Murphy's Law: I Want My MTV

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May 9,2008: The Taliban are setting themselves up for another defeat in the Pakistani tribal areas along the Afghan border. There, the Taliban have been going around ordering men to start growing beards, and warning them that they will be punished if they don't. The Taliban can do this because the government is negotiating a truce with the Taliban and the tribal leadership in the region. It is believed (at least by many Taliban) that this will enable the Islamic radicals to impose their lifestyle on everyone in the region. The Taliban are true believers (as they were across the border in the late 1990s, until most Afghans turned on them in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.) They don't appreciate the extent to which most Pakistanis in the tribal territories disagree with the hard core Taliban religious practices. The government is more aware of this problem, and is apparently going to exploit it by offering the tribal chiefs military muscle to resist the Taliban lifestyle police. Beards are one thing, but when the Taliban try and take away the music, cell phones and videos as well, things get violent.

 


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