The Taliban military regime, which took control of Afghanistan's capital Kabul in 1996, and now controls most of the country, is continuing its quest to gain recognition from the international community as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. The international community has refused to grant recognition due to the regime's continual violation of human rights, and especially women's rights.
Taliban spokesperson Abdul Hai Mutmean stated that the complaints by the international community about human rights violations only show Western ignorance of Islam. "They make these outcries of human rights on and off... what we are doing is Islamic ordinance which should be respected..."
However, other Muslim states, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, have also turned their backs on the Taliban, claiming that its interpretation of Islamic rule is unnecessarily harsh and barbaric.
Saudi Arabia, one of the most influential Islamic states, recently withdrew its financial and political support for the Taliban. With the loss of Saudi Arabia's support, Taliban leaders are finding themselves increasingly isolated, with recognition from only Pakistan and United Arab Emirates.
Media Resources: Reuters - September 28, 1998; Times of London - September 29, 1998