July 25, 2013

Tales of ‘White Taliban’ Sketch a New Legend

HABIB ZAHORI | At War | New York Times | Afghanistan is a country built on legends – we trade on the tales we’ve told and retold each other over many generations.

There’s a favorite subgenre of stories here, about foreigners going local, that particularly seem to linger in memory. Accounts of Soviet soldiers who renounced their orders, converted to Islam and disappeared into the population. Or an old favorite about the imam of the Pul-e Kheshti mosque – a British spy who hid in plain sight delivering sermons in downtown Kabul’s main mosque. No one suspected he was a foreigner until one day his mission was done and he was gone.

And now we may be seeing a new legend take shape, built on whispered accounts of brief sightings: tales of the White Taliban of Arghandab.

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