The Challenge of Taliban Ideology for International Politics: Religious Competition, Counterterrorism, and the Search for Legitimacy
This paper examines the Taliban vision of an Islamic polity posing a challenge to neighboring Central and South Asian states as well as more distant ones in Eurasia and the Middle East. As a potential magnet for militants across these regions, Taliban Islam represents an alternative to forms of piety and legal practice in states that have signifi cant Muslim populations and where each government claims some degree of religious legitimation and control over Islamic authority and interpretation.
... uthor claims the Taliban ideology poses a dilemma to regional actors, too, in that it makes all parties who might cooperate with the movement vulnerable to criticism based on human rights discourse. At the same time, the presence of the Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP) has permitted the movement the opportunity to seek to reframe its international standing and its relationship to violence. The Taliban have adapted their critique of ISKP to the claim that they share a counterterrorism mission with other governments, an assertion that allows the movement and its partners to defl ect criticism from various quarters and normalize relations with other states. Author concludes that, seeking international support, the Taliban have adapted their ideological claims to position the movement simultaneously as a competitor to other visions of militant jihadist politics and as a counterterrorist force laying the groundwork for the legitimation of their place in a rapidly evolving global order.