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Afghanistan Bans Internet 242

aristotle2000 writes: "Suprisingly, the Taliban has prohibited the use of the Internet in Afghanistan. Apparently, the Internet can deliver un-Islamic, immoral, or lewd material. Who can believe that a country that has such an open attitude towards women, minorities, religions, and the press would object to the Internet?" I guess I'm unclear on the concept here: if the government is also forswearing the internet, who is going to monitor to make sure the peons aren't secretly dialing up to AOL? On the plus side, .af domains should be real cheap.
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Afghanistan Bans Internet

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  • "Muttawakil said the Taliban wanted to keep society away from trends promoting obscenity and immorality through the Internet."

    Individual decision? Zip, gone. Access to information other than that of the ruling party, gone. I don't like pornography either, but this is absurd. I feel sorry for those who are trapped in this place and aren't quite so fanatical. They got a raw deal.

    "AIP did not say when the ban was imposed and how the Taliban planned to ensure that telephone lines were not being used to access the Internet."

    There is only one possible way I am aware of - monitor all phone connections. If they don't have an infastructure built right now they can rebuild it by running all lines through a central monitoring system. Brrr.

    "But most Taliban decisions and edicts on conduct are ruthlessly enforced by their powerful religious police working under the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice."

    Thought police anyone?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Some companies (e.g. - shell) have their own satellites and tend to shuttle all kinds of data off them, not just do surveying.

    How're they gonna stop them?

    It's impossible without pissing off an extremely large company that can crush an entire country (after all, they must buy their refined petrolium from somwhere... and you piss off one, with that kind of government you piss them all off).
  • Our victory is assured? This is news to me.

    Not that I'm suggesting the Taliban has any chance of being anything other than an ugly footnote to history - they are despicable in the extreme, they turn their faith into a monstrosity, and should be hunted down like the mad dogs they are and have their own throats slit in the streets - but nonetheless it does nobody any good to assume that social cancers like this are assured of failure. History teaches otherwise.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you think that you can go around slaughtering people and calling it a "culture", I'm perfectly willing to cut your throat. Call it "judgement" if you want. Philosophy, meet Truth.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Islam in and of it's self is a very whole and sound religion. But like Christianity and Catholocism, it has been used in the name of violence and repression. I think that we can all agree on that. It needs to be stated that the Taliban perversion of Islam is NOT accepted by ANY OTHER Islamic sect. The other sad fact is the terrorism, middle east countries, and Islamic faith are all intertwined. A very western view. Is it accurate? I don't know, I don't care, Terrorism sucks. Compared to our vantage point, countries in the middle east do seem extremeist and repressed. And please remember that Hitler and his f'ed up Germany did get the collective Sh*t kicked out of them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:24AM (#85194)
    The Taliban are extremists in the extreme. Take everything you'd consider to be religious fanaticism and turn it up to 11, then you have a general idea of what the Taliban are like. First they kill women for exposing some skin; then of course there's the destruction of centuries-old relics that don't align with their religion. They shun all forms of entertainment as far as I can tell. Why it took them this long to ban the use of the Internet is beyond me.

    For those who want a really good look at the atrocities of the Taliban, check out RAWA []. Be careful what you click on, though; there are VERY graphic movie files and pictures on that site. Don't go there unless you have a strong stomach. We're not talking about annoying Congressmen here; these people are killers, plain and simple.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 14, 2001 @08:23AM (#85195)
    I was born in Afghanistan, but I have lived in the US for most of my life. I would like to comment on the cultural aspects of the Internet and its relationship to the brand of Islam espoused by the Taliban.

    To start off, I will try to give a perspective of what it's like as a Muslim (I'm not a Muslim, btw) trying to face American values. I quote from "The Islamic Declaration", written by Alija Izetbegovic.

    "For more than a century now, many nations outside the western civilisation, have been facing the problem of which attitude to take towards that civilisation. Finding oneself face to face with it, should one assume the attitude of absolute rejection, cautious adjustment or accept indiscriminately all the aspects of that civilisation? The tragedy or triumph of many nations was decided by their answer to this crucial question."

    This speaks to me, as I feel the same thing living inside the US. As a citizen of the US and forced subject of its culture, I have to discriminate between the aspects of the culture that I would rather not become, and those that are wonderful and magnificent.

    This is often a very difficult process to undergo. Alduous Huxley himself wrote in the forward to the second edition of "Brave New World":

    If I were now to rewrite the book, I would offer the Savage a third alternative. Between the utopian and the primitive horns of his dilemma would lie the possibility of sanity--a possibility already actualized, to some extent, in a community of exiles and refugees from the Brave New World, living within the borders of the Reservation. In this community economics would be decentralist and Henry-Georgian, politics Kropotkinesque cooperative. Science and technology would be used as though, like the Sabbath, they had been made for man, not (as at present and still more so in the Brave New World) as though man were to be adapted and enslaved to them. Religion would be the conscious and intelligent pursuit of man's Final End, the unitive knowledge of the immanent Tao or Logos, the transcendent Godhead or Brahman. And the prevailing philosophy of life would be a kind of Higher Utilitarianism, in which the Greatest Happiness principle would be secondary to the Final End principle--the first questino to be asked and answered in every contingency of life being: "How will this thought or action contribute to, or interfere with, the achievement, by me and the greatest possible number of other individuals, of man's Final End?"

    I mention this source to suggest that it's not easy for people even living in the western world to address its culture. The Taliban, simply not being able to find the sanity among the modern western world, have decided to turn away from it altogether, the same thing Huxley did in "Brave New World" because he could see no possibility of sanity within the direction the west seems to be taking humanity.

    So, the Taliban are certainly misguided, IMHO, but we must forgive them and recognize our own shortcomings in what we perceive as theirs. They are trying to force with law and government what they really wish would happen as a result of a transformation in the hearts and minds of people. How is that any different from what goes on in the US? The war on drugs, for example, is symptomatic of trying to use guns and force to stamp out an essentially crisis of the human spirit. In some ways, having any government providing such a "service" contributes to the problem and perpetuates the cycle since it distracts people from the root cause. People start thinking that big brother will come along and save them, and start to lose sight of their own individual will and spirit. While not particularly effective, people often commit crimes simply because they want to demonstrate that the whole approach of trying to prevent crime through negativity as opposed to positivity is misguided.

    From Izetbegovic:
  • Well, I'll admit the phrasing "gets off with a beating" is unintentionally funny.
  • Let me remind you that ISLAM was the first relgion in the world that actually gave women a status.

    Sorry, can't remeber that. It's not true. Well, I guess it depends on your definition of status. Also, the remark only means something to a people who believe that women should have status. Besides that, the rest of your comment was good.

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  • Judeo-Christian religons, Muhammed, Buddha, et al-- they all stood for peace, love, humanity, and understanding. And oh yeah... righteousness.

    They have? I don't know who you were talking to. Religion generally believes in doing what the Creator tells you to do. The purpose of the various actions is relegated to reasoning, which is irrelevant to the main purpose.

    The concept of "righteousness" has led to the "My God is bigger than your God"

    I'm sorry. We're you talking with adults or children? I find this comment to be *very* insulting.

    Americans probably have no problem with this, since most of us are pretty open-minded about religious differences.

    I believe it's because most Americans aren't very religous, therefore they don't care. If you don't take sides in an argument does that automatically mean that you are "open-minded"?

    Which God you worship and how you worship him determines where you will live, how you will vote

    Where did you get that from? How you'll vote? You'll vote with your conscience. Should your conscience tell you to follow a certain leader, so be it.

    There's no reason in the world why this little piece of land can't handle people of two differing sets of religious beliefs.

    Well, the *amount* of people on that small land sure has its problems. Then there are water issues and the like.

    Oh, except of course that the Palestinians believe that they own the land by rights, and it was taken by the Israeli's when they claimed it in the name of "The God of Abraham."

    Actually that is not what they claim.

