world during the afghan war to fight against and evacuating the Soviet forces who had taken over Afghanistan, thus practicing various Islamic principles. This war which was aided by the US, managed to successfully drive out the Soviet Union by 1989, however, leaving much chaos in the region where battles ensued between warlords and people of political background to gain control over the area which resulted in the civil war that killed and devastated many.
What is the difference between Mujahedeen and Taliban?
Mujahedeen and Taliban both emerged as a result of the invasion of the Soviet Union of Afghanistan and they both have their ideologies firmly based in the Islamic religion. However, the ideology of the Taliban is rather anti-modern in nature, which combines Sharia laws and Pashtun tribal codes that have been derived from the Mujahedeen themselves. However, Mujahedeen has an ideology which has been firmly influenced by Islamic fundamentalism and makes the members fight and even die in the name of Islam.
Taliban is an organization which has spread itself mainly in Afghanistan while Mujahedeen is an organization which was more widely spread, even in countries such as India, Chechnya, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Macedonia, Iran, Iraq and Somali. Also, Taliban’s history can be traced to right after the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan whereas the concept of Mujahedeen has existed ever since the creation of Islam by the prophet Muhammad himself.
The origins of the two organizations also differ. The origin of Taliban is said to have been provoked by the rape and murder of boys and girls of a family who were travelling to Kandahar. Another version states that it was because of a Pakistan based truck shipping mafia which had demanded the support of the Taliban to clear the road across Afghan to Central Asian Republics of bandits. On the other hand, Mujahedeen was summoned from all parts of the world during the Afghan war to fight against the Soviet forces who had taken over Afghanistan. Taliban was born after the evacuation of the Russian groups in 1989, out of the anguish of the Mujahedeen who has thus suffered.
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