(Recently), the Taliban has put out a code of conduct for its commanders and fighters -- including when to kill teachers and how to prevent sexual abuse...
This is clear PR, Brachman says. "The Taliban recognizes that it has the reputation of being a band of brutal barbarians interested only in clubbing women back to the Stone Age. This rule sheet reads like an effort to put a kinder, gentler, more moderate and professional face on the movement."
Until you get to rules 24 and 25, which make it clear that the Taliban's current campaign of destroying schools around Afghanistan and terrorizing teachers will continue as long as schools dare teach something other than the Taliban version of Islam.
"It is forbidden to work as a teacher under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels," says rule 24. And if a teacher refuses a warning to give up his job, reads rule 25, "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," it continues.
When schools are burned, the Taliban rules say it is important that religious texts be removed from the buildings first.
Winning hearts and minds, I guess.
Did you notice that the rules assume the teacher is a "he"? Why, of course he is! Women aren't supposed to be working!
The best rules, however, come after those about killing teachers and burning schools. After all, you can't let that be your crescendo, can you?
Along with rules about not smoking cigarettes and not allowing murderers to join the Taliban (there's a joke--Darren), there also is this entry: Taliban "are not allowed to take young boys with no facial hair onto the battlefield or into their private quarters."
Sexual abuse, says Rizvi, has always been a problem for the movement, especially in some of the madrassas (religious schools) that feed recruits to the movement.
I guess it's not just the Catholics. Somehow, though, I don't imagine any Muslim archdiocese is going to be sued any time soon.