The Taliban Rules

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The AP has found a list of rules the Taliban has put out for its fighters in Afghanistan (and possibly North Pakistan). A very creepy sampling:

– No. 9: Taliban may not use jihad equipment or property for personal ends.

– No. 10: Every Talib is accountable to his superiors in matters of money spending and equipment usage.

– No. 12: A group of mujahedeen may not take in mujahedeen from another group to increase their own power.

– No. 16: It is forbidden to search houses or confiscate weapons without a commander’s permission.

– No. 17: Militants have no right to confiscate money or possessions from civilians.

– No. 18: Fighters “should refrain from smoking cigarettes.”

– No. 19: Mujahedeen may not take boys without facial hair onto the battlefield, or into their private quarters. This last seems to be an attempt to clamp down on sexual abuse of young boys, a common problem in the area.

– No. 24: No one shall work as a teacher “under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels.”

– No. 25: Teachers who ignore Taliban warnings will be killed.

These final two are the scariest. The Taliban is doing what it can to stop teachers from instructing Afghanistan’s youth, and it turns out teachers — Allah bless them — can’t be stopped by cease-and-desist letters, even when backed by death threats. As a result, 198 schools have been burned and 20 teachers murdered in 2006.

It is somewhat bizarre that the Taliban will punish teaching with death but is struggling to control the child molestation problem in its midst.

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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