The roots of Taleban's religious ideology go back to colonial India

The Taleban has gained a reputation for oppressive rule. Yet it began as a movement to revitalise Islam after a revolt against oppression by the British East India Company.

Taleban fighters patrolling a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug 29, 2021. PHOTO: AFP
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Following the Taleban's rapid taking of power in what it describes as a re-established "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", fears of a certain kind of Islamist ideology being brought back have led a large number of Afghans to flee, or fear for their lives.

The Taleban was known for its oppressive rule. It ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, at which point it was pushed out of power by US and British troops. Under the Taleban rule, religious minorities and other Muslims who did not share its fundamentalist understanding of Islam were not tolerated. The Taleban also severely restricted the rights of women and girls.

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