Who Keeps the Taliban up at Night?

By: Kevin Boodram

April 28, 2022

Spring 2022 Student Symposium: REWA Minors

The United States spent decades and millions of dollars in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban, but they failed. With what we know about the Taliban now, the United States never stood a chance. However, there are two groups that the Taliban is persecuting harshly now that they are in power because they know that they hold the key to defeating the Taliban: Afghan religious scholars and civil society groups. These are the only groups that have the knowledge and legitimacy to challenge the Taliban's rule.


John Esposito, Tamara Sonn, John Obert Voll, Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Mujib Mashal and Jawad Sukhanyar, “Taliban Target: Scholars of Islam,The New York Times (May 28, 2017).

Manjari Chatterjee Miller, “Pakistan's Support for the Taliban: What to Know,” Council on Foreign Relations (August 25, 2021).

Farhan Zahid, “Understanding Taliban through the Prism of Pashtunwali Code," Centre Français De Recherche (November 2013).

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