No smoking - but killing teachers is fine, says new Taleban rulebook
KILLING a teacher is no problem as long as they have received a warning and a solid beating, but taking a beardless boy into your private quarters or spending money without your commander's permission is likely to cause big trouble.
These are just three of the 30 rules the Taleban ruling council have insisted their fighters follow in Afghanistan.
The rules have been approved by "the highest leader of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan", Taleban-speak for Mullah Omar, the one-eyed reclusive leader of the regime who has a 5 million bounty on his head.
The rules were agreed by the 33 members of the Taleban shura, or council, and were posted on the internet.
Rule No 19 states: "Mujahideen are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair on to the battlefield or into their private quarters."
Young boys often bear the brunt of sexually frustrated fighters and commanders who, because of strict social rules and the fact they are on the frontlines, are unable to mix with women. One of the first things the Taleban movement did when it rose to power in the 90s was to punish commanders who kept boys for sexual pleasure.
One of the most terrifying rules is No 25 which says: "Anyone who works as a teacher for the current puppet regime must receive a warning. If he nevertheless refuses to give up his job, he must be beaten. If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him."
Increasingly, insurgents have been targeting schools. This year alone 198 have been burnt to the ground - an increase from 150 last year.
They have also been targeting and killing teachers. The most recent attack on Saturday in the eastern province of Kunar killed five people, including two female teachers, who were sisters. It is unclear if they were given a warning and a beating first.
According to Zuhur Afghan, a spokesman for the education ministry, the death of the woman brought the number of teachers killed by insurgents this year to 20.
Despite showing no mercy for foreigners, who are described as infidels, the rules show a concern for the fighters' health. Rule No 18 asks them to refrain from smoking cigarettes.
It is made clear that the rules are obligatory and "anyone who offends this code must be judged according to the laws of the Islamic Emirates".
Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taleban spokesman, confirmed the authenticity of the rules in an interview.
Ignore at your peril: the regulations in full
Every Mujahid must abide by the following rules:
• 1. A Taleban commander is permitted to extend an invitation to all Afghans who support infidels so that they may convert to Islam.
• 2. We guarantee to any man, who turns his back on infidels, personal security and the security of his possessions. But if he becomes involved in a dispute, or someone accuses him of something, he must submit to our judiciary.
• 3. Mujahideen who protect new Taleban recruits must inform their commander.
• 4. A convert to the Taleban, who does not behave loyally and becomes a traitor, forfeits our protection.
• 5. A Mujahid who kills a new Taleban recruit will be punished according to Islamic law.
• 6. If a Taleban fighter wants to move to another district he must get permission from his group leader.
• 7. A Mujahid who takes a foreign infidel as prisoner with the consent of a group leader may not exchange him for other prisoners or money.
• 8. A provincial, district or regional commander may not work for a non-governmental organisation or accept money from an NGO.
• 9. Taleban may not use Jihad equipment or property for personal ends.
• 10. Every Taleb is accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage.
• 11. Mujahideen may not sell equipment.
• 12. A group of Mujahideen may not take in Mujahideen from another group to increase their own power.
• 13. Weapons and equipment taken from infidels or their allies must be fairly distributed among the Mujahideen.
• 14. If someone who works with infidels wants to co-operate with Mujahideen, he should not be killed. If he is killed, his murderer must stand before an Islamic court.
• 15. A Mujahid or leader who torments an innocent person must be warned by his superiors. If he does not change he must be thrown out of the Taleban movement.
• 16. It is strictly forbidden to search houses or confiscate weapons without the permission of a district or provincial commander.
• 17. Mujahideen have no right to confiscate money or personal possessions of civilians.
• 18. Mujahideen should refrain from smoking cigarettes.
• 19. Mujahideen are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair on to the battlefield or into their private quarters.
• 20. If members of the opposition or the civil government wish to be loyal to the Taleban, we may take their conditions into consideration.
• 21. Anyone with a bad reputation or who has killed civilians during the Jihad may not be accepted into the Taleban movement.
• 22. If a Mujahid is found guilty of a crime and his commander has barred him from the group, no other group may take him in.
• 23. If a Mujahid is faced with a problem that is not described in this book, his commander must find a solution in consultation with the group.
• 24. It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels. True Muslims should apply to study with a religiously trained teacher and study in a Mosque. Textbooks must come from the period of the Jihad or from the Taleban regime.
• 25. Anyone who works as a teacher for the current puppet regime must receive a warning. If he nevertheless refuses to give up his job, he must be beaten. If the teacher still continues to instruct contrary to the principles of Islam, the district commander or a group leader must kill him.
• 26. Those NGOs that come to the country under the rule of the infidels must be treated as the government is treated. We tolerate none of their activities, whether it be building of streets, bridges, clinics, schools, madrases [schools for Koran study] or other works. If a school fails to heed a warning to close, it must be burned. But all religious books must be secured beforehand.
• 27. [With alleged criminality] As long as a person has not been convicted of espionage and punished for it, no one may take up the issue on their own. Only the district commander is in charge. Witnesses who testify must be in good psychological condition, possess an untarnished religious reputation, and not have committed a major crime.
• 28. No lower-level commander may interfere with contention among the populace. If an argument cannot be resolved, the district or regional commander must handle the matter. The case should be discussed by religious experts or a council of elders. If they find no solution, the case must be referred to religious authorities.
• 29. Every Mujahid must post a watch, day and night.
• 30. The above 29 rules are obligatory. Anyone who offends this code must be judged according to the laws of the Islamic Emirates.
Signed by the highest leader of the Islamic Emirates of Afghan-istan.
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