    And the same Israeli's belive that since God gave THEM the land,

    A good deal of Israeli's don't even believe in G-d. Possibly a majority.

    they should be able to kick the Muslims the hell out.

    You really should be better informed. You haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about.

    The fight is in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the most part. The UN had a plan to separate the lands between the two peoples; Israelis accepted; Palestinians did not. Israel allow many other religions to live there and protect their religious items and places. The argument is whether the State should have a Jewish identity or not.

    Since the governments and religions are one in the same, the diplomatic approach is little different than the religious approach; with neither side wanting to give.

    You are obviously ignorant in this area, and your remarks will surely offend anyone and everyone. Please restrict your comments to what you know.

    Drop a 20 megaton nuclear warhead square on the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, and let them sort out the resulting mess.

    You're disgusting and revolting! That you can even joke about death is horrible. That you talk about killing millions is aboimindable.

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  • So God can talk about death and destruction all He wants, but a mere mortal cannot do so on /. without being called "disgusting and revolting"?

    A "mere mortal" can talk about what he wants to. But look at the tone of the article. The author tries taking a holier-than-thou, I'm not getting involved in your petty infighting approach. Then, after he feels he has laid down the groundwork, and has the reader in agreement, he suggests dropping a bomb to rid us of the nuisances. The reference was obviously in jest, but it shows that he wouldn't care if it actually did happen. *That* is disgusting and revolting.

    As far as some deity comes along. There are three points. They address the idea, the tone, and the result. The idea is that if a deity creates, the deity has a right to destroy.The tone is that end-of-the-world theme. Saying that *theme* is bad, is one thing. But if someone says what happens *during* that theme, it is not as bad as when said by itself. The result is that religion believes in an afterlife and thus being killed is not neccessarily a bad thing (in relation to how bad it would be if there wasn't, and this comparison matters only to the person taking action, not the person it is being done to.) Also, it is saying what is supposed to happen, for whatever the reason, and being the deity is a just judge, the statement is not made in anger.

    That being said, there is a clear difference, and I therefore stand by my remark.

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  • So humanism is based on love, or is it based on cold logic?

    It is based on neither. A humanist can choose to reject love and logic, so long as they fulfil the goals of humanism.

    It is also clear that you think humanism is just another a religion. It isn't a religion. Your thinking is warped by your preconceptions.

    I advise you educate yourself regarding humanism, because then you might understand the previous poster's comments. Stop trying to interpret humanism in terms of your own religion.

  • by nathanh ( 1214 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @02:46PM (#85201) Homepage
    So you are in fact claiming you know the Whole Truth, or being able to discern it for everyone else?

    No. He is claiming that as a humanist he can accept that things are wrong without needing to pollute the concepts of "right" and "wrong" with his societies own values.

    I agree strongly with his sentiment. It's the ultimate bullshit to sit the fence and say "you can't judge someone elses culture". You sure can and you damn well should.

    Humanism knows no borders.

  • Don't even need to know if it's a data call -- just keep track of the numbers they're calling....
  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) [] [] []

  • by mattdm ( 1931 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:49AM (#85204) Homepage
    Um, no. The ACLU will defend your religious civil liberties as well. The cases where they seem anti-religion are those which involve separation of church and state -- an important distinction which protects against exactly the sort of things the Afghan government has been imposing on its citizens. Keeping Christianity out of schools and local government may seem unfair to you, but in the long run it preserves the option of following the faith you choose. What if, at the founding of the country, Thomas Jefferson's edited Bible []
    had been declared the only acceptable version, and those who had different Christian beliefs forced
    to discard them?
  • Hmm, rumor has it that bin Laden has been using the Internet to communicate with his terrorist group. I wonder if he'll still be allowed to do that or not.
  • I have to say that the idea of a quantum black hole still seems appealing to me w.r.t tanguska...

    Of course there are so many different theories about the event that it is relatively difficult to pick just one :-)

  • "You don't see because the media doesn't report it,"

    Hmm, no.

    " you are the audience of the American Media, "

    Doubt it ...

    "they don't need to report this, they don't have to report it and you don't see it. "


    "If you really want to see go to these countries and go down to the ghettos and look for these organizations the grass root orgs that are actually doing the fighting. You will be surprised. but I bet you don't even want to see you are contend with what you hear and see on CNN. "

    CNN does'nt suck as much as you seem to imply. In fact, they set a standard as far as journalism is concerned.


  • Hey, I thought we were talking about Clinton, not Bush.
  • the sad part is that informative is probably more accurate than funny.
  • by hatless ( 8275 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:42AM (#85210)
    Since phone service in and out of Afghanistan is even worse these days than that in Pakistan (and that's saying something!), there shouldn't be too much concern about any but the wealthiest and most powerful people dialing out to AOL successfully via Afghani phone lines. And most of those people who are still in Afghanistan at all are considered enemies of the regime and under watch anyway.

    For another thing, the Taliban is pretty good at using severe punishments as a deterrent. Beatings, reeducation camps and death at the hands of the morals police have brought Afghanistan's heroin-smuggling routes to a halt. Not a trickle, but a halt.

    It's hard to imagine anyone risking internet access. You might see a trickle of UUCP-relayed e-mail continue below the radar via 2400-baud modem connections, but that's about it.

    Make all the jokes you want from the comfort of your developed country re: how they'll monitor this, but in a country with only a few hundred outbound phone lines in working order, if that--prehistoric analog ones switched by hand--it doesn't take much to eavesdrop on all of them at once and listen for carrier tones.
  • actually, george carlin had a similar quote:
    'hi, do you believe in god?'
    'no'. BOOM. you're dead

    'hi, do you believe in god'?
    'do you believe in my god'?
    'no'. BOOOM, you're dead

    My god has a bigger dick than your god.
  • Sorry but I will rather not have my child mix up with bunch of blacks who barely are able to read after 6-7 years in school.

    Yeah, cause everyone knows black people can't read.

    -David T. C.

  • But its NOT in the Koran.

    Who reported this? Why? I'm sure the Taliban'd be much happier being ignorant clods of dirt smelling of goat cheese and wondering "where the wimin is!" (Answer: You shot them all jack-offs)

    Gotta love the religious fundamentalists. The zealots are even worse than the hippocrites.

    Remember the teary-eyed "Ah have sinned!" The Taliban would have shot his fat pink ass and not seen the irony in doing so.
  • by Col. Klink (retired) ( 11632 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @07:51AM (#85214)
    Great Britain ought to send in the!

    Hearing impaired could set up a site for the could keep an archive at
    (Big Ugly ASCII Font).

    alt.folklore.urban regulars could find testimonials at (Friend Of A Friend).
  • One of the great passions in my life (one that has led me away from organized religion, oddly enough) is having conversation wih people about the hypocrisy shown by religions throughout history. "God" and "Jesus" in the Judeo-Christian religons, Muhammed, Buddha, et al-- they all stood for peace, love, humanity, and understanding. And oh yeah... righteousness.

    The concept of "righteousness" has led to the "My God is bigger than your God" shit that has been going on for oh, about 4-6,000 years now. Invoking God to justify murder and destruction, all becuase you think your God is right and the other guy's God is wrong.

    I submit that Gods are all the same. A creator, life-giver, a spiritual leader... we just choose to worhip them in different ways. Americans probably have no problem with this, since most of us are pretty open-minded about religious differences. Except, of course, those crazy rabid Christians who like to call Catholics "Mary fetishists," claim that the King James Version is the "Only True Version" of God's Word, and anyone who disagrees should either be converted or damned to hell by their hand. But I digress...

    The point is that in other parts of the world, specifically the Middle East, Religion is everything. Which God you worship and how you worship him determines where you will live, how you will vote, and oftentime whether you will live or die when a particular "party" comes into power.

