‘The trendy Taliban’? You’ve got to be kidding


Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay

Of all the ridiculous stories on Afghanistan I’ve read, Mail Online takes the sambusa. (That’s the Afghan version of the samosa, by the way.)

It took a long, lingering look at “the trendy Taliban!” The puff piece, which wouldn’t have been out of place in a fashion magazine/vlog, said that young Taliban fighters “have abandoned the austere look of their predecessors” and gone for “trendier outfits complete with sunglasses, trainers and baseball caps.” Above photos of young men with features that looked somewhat Mongol, which might just mean they don’t normally have a lot of facial hair, the article said that many of the fashionable new Taliban were ditching the orthodoxy of beards. The piece claimed that the new look is “worlds apart from the unkempt, hirsute and severe Taliban of 20 years ago.”

It was a truly ludicrous attempt to write something new and different about the Taliban. No matter what the piece said, look at the photos and you realise the Taliban are just as you’d expect.