The Aug. 18 front-page article “Afghanistan’s future hinges on whether Taliban’s new face is real” noted that Taliban operative Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that the group had “changed” and “would refrain from retributory violence and respect women’s rights,” as the article put it. Yet the terrorist organization’s “new face” is merely a mask.
The Taliban wants to assuage Western concerns and secure aid, support and even diplomatic recognition. The Taliban, like other Islamist terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, view the media as a means to their own diabolical ends.
Accordingly, the group is putting on a show, holding news conferences and even sitting for interviews with female journalists.
But the Taliban hasn’t changed. It remains a movement with a medieval ideology. Footage has already emerged of the Taliban whipping women and hunting down, torturing and murdering suspected “collaborators,” as well as anyone who doesn’t abide by the Taliban’s twisted worldview.
As the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a D.C.-based think tank, has documented, the Taliban has even continued to collaborate with al-Qaeda. Twenty years after 9/11, the United States can’t afford to be hoodwinked by Islamist terrorists. The costs are too high.
Sean Durns, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis
(Note: A slightly different version of this letter appeared online in the Washington Post on Aug. 20, 2021, as well as in print on Aug. 22, 2021)