    Take for example, Isreal and Palestine. There's no reason in the world why this little piece of land can't handle people of two differing sets of religious beliefs. Oh, except of course that the Palestinians believe that they own the land by rights, and it was taken by the Israeli's when they claimed it in the name of "The God of Abraham." And the same Israeli's belive that since God gave THEM the land, they should be able to kick the Muslims the hell out.

    Maybe that's oversimplification, but the fact is that it's a big pissing contest. Since the governments and religions are one in the same, the diplomatic approach is little different than the religious approach; with neither side wanting to give.

    Wanna know how the great King Solomon would have handled the situaion? Drop a 20 megaton nuclear warhead square on the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, and let them sort out the resulting mess. Nothing unites people like working together to recover from Armageddon, eh?

    And if you can't play nice, nobody gets the toy!
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:35AM (#85223)
    > Apparently, the Internet can deliver un-Islamic, immoral, or lewd material. Who can believe that a country that has such an open attitude towards women, minorities, religions, and the press would object to the Internet?"

    And then there's the USA, where lots of politicians would also be happy to censor the internet if they could get away with it.

  • Ummm...probably because Hitler didn't thump his Bible when he massacred millions. The Taliban purports to be the guardian of pure Islam. All the Muslims I know are absolutely revolted by the Taliban's practices.

    Islam doesn't endorse the Taliban, but the Taliban claims to be following the teachings of Islam.
  • The Taliban belive that what they are doing is in the name of their religion. We call them Islamic fundamentalists because they claim to be. Religion is in the eye of the believer no matter what, and if these people believe they are following the Quaran(sp?) then they are.

    Hitler, was most certainly not a Roman Catholic. He was, in fact, a person for which religion played little or no role. He never identified himself as religious, and only mentioned God a few times in speeches.
  • by delmoi ( 26744 )
    no, he didn't. Hitler only mentioned god a few recorded times. You, my friend, are an idiot.
  • Now I personally don't advocate taking away liberties and sexism and the other more violent parts of their culture but i'm ok with them doing it, Because it's their culture.

    Fuck you you glass headed idiot.
  • by quadrinary ( 29568 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:57AM (#85237)
    Well, i guess i'm probably more or less an authority on afghanistan, since i've lived there as an aid worker. the Taliban, a strict hardline Islamic regime, basically rule their country by fear. i know you've probably heard about the way they treat women, etc, but as it stands, all media (except for the Taliban's own Radio Shariat) is banned, and listening to or watching anything else is banned. Honestly though, i don't see why this is something that the talibs need to worry about. There is no telephone system in Afghanistan, and when i was there as an IT consultant, the best hope of "internet" was a dial up connection at 2400 baud to a mail server in switzerland. My theory on this, however, is that the taliban want to make themselves appear in "control" of their people to the outside world. any well informed person will realize that the only hope an afghan has of accessing the internet is to travel to neighboring Pakistan (i don't even mention Iran, since they're limited in internet access anyway.) This is not a realistic possibility though, as most afghans that travel to pakistan, do everything in their power to NOT return. In short, the Taliban are making another one of thier hollow threats, that in reality doesn't have any true effect on their people (especially since the only true internet users will be going through Inmarsat A or B, and the only people with that are the UN) so, i don't see the point. the really sad thing though, is that 2 companies - one chinese and one british - have just recently established a long distance (international) telephone service in the Afghan capitol of Kabul. while i was there, i was actually able to connect to a server back home at roughly 14000 bps (SHOCKINGLY good)! I wonder if that will be a possibility anymore...
  • by Khalid ( 31037 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @07:09AM (#85239) Homepage
    Taliban are heavily supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, two of the bigest US allies, if the US wanted really to catch him, they would have done this a long time ago.
  • You are using relative morality ("what is right is defined by what the society says is right"). In a pragmatic sense, any system of morality can be said to have a function; a religious moral system, for example, exists to serve the desires of the god being worshipped, while a humanist morality exists to provide a better life for people. The point is that, of all the moralities that could be designed, relative morality is the most pointless; it can serve no successful purpose, and is in fact the same as no morality at all.
    Do not think that you are a better person because you can accept any moral system; this is the refuge of minds that are too weak to have any thoughts of their own.
    For example, abusing women is wrong; if you could live with a morality where you abused women regularly, you would be the kind of person that I would be willing to fight a war against. I would personally be willing to kill you, or die trying, to stop you.
    Relative morality seems on its face like a way to resolve conflict, but in the end it's philosophical masturbation.
    Go ahead and believe in Western morality, but look, and look hard, for the parts of it that are wrong. Build something that you can believe in, so when you see an atrocity you are willing to say "this is _wrong_".
  • Heh, check out the moderation on that one.. "Informative". Hello? How about "funny"? Geez.
  • by Simon Brooke ( 45012 ) <> on Saturday July 14, 2001 @08:28AM (#85242) Homepage Journal

    Are here:

    They're all still working today, so presumably they're banning their own people from reading other people's Web sites, not banning other people from reading their Web sites...

  • Hats off to the Taliban, working hard to make medieval despotism persist into the 21st century.

    I guess someone had to show the world that the Ayatollah Khomeini wasn't as crazy as a religious whacko could get.

  • >The Taliban have repeatedly stated that they are willing to hand over any alleged terrorists if conclusive proof is provided.

    They haven't handed over Osama Bin Laden, have they?

    > In Islam, effort must be made to ensure that people do not have access to the content that is considered forbidden.

    What a tragic fall Islam has taken, from the days when Muslim Spain was the epitome of enlightenment and tolerance in Europe, to today when pig-fuckers like you proclaim that censorship is necessary.

  • >Yes, I do prefer that the state educate children rather than allowing a bunch of uneducated, right-wing, extremists to "educate" their children.

    Umm, what if the state is a bunch of uneducated, right-wing extremists?

    Sorry, giving the state the power to tell everyone what to think is just too dangerous, no matter how benign the government of the moment might be (in your opinion.) When you cede any power to the state, make sure it's a power with which you can trust ALL future governments.

  • >What is too dangerous is children being home-schooled by the Branch Davidians, members of the Heaven's Gate cult, Scientologists, white separatists, and other extremists.

    As bad as that is, it happens only to a handful of kids at a time. I'm far more worried about the damage that can be done en masse when a government gets to impose an orthodoxy on education. For historical examples, look to what Stalin, Castro, Hitler, and other totalitarians have done with their schools. Does the phrase "Hitler Jugend" ring a bell?

    Now, for an example that's a bit closer to home, do you remember when two years ago, Kansas' school board decided that evolution was merely an opinion?

    Don't fool yourself: it can happen anywhere.

  • >At least get your facts straight before you shoot off your mouth and end up looking like an idiot.

    Get your own facts straight, you rag-head jackass. Your so-called "holy" book explicitly condones slavery, which is why I can dismiss it out of hand as a medieval relic of tyranny. If you want censorship, then cut your own fucking DSL line, don't try to tell me that it *must* be done because your religion said so.

    Now, I'm going out and find a copy of the Satanic Verses.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday July 14, 2001 @05:50PM (#85253) Journal
    >First they kill women for exposing some skin;

    They don't just kill women for exposing skin, they also kill women for getting raped (no, I'm *not* making this up.) If a woman is raped in a Taliban-controlled part of Afghanistan, she's likely to be done in by stoning, while the perp gets to claim that she tempted him to do it, and gets off with a beating, or with no punishment at all.

