CNN's Clarissa Ward interviews Taliban in streets of Kabul

Originally published at: CNN's Clarissa Ward interviews Taliban in streets of Kabul | Boing Boing


Holy fucksocks, she’s either very brave or has a death wish.


Or that young man at the 4 minute mark, standing in front of all those Taliban fighters, telling his truth.

Happy Hour Drinking GIF


There’s no real future in any nation-state ruled by religious fundies. You can see it in the shock and trauma and fear on some of the interview subjects’ faces and in their voices. I can see why so many people there are so desperate to get out before this regime of god-bothering thugs settles into power.



Part of this is already being taken out of context to claim CNN is “cheerleading for terrorists.”


Religious fundamentalists aren’t interested in leading their countries into the future. They are dedicated to dragging their countries back into the past.


What an excellent way to usher in our own totalitarian regime! Russia got Putin after Afghanistan; I wonder what we’ll get. Looking forward to a decade of right-wing hegemony right when we’re gonna need Democracy more than ever. Buckle up, America. We’re in for a wild ride.


Right? She had been reporting from Kabul for a while now and I was pretty shocked she hadn’t left.

… and the whole thing where she was talking to the Taliban guy all like, “uh… are you sure Islamic law says this?”

Balls of steel, for sure.


I got choked up hearing him describe his situation. I can’t imagine being in his shoes. I hope things work out for him.



This interview, on NPR this morning, is absolutely gutting:


Just one person’s perspective, but I don’t see it as a struggle of future vs. past. I tend to see it as a means to gain, hold, and exploit power.

When you alone hold the power of sentencing someone to eternal damnation you can do whatever you want to enrich yourself and those around you. Activities will regress to primitive methods not because there is an active desire to move society toward the past, but in the absence of resources, survival requires it. From a social perspective, there is absolutely a clear desire by males to move to exclusive male dominated authority – but that just happens to have historical comparisons. Perhaps there is some earnest desire to recreate 7th century system of social castes but I think it’s much more about immediate gratification and ability to feel empowered over someone who makes you feel more powerful by comparison.


I don’t think that’s accurate. Religious fundamentalists have a lot of retrograde ideas, and when it comes to forms of progress that are inconsistent with their worldview (like civil rights for women/gays/religious minorities/etc.) many DO want to drag us back to the past. But they’re also trying to create what they believe is a religious utopia that in most cases has never before existed in history, so in a way they are “progressive”–just not the kind of progress you or I want to see.

And they often push religious practices that are NOT part of the past. Face coverings (niqab) in Islam are a perfect example: From what I’ve read there’s almost no evidence that face coverings were a religious requirement in Islam until quite recently. Which is why the CNN reporter challenges the Taliban guy about face coverings just after the 3 minute mark (“IS it in Islam, though?”), although she immediately lets it go as it’s pretty clear this man does not have a nuanced understanding of Islam.


Same as it ever was.

Ovaries of steel.


For example…


And when they reach it, it is the neverending, unchanging present:
the ultimate regressive goal of conservatism.

Assuming you are correct (that early Islam did not itself require face coverings), that is not of much value. Because before Islam there probably were local cultural practices that did require face coverings. The same way clitorectomies have become a standard part of orthodox Islam in North Africa but are absent in the Middle East. It just doesn’t work to tell religious people their religion (ie, various cultural practices that have been subsumed by the religion) is “wrong.” Try telling evangelicals that they are “wrong” on abortion, since abortion is not in any way depicted in the Bible.

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Seriously, I wonder what Ward’s security/exit scenarios are. Her translator had better be someone who has not previously worked with Americans (and can prove it). Does she have body guards (if so, what use are they when everyone is packing assault rifles)? How is she getting out of there (overland)? Her hunch (that the takeover would be orderly, that rogue Taliban wouldnt attack her) proved correct, but what a hunch. Of course the payoff is priceless: the only major reporter in Kabul, she is a rock star.


How much of this (the swift occupation by the Taliban) comes down to a religious people just being pushed or allowing a slightly more religious people to gain control?

I’m seeing alot of economic and political commentary - but not a ton on the role of religion in the overall failure of western governments to establish a democracy.

Is it a case of media trying to avoid uncomfortable questions or my own lack of research skills? :slight_smile:

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The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha has perhaps the world largest collection of Islamic art spanning 1,300 years. Almost without exception, none of the art has women depected wearing niqab and very few with hijab.