Patrick Christys: We shouldn’t be giving the Taliban the benefit of the doubt

Portraying the Taliban as anything other than a murderous, homophobic, sexist, extremist bunch of lunatics is dangerous

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We need to stop normalising the Taliban. Does nobody else find it absolutely astonishing that much of the mainstream media appears to be tripping over itself to interview Taliban spokespeople so they can spout out propaganda left right and centre?

Does nobody find it completely mental that Twitter will allow Taliban spokespeople on its platform but not President Trump? And what I find more insane is the amount of people who comment underneath the Taliban’s Twitter posts expressing their support for the murderous jihadi death cult.

We have teams of police officers checking hate speech online in case Cheryl from Milton Keynes says something a bit rum, but you can openly pledge allegiance to a banned terror organisation and everything’s fine? The Taliban published a list of its new cabinet ministers last night and the headlines about it made me choke on my coffee.

BBC – Hardliners appointed to new Taliban cabinet. Hardliners? It’s the flipping Taliban. The Guardian – Taliban appoints all male cabinet. Yeh…of course they do. Because they treat women as sex slaves who can’t leave the house. I mean that’s the real issue at play here, Guardian journos, a fundamental lack of gender representation in the new Taliban cabinet reshuffle. Appalling.

Although, to be fair, there’s every chance the Taliban will have a female leader before the Labour Party. What we’re seeing here is an epic game of spin by many parts of the Western World, specifically us and the United States.

By trying to normalise the Taliban and present them as Taliban 2.0 or ISIS lite, we’re trying to make our withdrawal more palatable. It’s a way of trying to cover up the fact that we lost a war to a bunch of bedraggled jihadis, who mugged us off on the way out, who America gave an arsenal of weapons and helicopters to and who are now best mates with China – who will, of course, receive all the benefits of the mineral and resource rich nation.

We shouldn’t be giving the Taliban the benefit of the doubt. There are videos of them burning women to death, reports of them raping and killing gay people, they’re rounding up anyone who helped us during our stint in the country, and they hate us. Never forget that. The Taliban hate us.

At the very first opportunity they’ll try to launch another 9/11, they hate our culture, our values, everything. They want to destroy it and they’re being funded by a lot of nations in that region, many of whom we gleefully give foreign aid to. We need to stop normalising the Taliban because when they get their spokespeople on air it softens them. It’s one thing pulling out of a country and leaving them with weapons, it’s another thing doing their PR for them!

Portraying the Taliban as anything other than a murderous, homophobic, sexist, extremist bunch of lunatics is dangerous. It risks increasing support for them. And it’s not as if you can trust what they say – oh that guy with an AK 47 on an FBI most wanted list looks like a trustworthy guy. You’d hardly buy a second hand car from him would you. It would, quite literally, be an old banger.

There is nothing to be gained from the media engaging with the Taliban and I think that if people keep pumping their message out there then all they’re doing is encouraging support for a known terror group and that, last time I checked, was illegal.