  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:51AM (#85255)
    Blockquoth the Ayatollah Khomeni:
    "The uncleans consist of eleven things; urine, stool, semen, corpse, blood, dogs, pigs, infidel, wine beer and the sweat of a camel that eats the unclean"

    So, if I were to say that the Taliban leaders wallow in their own piss, shit, jizz, blood, wine, beer, and the sweat of a camel that had eaten a soup made up of the same gunk, and that they ate dog-and-pork sausage in the morgue with infidels, it might be regarded as un-Islamic? ;-)

    (Unclean? Sounds like a great weekend! I cut my finger pretty bad during the wee hours of the morning, and was worried about the bleeding, so I got a stich put in by this cute Jewish med student interning at the hospital... we hit it off and met at the zoo later that morning after she got off her shift, on which one of her patients died, which was a bummer... we went to the zoo, walked around a bit, grabbed a sausage from the sidewalk vendor, saw the camels (he was looking hungry, so I fed him some sausage, even though the sign said not to, while petting him on the nose, poor thing was burning up, it was so hot outside that day), then went out for Chinese food, then went bar-hopping... then I got really drunk... Never mix beer and wine. Anyways, I remember getting laid, but I'd had waaaaaay too much to drink and I really embarassed myself. But I was too drunk to really give a damn. In fact, I was so damn drunk, she got worried, and she had to go to work anyways, so she took me to the hospital at 3:00am and left me to get my stomach pumped, which I think was a subtle signal that the relationship was over... but that's OK, 'cuz while I was getting my guts pumped out, I met this cute Hindu med student...)

  • You're right, we need to support liberal defenders of free expression and opponents of censorship like James Exon, Joe Lieberman, Tipper Gore, and Hillary Clinton.

    There are just as many would-be censors on the left as on the right. The right-wing extremists want to ban "obscenity" and "pornography", the left-wing extremists want to ban "hate speech" and "intolerance" (and now "violence"). Their motives are different, but both groups agree that they know better than you what you should be allowed to see, and both should be opposed.

  • and you can get connected at over 50kbps on a 56k modem, something that I suspect most slashdotters (myself included) have never managed anywhere else in the world

    Totally off topic, but before I went to DSL, I regularly got 52K out of my 56K modem.
  • You seem to believe that freedom of religion, as espoused by western countries, is in all places welcome.

    Please remember how often Slashdot people slam "Christian Fundamentalist Idiots" for their "non-scientific" beliefs. We don't have the freedom you think we have either -- its just a bit harder to get shot for it here.
  • I agree with most of your definitions wholeheartedly. However, searching the archives of Slashdot will unearth anti-Christian bigotry and references made frequently by Americans and Canadians, both of whom would then probably turn around and announce "Freedom of Religion" in their countries.
  • Speaking as a home-schooled Christian with unfiltered DSL access in his bed room, I think that you're generalizing a bit. You should never underestimate the power of a vocal minority (1d10ts from Bob Jones and any Televangilest you'll ever see) to sound like the majority. I don't think many people care if 7-11 sells porn, I think a few vocal people do. I -certainly- don't want the Internet banned/filtered in schools/libraries.

    I think it's quite an unfair generalization to say right-wing conservitives are like the Taliban (I don't really see what home schooling has to do with it, other then it seems that a large home schooling segment happens to be Christian... but a large segment happens to speak English too, let's remember :)).

    Grades, Social Life, Sleep... pick two.
  • Americans probably have no problem with this, since most of us are pretty open-minded about religious differences.

    Except the ones who would perpetuate homophobia with federal money. []


  • I guess that the point is that they most likely *couldn't* get away with it. America would jump down their throats so quick, they wouldn't know what hit them. They'd lose their re-election, and politicians are all about the money - and it pays to be in office. That's why we have the current welfare system - it buys votes. Mass censorship of the internet, while never working, would cause more uproar than the Holocaust.

    you must amputate to email me

  • Umm... you do know we tried to do this once, right? Remember, we blew up several terrorist training camps in western Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border? Those were Osama Bin Laden's camps, and believe me, we were trying to hit him. The reason we don't do it is that we are terrified of the reprisal from Islamic nutcase terrorists and from our "ally" Arab nations if we undertook an all-out attack on Bin Laden camps. It would be even more embarrassing if we kept missing him, and then he'd blow up more of our embassies.

    Frankly, I just think we're incompetent sometimes.

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @09:54AM (#85274)
    This post is one large postmodern fallacy. I understand your claim that the Taliban are misguided and that they are attempting to legislate religion rather than finding morality through the heart, but this is about where the similarity to anything resembling Western-style democratic government ends.

    This does not in any way indicate a vast similarity between the two governmental structures other than the basic fact that they are both governments and therefore represent attempts to legislate a common understanding of "workable" cultural codes and compromises under which people live their day-to-day lives, work, eat, sleep, shit and fuck.

    The similarities end there. The Taliban bases their moral code on the most extreme and doctrinaire interpretation possible of the Koran and religious exegesis by that over the years from the most insane of Islamists. Western-style democracy bases its moral code on a few fundamental first principles like Hillel's "Golden Rule" (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and a tradition based on the value of freedom and the individual, equality, and other values derived by way of application of reason to the human condition. Is Western society influenced by religious values? Sure. But the superiority of a system that embraces and allows for all religious practices, except where they are imposed on others, carries an aesthetic that is human in origin and ultimately founded on rational social behavior, and not limited to any particular government, society or people.

    In other words -- I reject the postmodern hypothesis that any culture is as good as any other culture and we cannot judge them as we are inherently polluted by our own culture's view point. I strive to understand other cultures, but I rely on observation and reason, firm scientific principles. Humanist philosophy is _not_ just another religion, it is the pursuit of truth and the rejection of irrational, false principles, with which radical Islamist societies are riddled.

    I met lots of annoying people just like you at Harvard - they repeat this mantra about how we are misguided in judging any other culture. I say that's bunk. We can value other cultures for their positive aspects and reject their negative aspects in the same way as we do our own -- I certainly don't blindly accept all practices, of the people, nor of the government of the United States. Nevertheless, the fact that I live in a country where I am allowed to hold such an opinion puts me miles ahead of any unfortunate Afghanis still left to live under the Taliban regime.

  • US-Pakistan relations aren't that great.

    Check out this [] article about the difficulty of US counterterrorism in the area - you might find it enlightening.


    "Where the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin are concerned, Pakistan and the United States aren't allies. Relations between the two countries have been poor for years, owing to American opposition to Pakistan's successful nuclear-weapons program and, more recently, Islamabad's backing of Muslim Kashmiri separatists. Bin Ladin's presence in Afghanistan as a "guest" of the Pakistani-backed Taliban has injected even more distrust and suspicion into the relationship."
  • Wouldn't it be pretty cool if someone decided to air drop a few thousand short wave radios into the that country.
  • "We want to establish a system in Afghanistan through which we can control all those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral and against Islam," [Taliban Foreign Minister Maulvi Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil] said.

    I guess they aren't interested in things that are wrong, immoral, and against Islam, but not obscene.

    Here's another story on the situation [] from the BBC [].

  • by gargle ( 97883 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:45AM (#85283) Homepage
    The Taliban really needs to get its priorities straight. I mean, there could be much more productive things the Taliban could be doing, like:

    1. Ensuring widespread deprivation, poverty, starvation.
    2. Smashing a few more statues.
    3. Playing host to more terrorist organisations.
    4. Finding imaginative ways of abusing women.

    Banning the Internet should be waa-aay down its list of priorities.
  • What very few people without an in-depth knowledge of the region realize is that the Taliban are entirely a creation of the Pakistani ISI (the Interservices Intelligence, i.e., their equivilant of the KGB).

    The ISI was the primary conduit for western aid to the mujahadeen in their war against the Soviet invasion force of the late 1980s. (It should also be remembered that the Soviet invasion killed over 1 million Afghanis.)

    After the Soviets left Afghanistan with their tail between their legs, Pakistan funded and trained the Taliban, and in some cases Pakistani regulars even lead them in battle. Taliban is also made up of ethnic Pashtunies, which are a minority group in Afghanistan, but are heavily represented in the Pakistani military.

    The extent to which Pakistan is still pulling the Taliban's strings is unclear. Some feel the Taliban have slipped Islamabad's control.

    The rteason none of thiis rarely (if ever) reported in the press is that: A.) Most western readers don't give a rat's ass about Afghanistan; and B.) Since it was a big egg on the face of the Clinton-era CIA, since Pakistan is still officially an American allie and the CIA worked closely with the ISI to arm the mujahadeen. Another problem is the lack of reliable, unbiased news from the region, as various news outletss (Afghan opposition groups, official media in India, Iran, etc.) who have reported the ISI connection all have their own agendas to push.

