The Taliban Rules

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The AP has found a list of rules the Taliban has put out for its fighters in Afghanistan (and possibly North Pakistan). A very creepy sampling:

– No. 9: Taliban may not use jihad equipment or property for personal ends.

– No. 10: Every Talib is accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage.

– No. 12: A group of mujahedeen may not take in mujahedeen from another group to increase their own power.

– No. 16: It is forbidden to search houses or confiscate weapons without a commander’s permission.

– No. 17: Militants have no right to confiscate money or possessions from civilians.

– No. 18: Fighters “should refrain from smoking cigarettes.”

– No. 19: Mujahedeen may not take boys without facial hair onto the battlefield, or into their private quarters. This last seems to be an attempt to clamp down on sexual abuse of young boys, a common problem in the area.

– No. 24: No one shall work as a teacher “under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels.”

– No. 25: Teachers who ignore Taliban warnings will be killed.

These final two are the scariest. The Taliban is doing what it can to stop teachers from instructing Afghanistan’s youth, and it turns out teachers — Allah bless them — can’t be stopped by cease-and-desist letters, even when backed by death threats. As a result, 198 schools have been burned and 20 teachers murdered in 2006.

It is somewhat bizarre that the Taliban will punish teaching with death but is struggling to control the child molestation problem in its midst.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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