The epistemicide in Afghanistan: an analysis of Taliban's policies towards national and cultural symbols

Tasleem Malik, Faizullah Jan, Zia Ullah

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After taking over Kabul for the second time when the US-led NATO forces left Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban resumed their past practices. To run the affairs of Afghanistan, the Taliban use political Islam, the way they understand and interpret it, as the nodal point around which they articulate the signs and symbols in a chain of equivalence. This paper analyses the Taliban's policies regarding Afghanistan's historical, national, and cultural symbols. Using epistemicide as an analytical device, we argue that in the name of Puritanism and the reconstitution of Afghanistan, according to Sharia, the Taliban discovered and erased all symbols of historical Afghanistan. This tends to serve as a case of epistemicide of the Afghan culture and wipes the slate of Afghan history clean. This paper explains how the Taliban silenced, devalued, and consequently moved to eradicate Afghanistan's cultural memory and knowledge system. This paper provides an account of what the Taliban's policies convey by silencing Afghanistan's historical texts, histories, and narratives. The Afghan society is faced with internal colonisation, which refuses that knowledge production is a social practice that takes into cognisance the history and culture of the Afghan people, among other factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-80
Number of pages20
JournalLiberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

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