  • by 11thangel ( 103409 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:20AM (#85293) Homepage
    That means they banned .NET too!
  • So you are in fact claiming you know the Whole Truth, or being able to discern it for everyone else? Just like some overly atheists and religious people. What is the difference between you and them?
    Stop right there. He is not saying that, and there is no such conclusion to be drawn.

    Since your first step is illogical, there is hardly any need to pay any attention to the rest of your rants right?

    I fear my argument is lost against you though, so I won't continue. Just know that happiness always comes from within. And know that I know that I don't speak nor know the whole truth, and that I accept the truth in your words (the little scraps there are, haha! :o) This is a bunch of bullshit. Happiness needs external conditions to work. Things like modern sanitation, lack of disease and such modern necessities to work.

    I guess you must be an American? Or you've have had it good for too long, taking such things for granted. Go visit the rest of the world, broaden your horizons and tell me that you can be happy while having dysentry. I say you can't.

  • If you think Islam the faith tolerates violence, that they sanction the type of behaviour towards women, then it it is you that is clueless. "Not judging" in such a case is an abdication of your responsibility to think.
  • 1. Ensuring widespread deprivation, poverty, starvation.
    Nah, that's the job of the United States/Nations, with the crippling sanctions they are imposing.
    2. Smashing a few more statues.
    I might concede with you on that one, there are more pressing issues that require their attention.
    3. Playing host to more terrorist organisations.
    Harbouring terrorists is nothing more than an accusation that has not been proven as of yet. The Taliban have repeatedly stated that they are willing to hand over any alleged terrorists if conclusive proof is provided.
    4. Finding imaginative ways of abusing women. etc.
    Are you done, troll? Now about banning the Internet, the article states:
    There are not many computers and most of areas do not have electricity.
    Doesn't sound like such a difficult, resource-consuming task, does it? As was also mentioned, it is not the medium itself which they have a problem with, rather it is the content that is delivered through this medium that can be either permissible or forbidden. In Islam, effort must be made to ensure that people do not have access to the content that is considered forbidden. Since the Taliban are unable to filter this content, they have no other way of doing this other than banning it outright. Besides, not many people will miss it anyway. I commend this move, and hopefully they will soon be able to reintroduce it under the guidelines they perceive as proper and in accordance with the laws that rule their state.

  • by tommut ( 123314 ) <[tommut] [at] []> on Saturday July 14, 2001 @07:01AM (#85303) Homepage
    On the plus side, .af domains should be real cheap.

    Hmmm... I was trying to thing of a clever .af domain I could register like, but all I can come up with is
  • by Mekanix ( 127309 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @09:43AM (#85304)
    Hmm... strange.... here in Denmark we've got porn i (almost) every gasstation, conviniencestore and supermarked. And so it have been for the last 20-30 years.

    Computers are (still) unfiltered in libraries and schools.

    I haven't caught or heard anyone caught in masturbating in libraries and schools.

    Hmm... perhaps it's an american thing to spontaneous masturbate when exposed to porn? Perhaps you're not exposed to enough?

  • Before that women used to be buried at birth and were thought of as a liabilty.

    gee, that sure makes population sustaining (much less growth) really hard.

    (so why didn't everyone die out in just a generation or so, if it was as you said?)


  • George W's administration has already made a deal with he taliban leadership. Search for "faustian deal" on kuro5hin. The drug war makes strange bed-fellows.
  • by partingshot ( 156813 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:23AM (#85313)

    1. We want to establish a system in Afghanistan through which we can control all those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral

    Don't let these guys hook up with the RIAA.
  • by NoNeeeed ( 157503 ) <slash@pa[ ] ['ull' in gap]> on Saturday July 14, 2001 @08:22AM (#85314)
    There was a documentary (I think it was called Undeer the Veil) shown on british telly recently made by the reporter Siras Shar (Not sure about the spelling). Her parents come from Afghanistan and she sneeked into the country with the help of an underground movement. The footage that was shown was very sobering, some of it showed a football stadium (ironically built by the international community to help return normality to the country) being used for very brutal executions, hangings, stonings, shooting etc.

    The people in Af are under the complete control of the Taliban. They are ruled with the proverbial rod of iron (which is normally used to beat to death 13 year old girls for daring to read a book). Their interpretation of Islamic law is so extreme that most other Muslims, even the most 'orthodox'(*) ones consider it over the top.

    It is seeing what can happen in a country like this that puts life in the west into perspective. We may whine about companies protecting IP, or governments introducing face recognising CCTV, but thats nothing compared to what these people are living through.

    If it ever shown where you live, try and watch it. It certainly made me realise just how lucky I am. At least I have the freedom to live a normal life, go to school (although I have just finished Uni but you know what I mean), walk down the street, without risking beating, or death. And I have some say, no matter how small, in the way my country is run, I have a voice. People in Afganistan have no voice, not even a small one, especially not women, who are basically non-people.

    (*) I don't like the word extremist, it smacks of American cliches about Muslims, most of whome are peaceful, honest, friendly, well educated and moral. The combative tendancy in the area is like that in europe up to about 50 years ago (ignoring the balkans), not a product of religion, just of the situation, religion just tends to fan the flames (the religious wars of europe, papal intervention in politics, the holy roman empire etc)

    Here endeth the lesson :->

  • Most private folks in Afghanistan who can afford net access use out of country ISPs anyway. I think they just don't want internet cafes.

    --Perianwyr Stormcrow
  • cultural melting pot and a cultural mosaic

    I'd never really thought about it like that. What's interesting is that the U.S. has gone from taking millions of immigrants into a melting pot to demanding a mosaic over all else. "We must promote diversity" and all that. Now we're getting to see the problems with making it official policy.


  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @07:39AM (#85320) Journal
    CNN also has the story here: 3/taliban.internet/index.html [] .internet.reut/index.html []

    These are better links because you will be able access the data a year from now, while the Yahoo story will fall off the net in a few weeks.

    It looks like alot of folks are commenting without reading the story. If they had, they would have noted this bit:

    It was not immediately known how many people or offices use the Internet in a country in which infrastructure is in ruins because of more than two decades of war. There are not many computers and most of areas do not have electricity. Those who can afford to, including foreign aid agencies, log onto the Internet through the few telephone lines provided by neighboring Pakistan.


    AIP did not say when the ban was imposed and how the Taliban planned to ensure that telephone lines were not being used to access the Internet. But most Taliban decisions and edicts on conduct are ruthlessly enforced by their powerful religious police working under the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

    A special note is that, as the taliban says, "We want to establish a system in Afghanistan through which we can control all those things that are wrong, obscene, immoral and against Islam"

    This will be rather difficult to do, given their particular view of technology, etc. Maybe they'll mandate proprietary Taliban systems. But who would make them? I am sure someone would, but they could be a bit pricey.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • "Free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people who's leaders at last lose their grip on information will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master." - Unknown

    Also used in the game Alpha Centauri [] attributed to

    -- Commissioner Pravin Lal,

    "U.N. Declaration of Rights"
  • I think you quoted that much the same way I quoted mine above, so if you really believe that the posts on /. show how easy computers have made it for stupid people, you've provided no more leverage for your argument than if you had said you had good word that Hitler was in touch with Church officials from the moon.

    Now, if you had been smart, you'd have pasted a link in there as supporting information in order to counter my statement, but all I have is your word, and frankly that just doesn't win arguments. I'm genuinely interested in this, so please provide a link where I can read up on this.

    I certainly don't deny that some barbaric stuff has been done in the name of religion, but it doesn't excuse anyone else doing it.

  • NOT posted as a troll, but merely some info I found. If you had any intelligence you might try educating someone if they are on the wrong some of some bad information instead of hiding behind an AC tag while trying to display how amazingly funny you've become this morning.
  • Quoted from a site on the net...

    Though Adolph Hitler was baptized Catholic as an infant, he did not practice the Faith later in life. In fact, he completely rejected Christianity as an adult, since he thought it was a "weak" religion because of its emphasis on peace and forgiveness. Instead, Hitler favored a militaristic and racist mishmash of neo-paganism and occultism, which he considered more suitable for the so-called "Aryan supermen" whom he thought would take over the world.
    Here are some quotes which show what Hitler thought of Christianity:
    "Christianity is an invention of sick brains," -- Adolf Hitler, 13 December 1941.
    "So it's not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the Churches. The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death," -- Adolf Hitler, 14 October 1941.
    Definitely not the words of a good Catholic! Sounds like you've heard one fact and filled in the rest yourself.
  • < []> is not a Taliban site; it's a site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the pre-Taliban government of President Burhanuddin Rabbani, which is still recognized by the United Nations, even though the Taliban effectively control most of the country. (Apparently the Taliban don't have any control over the .af TLD after all.)

    The Afghan Taleban Mission to the UN had a web site at < []>. During the Bamiyan statues controversy, I'd used the web site to get contact information for the First Secretary to the Mission, Mr. Noorullah Zadran: I faxed him a letter of protest back in March (highly ineffective -- duh -- in case you have to ask). Looking for updates some weeks later, I noticed the web site had been defaced at some point by someone with anti-Taliban messages.

    This web site's main page is now a simple document (generated by Microsoft FrontPage 4.0!) referring visitors to < []>, a seemingly unofficial page about "The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," as the Taliban style the country. It will be interesting to see if this page gets any further updates now.

  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @09:30AM (#85333) Journal is an anti-Taliban site, I think run by the government in exile in London.
  • With the banning of the internet this makes the CIA's job of monitoring Afganistan much harder. Either Osama Bin Ladin will continue to use the interenet, in which case we continue on as normal. If he decides to abide by this new rule then it makes his ability to orginize terrorism more of a personal endevor and as a result much more costly for the US to monitor.Goodbye SIGINT, hello HUMINT. Problem is HUMINT is much higher risk and also much higher cost.

    Since we currently know only what small town he is in, mostly as I understand it through SIGINT, then we now must move in to get any intelligence at all. If we are going to go through with that, we might as well send in the assination squad to get them for the cost of the mission. Im not sure how politically viable such a mission is because it would take alot of work to even get that mission off the ground, but it's also such a high payoff if we do...

    John Gruhn
    National Defense University
  • by abdulwahid ( 214915 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @04:09PM (#85344) Homepage

    As a devote Muslim, I quite often look on at the situation in Afganistan with sadness. It is a shame that the Taliban have lost sight of tolerence when our own Islamic history is full of tolerence. The most peaceful time in Palestine/Isreal was during the Muslim rule before the crusades. The Muslims of the time let the Christians ans Jews pratice their religions in peace. The same in Muslim Spain before the inquisition. Even in the life time of the Prophet Muhammed, the Muslims took protection with their Allies...the Christians.

    Today many Muslim groups have lost sight of this in a way that is sickening. However, the particular situation in Afganistan is one of sadness and desperation. The Taliban without a doubt are wrong for what they are doing. However, in the West we should also take reponsiblity for our own part in the downfall of Afganistan.

    The Afghanistan Mujahideen fought the Russian Army and defeated them. They were backed by the US and the UK who trained them and gave them weapons. The US and the UK were so keen on having the Russians defeated but they didn't want to fight the war themselves. The defeat of the Russian army by the Afghanistan Mujahideen brought about the down fall of the Soviet state and hence the end of the cold war. The general peace in the world that we face today is partly due to the courage and sacrifices of the Afghan Mujahideen. However, once Afghanistan had won all the other Soviet states found the strenth to seek freedom and indepence. However, at the end of the war the US and the UK pulled all support and left Afghanistan in ruins. A country with no infrastrucutre, completely destroyed by years of war with nothing exept a bunch of Armed people who knew nothing except how to fight. Of course they felt betrayed by what the West had done to them. They felt completely let down. And now today, Osama bin Laden is hunted as the world's number one terrorist when only a few years ago, he was the hero.

    The West played its part in creating the Afghanistan today. If you want to make the world a better place then first correct your own mistakes. Its too easy for us to mock the Afghan people and the Taliban for what they are doing wrong. It isn't going to make the situation better though.And if you go to Arghan today, you will see that the lack of Internet, is the least of their worries.

  • I generally agree with this poster's entiments. However, the question that immediately comes to my mind is this: what should those in America do about it? Perhaps one of the reasons Americans often take such blank attitudes to world politics is that we screw up so badly when we get involved. Geez, the USA has one Vietnam confilct and the whole country's scared.

    However, one does have to ask where we draw the line. Let's say America decides tomorrow that the situation in Afghanistan is abonimable. Bush dispatches the Pacific armed forces to beat them to a bloody pulp and institute a new government--probably a puppet democracy, since it's easier to guarantee they are doing what America wants them to do. Now assuming that the whole scenario I just described works... that the US military does not find itself totally unequipped for war against the Taliban, that the country isn't bombed into an unlivable hell, that the country doesn't collapse into a US military rulership... what then? Other Arab nations will probably feel threatened at such a brazen display of arrogance and hypocrisy on the part of America, to simply go in and tell a nation how its people should live (oh wait, isn't that what the Taliban is doing? Of course, it's THEIR nation). America would have a dependent nation filled with racial and ethnic animosities to attempt to handle. And it would set a precedent for world policemanship that the United States cannot afford.

    I'm not saying America doesn't do this already. However, I'm not sure it's been a good idea in the past, and I think history has shown us that it's not wise to interfere in a situation like this. Yes, it shall pass. Nazi Germany fell, and a government like the Taliban cannot sustain itself for long if the people of Afghanistan have any shred of a backbone. How long can you oppress 50% of your population before the women just slit their husbands' throats and establish a matriarchy?

    Yeah, the Taliban is really screwing up Afghanistan (at least in the eyes of this devil westerner). Yeah, Americans don't seem to care. I think the reason is that they can't afford to. You can only watch evil for so long before your inability to stop it makes you either jaded or insane.

    Take your pick.

    Take care,

  • I am sorry to say this, but that is utter crock. The talibar arent really concerned with Islamic values per se, but they use that as an excuse to remain in power. You say you havent lived in Afghanistan all you life. I havent lived in Afghanistan either, but I *have* lived in an islamic country. I have seen and experienced to what extent Islamic law can be 'forced' upon you. Luckily for me the country I lived in wasnt as fanatical.

    I did make a trip to Saudi once, in which I was asked my religion and a temporary ID was made for me WITH my religion stated on it. Others who have gone there have had religeous items removed till they left the country. Agreed the people made the choice to go there, but it is still doscrimination. YOu can bet that the Taliban practice the worst point of this discrimination. Lately destroying the Buddha statues, making hindus wear a yellow cloth i.e all reeks of the discrimination jews were made to endure during the holocoust.

    In Islamic law, the charge of blasphemy can be used by any Muslim to presecute any person who ractices another religion, in fact that can be applied to other mUslims as well. The Shia's have been getting persecuted there as well. The northern half is Shi'a dominated where as the Taleban is Sunni ..

    I could ramble on and on .. but point of the matter is that the Taliban arent misguided people trying to do the right thing, but a group who is in power using a peaceful religion in a violent matter to discriminate, intimidate and destroy other people ..

    Just a reminder to all :
  • by azizu ( 240440 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @07:49AM (#85358)
    I read this chain and I was surprised that all I could see was ISLAM and Taliban...ISLAM and Taliban. All I could see what how the ISLAMIC Taliban think its ok to stone their daughters, cut off heads in public. How these religion fanatics badge everyother non-ISLAMIC person. ISLAM ISLAM ISLAM.....whats up with that???

    When I read about Hitler...I never read he was a Roman Catholic. I never read that what he did was just follow his religion and that it was OK in his religion to wipe out a whole race of people. I never read that Hitler sent Jews to concentration camps because he was a Roman Catholic.

    My friend...this is western progoganda at its best. An attempt to dissallude people about Islam to the extent that the people who follow Islam don't know what their religion is all about. Taliban are an evil group of individuals and their activites are NOT endorsed by ISLAM. Similarly Hitler was a devil and his activities are not endoresed by Christianity.

    So for the sake of GOD....don't talk confuse the activites of Taliban with the teachings of ISLAM. I don't think there is any religion in the world that teaches us to harm other beings/be disrespectful to others.

    Let me remind you that ISLAM was the first relgion in the world that actually gave women a status. Before that women used to be buried at birth and were thought of as a liabilty. Islam changed the status quo.
    Today these illiterate idiotic piece of waste Taliban are doing everything AGAINST the teaching of Islam.

    So stop commenting or defending their activities or associating their activities with the preachings of ISLAM.
  • So basically what you want is porn in gas stations, people masturbating in libraries and schools, and everyone to be force-educated by the state.

    Even though I am an atheist, I think I'd prefer the "christian extremist" version over your own liberal wet dreams.

    Wet dreams? Who was proposing masturbation in libraries and schools? Do you masturbate when reading about breast cancer, venereal disease, abortion, and birth control? Those are topics that are normally filtered out by the "anti-porn" filters installed in libraries. You are a sick puppy!

    Yes, I do prefer that the state educate children rather than allowing a bunch of uneducated, right-wing, extremists to "educate" their children.

  • Honestly I don't understand how stupid some of you liberals can be sometimes. Most of you seem to just be intelligent people who hold their own views, but this is pure stupidity. "The right wing extremists are going to home-school a giant army and take over the world with porn filters! Call the ACLU!"

    Who said any of that? Don't try to put words in my mouth. My concern isn't for society's safety. It's for the children who might be home-schooled by the same ignorant parents who believe that creationism is science, evolution is not, birth control is something not to be discussed, and sex is evil.

    You cite your own home schooling as proof that it works, yet you lack social skills, debating skills, and a good command of the English language. Your (incorrect) comment about me being "stupid" is hilarious when you use non-words like "fanaticist." Rather than debate the points about the parallels between the religious right in this country and the Taliban, you resort to name-calling.

    I'd like to see one of you fanaticist (yes, fanaticist) liberals here do as much to ensure your children a good childhood as these right-wing extremist home-schooling censors are doing.

    A "good childhood" is one where the child develops social skills through exposure to peers of differing ethnic and social backgrounds. It's one where the child is taught to think rationally and question their own beliefs and those of their parents. Keeping your child at home and out of public schools is no way to give a child a good start.

    Just why is it that your parents don't have you in public schools? If they are using textbooks that are mainstream (are they?), then why not have you be taught by professional educators? Why are they not having you attend school with your peers?

    By the way, I don't have children. You just reminded me why.

  • If people like you get to rule this country it would be end of US.

    Yeah, sure. So you think that white separatists, religious fanatics, neo-Nazis, and Islamic extremists should be able to home-school their children in your U.S.? Well, not in mine. Children deserve a chance to grow up and lead a normal life -- and to many that are "home-schooled", that chance is denied.

  • Umm, what if the state is a bunch of uneducated, right-wing extremists?

    Like the current President? That's why we have balances of power with the Senate, House, and Executive Branch. This ensures that no extremist faction can control the country. That's why, even though Bush is President, abortion is still legal, there is no prayer in public schools, and we can all look at porn online if we want to.

    Sorry, giving the state the power to tell everyone what to think is just too dangerous, no matter how benign the government of the moment might be (in your opinion.)

    What is too dangerous is children being home-schooled by the Branch Davidians, members of the Heaven's Gate cult, Scientologists, white separatists, and other extremists. Children deserve to be taught by teachers with degrees in education. They deserve to be able to interact with their peers during the school day.

    They also deserve the protections offered by public schooling. There is something sick about healthy children being locked up at home and "taught" by their parents with little or no supervision or oversight. If a teacher physically abuses a kid in class, everyone sees it. If a child is being abused at home, many times it is the childs teacher(s) who alert the authorities. What happens when a parent abuses their child that they are "home schooling"? I'm sure that Sybil's mother would have chosen home-schooling if that had been an option.

    Let teachers teach science, English, math, and history. If you feel the need to make your child believe in an invisible man that lives in the sky and watches everything that they do, do it after school or on Sunday.

  • You seem have no objection to black separatist, anti-religious fanatics and leftist (environmental) extremist being able to home-school their children. Wait. They don't have to. Current public education system is already mostly run by leftist whackos. You are the one who has zero tolerance toward any other social/religious beliefs systems and consequently, if you were given a power we would surely end up in totalitarian state. Just reread your responses and ponder a bit over your complete lack of understanding for the concept of freedom. You are one scary dude.

    I have problems with anyone home-schooling their children. Your problem with blacks, echoed here and elsewhere, isn't mine. Given your views, I'm proud to scare you.

  • Their problems are, in part, thanks to fucking liberals like you

    You said that you don't even want your kids in the same school with blacks, so don't twist the blame towards liberals. Liberals are what make this country great and the more I talk to bigoted, racist, foul-mouthed, right-wing, conserviatives like you, the prouder I am to be a liberal.

    It was rich white conservatives who thought slavery was a good idea. You probably still do.

  • ...and you can't blame meteors for everything.

    No, but I will give meteors credit for wiping out the dinosaurs, creating the Chesapeake Bay, the Tanguska event, and many other cataclysmic changes to the earth. They also might have sparked life on earth, but that's more likely to have been caused by lightning.

    I suppose that you believe that everything is controlled by an all-powerful, invisible man who lives in the sky and watches everything that each of us does. Well, I don't believe in that, the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, or anything else for which there is no scientific evidence.

    Why be born again when you can just grow up?

  • by raju1kabir ( 251972 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @10:57PM (#85374) Homepage
    1. Ensuring widespread deprivation, poverty, starvation.
    Nah, that's the job of the United States/Nations, with the crippling sanctions they are imposing.

    Some pretty impressive sanctions they've got, stopping the Afghans from conducting the same agriculture that's fed them for centuries prior to the Taliban's advent. Did UNESCO go in and salt their soil or something?

    This is not like Iraq, where the economy had developed to the point where critical efficiencies came from imports and exports.

    What's happening here is that a huge number of people have been withdrawn from the labor pool. (A) Women, and (B) All the men who used to do actual productive things and now sit around growing beards and whacking at each other with sticks. This is all very disruptive in the short term, and to some degree debilitating in the long term. Plus the climate of fear results in resources being withdrawn from circulation as people save money under their mattresses to sneak into Pakistan or to build thicker walls so the noise of the TV can't be heard from the street.

    Wa ana kabir rajul, tathkur; fathalika afham 'alam al bilaadi fi asia janub wal sharq il awsat.

    In Islam, effort must be made to ensure that people do not have access to the content that is considered forbidden.

    Says who? You insult Muslims everywhere with your intimation that they are so weak-willed that just seeing something contrary to their beliefs will cause their faith to falter.

    I commend this move, and hopefully they will soon be able to reintroduce it under the guidelines they perceive as proper and in accordance with the laws that rule their state.

    You have got to be kidding me. The "laws that rule their state" are (A) destroying their state, and (B) the laughingstock of the world, including the Islamic world. If I take over a country and pass a law that says all children must be kicked in the head thrice daily, can I count on your support?

  • by karmawarrior ( 311177 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @09:51AM (#85382) Journal
    Except that's not true. Most politicians supported the Communications & Decency Act for example - otherwise it would never have been passed. It's somewhat fortunate that the first ammendment trumped it.

    Indeed, Bush himself said during his election campaign that "There should be limits to freedom" in relation to a parody website done about him.

    Unfortunately, and it remains a scary part of democracy, it's very easy to persuade people that things they "don't like" should be banned. A good politician (sadly rarely a successful politician) is one who recognises the values of his or her constituents and works to represent them, but doesn't blindly follow the solutions they support or propose simple solutions to complex issues.

    Sadly, it's rare to come across a good politician these days. Most will follow the party line, and suggest simplistic solutions that they know will play well with the target audience. Don't like murderers? We'll have a death penalty. Don't want your friends to end up addicted to drugs? We'll "ban" them and have a war on drugs. Don't want to come across pictures of people having sex on the world wide web? We'll make it illegal! Meanwhile, justice and commonsense fall by the wayside.

    I blame the parents...

  • if he really existed, there is no reason why our military would not have extracted him already, seriously.

    Yes there is. Firs off, there is the whole international law thing to think about. We can't just send in your military into any country we like any time we like. Now I'll grant you, it's not like that stopped us in south america, however the government is being watched a bit more closely for that now. However the real issue here is the cost of doing something like that. Please remember the Taliban are ARMED and heavily so. How many of our soliders are worth sacraficing for Bin Laden? I'm betting the cost would be fairly high and it is felt to just not be worth it.

  • by bacchusrx ( 317059 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @10:16AM (#85388)
    ...the brutal slaughter and ruination of innocent people's lives in the Taliban's Afghanistan or Western ignorance as to what's actually happening over there.

    I mean even the harshest critics of the Taliban regime here on Slashdot are pretty much saying: "Yeah, well, that's what right wing religious nuts will do... ban the internet and treat women poorly." Poorly?

    Yes, well, I'd love to see (strike that -- I possess an utter loathing to see) what you'd consider falls into the "horrendous" or "godawful atrocity" category... yanno, what with "poor treatment" being the routine public stonings, executions, rape, torture, and mind control to which women in that country are subjected daily for "crimes" as little as ... oh I dunno ... learning to read or perhaps leaving the house not completely coccooned in oppresive clothing and under the supervision of male relatives? Women are bludgeoned to death for that, there. Or how about the fact that women were forced out their workplaces and any property forfeit to male relatives? Or, that greatly due to this, there aren't enough health care workers in the country to help aide the sick... and there are plenty of sick, now, since the Taliban's utter mismanagement of national econmics has caused widespread famine and a total disintegration of what social services existed there. Or that suicide rates for oppressed women in Afghanistan have skyrocketed thanks to their brutal treatment. Let's not forget! of course, that non-Muslims and their homes are branded in yellow and ostracized...

    If this is "poor" treatment of women and of human life in general -- I can't, to be honest, wrap my brain around your concept of what's really going on... this is, as one of my good friends once put it -- WHOLESALE FUCKING GENOCIDE. "Poor" treatment?? I've never read anything more disgusting in my life.

    Good gods, I wish we in the west would get a clue. We've got a regime committing atrocities on par with the horrors of Nazi Germany and we sit back and say... Meh. Poor treatment. This too shall pass. Fuck, we're arrogant hypocrits.


  • The U.S. is still sending them money. Now, of course, it's cloaked as "humanitarian aid". You know what the latest "humanitarian aid" was a reward for? Getting rid of the opium trade. To the tune of about $45 million or so (I don't remember the exact figure, atm) late this past spring. Admittedly, not a huge amount to most "developed" countries, but probably quite a lot to the leaders of the Taliban.

    If you have any idea of what's going on over there, you know how much they've terrorized and punished the farmers to scare them into stopping opium farming. So, essentially, the U.S. is rewarding them for torturing their people.

    How lovely. Apparently, it's more important to fight the war on drugs, than it is to fight rights abuses and total opression.

    'crow, disgusted (And ftr, I'm from the U.S.)

  • The Taliban have destroyed ancient religious monuments, returned women to servitude, enforced the islamic laws and persecuted non islams out of the country and proceded to commit religious genocide and we should be surprised they have banned the internet ?

    Thank you for bringing up another one of the things about Afghanistan that frightens me. How is it that so many people didn't consider it a big deal when the Taliban began destroying ancient religious monuments? When they announced that they would be requiring minority religions to display an identification of their faith? When all the other things that have been going on have happened? Yes, there was an uproar, but it didn't seem like nearly enough.

    These people have proven themselves to be diligent, determined and successful at defeating others against all odds. They show all the signs of proceeding past their current level of extremism to absolute genocide. They still have tons of expensive weapons, left over from the Afghan war and also new ones supplied by terrorists and even (possibly) other governments. The level of terror that they inflict on their own people continues to grow and grow.

    If they finally defeat the United Front and other so-called rebels in the north, who says they're going to stop at their own borders? Yes, it would be insane to attack in that heavily armed area of the world, but the Taliban has shown itself to not behave sanely. There's many countries around them full of people that to them are heretics. Talk about a chance for a holy war!

    This isn't like the problems in the Balkans or anywhere else that has had religious conflicts recently (I'm not dismissing these events either). It's not "just" two religions or two ethnic groups fighting. It's one group, fighting for systematic destruction of everything it disagrees with. *cough* Sound familiar at all to anyone? How about exterior religious identification? Hmm?

    I'm reminded of this quote:
    First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
    Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant.
    Then they came for me,and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
    - Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

    I know that people probably think I'm insane to compare the Taliban to the Nazis, but you know what? Germany was considered a laughable threat too at one time. They'd been destroyed by WWI, they were never going to rise again.

    It just seems to me that not enough people (or countries) care about what's happening in Afghanistan. It's the country's issue, let them deal with that. The problem with that is that it could very easily become our issue.

    Think about it.


  • "Who can believe that someone with such an arrogant and narrow perspective would have such a closed perspective on other cultures?"

    You're the one here assuming that all Muslims agree with Taliban rhetoric and methodology. That sounds even more narrow to me.

  • it's actually a mixed bag; there's no way to know which way they'd fall on the RIAA/MPAA.

    one the one hand, they'd obviously hate both RIAA/MPAA for disseminating "obscene/immoral" stuff but on the other hand, they could obviously learn a lot from each other's oppressive tactics.

    MPAA/RIAA: "So, you guys stone your dissidents, huh?"
    Taliban: "You're saying that we can use media to control the population, huh?"

    Slashdot: When News Breaks, We Give You The Pieces
  • My definition of "tolerance of other cultures" does not include tolerance of a government's INTOLERANCE (oppression) of its own people. Those of you repeatedly posting "we should respect their right to live the way THEY want" don't seem to realize that maybe the women don't WANT to be murdered. If a country is not free, then how can you consider its laws to be an extension of the mindset or culture of its people? Government and culture are not the same thing.
  • by q-soe ( 466472 ) on Saturday July 14, 2001 @06:25AM (#85427) Homepage
    The Taliban have destroyed ancient religious monuments, returned women to servitude, enforced the islamic laws and persecuted non islams out of the country and proceded to commit religious genocide and we should be surprised they have banned the internet ?

    The fact is the goverment control all of the Telephone services and montitoring is normal, the TV, Radio and Media a government controlled and thus no criticism is allowed and anyone who dares to stand up to them dies.

    The mujahadeen have been fighting guerilla wars first against the russians and now the taliban and the country is split into warzones, the taliban now run the most fundamentalist islamic regime on the planet and provide aid and succor to terrorists - so the internet is about the easiest thing to control.

    He who controls access to the world controls the world - the populace of afghanistan after the russian occupation would consider acccess to clean water and electricty a bonus - they would put computer access very very low on their interests - it remains a toy for the rich and there aren't that many of them. Most of the population would like to have enought to eat.

    How about a comment on their human rights record, or their treatment of women (this is a country that condones murder as a punishment for disobedience of a wife toward her husband).

    The sad thing is this is a government the Americans helped put in power with weapons and funding to fight the russians - yet they now hide people like Osama Bin Laden - US public enemy number one.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming