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Differences between IS and Taliban

IS and Taliban

Historical differences

Afghanistan has often been used as battle-ground laboratory both by both America and Russia during the cold war, and even continues to be so, although for different strategic calculations. In 1979, Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, and a cluster of Islamic fundamentalist groups popularly known as Mujahidin (protector of Islam) collectively fought against the Soviet ruler. America, through the military secret service of Pakistan, namely ISI, provided financial and military support to the Mujahidins. Pakistan single-handedly provided logistics support to the Islamic fighters. With unlimited supply of arms and ammunition and safe hiding places in treacherous mountains around the Pak-Afghan border, the Mujahidins, under the leadership of Mashood and Rabbani were able to inflict heavy casualty on the Soviet troops. Ultimately in 1989 the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, and the Soviet backed President Najibullah led Afghan government was toppled and Rabbani became the president of the Taliban government of Afghanistan. Rabbani had the full support of both America and Pakistan. But the greed for the share of the pie, and typical tribal chauvinism centric rivalry between different mujahidin factions was a challenge too big for Rabbani to run a stable government. Rabbani government failed, and a bitter rivalry started between Mujahidins loyal to Mashood and Rabbani. The Taliban which was the most powerful of all the mujahidin factions fighting Soviets, fished in the troubled water, and controlled huge part of Afghanistan including Kabul. Other factions ultimately merged into Taliban. Gradually the un-recognized Taliban government was formed in Afghanistan. The only state that recognized Taliban government of Afghanistan was the Saudi Arabia.

The Taliban, with benevolent support from Pakistan emerged as the most powerful and ruthless Islamic terrorist group operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Saud Arabia’s bonhomie with America angered Osama bin Laden who went to Afghanistan and promised full support to the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. From then on Taliban has grown into a formidable force with number of recruits soaring. Pakistan Taliban a parallel of Afghan Taliban has also emerged with deep anti-India feeling and is trying to inflict injury to civic life of India. The Saudi-based Salafi ideology is the primary source of inspiration of the Taliban, who is hell-bound to establish strict and brutal Shariat law all over Muslim world and also over the countries with substantial Muslim population like India and Bangladesh.

ISIS, previously known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq, is the brain-child of the Jordon born Salafi mujahidin Al-Zarqawi. Al-Zarqawi was a staunch Osama loyalist, and undertook the task of carrying out Al-Qaeda agenda in and around Iraq and Syria. Zarqawi was killed by American troop, and the leadership of Al-Qaeda in Iraq passed on to Abu Hamza and Omar Baghdadi. After both of them killed supposedly by American army, Bakr Baghdadi took control of the outfit. The name of Al-Qaeda of Iraq was changed to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria by Baghdadi. Against conventional wisdom, ISIS surpassed Al-Qaeda in its brutal jihadist-operation in and around Iraq, and ultimately fell from grace of Al-Qaeda. Baghdadi has been declared the Caliphate of the Islamic world by the ISIS in 2014.

Difference in view


ISIS has the chief agenda of establishing rule of Caliphate all over Islamic world. The group believes in all round armed movement to materialize its dream. In the view of the protagonists of Caliphate-led Islamic world those whether Muslim or otherwise unwilling to accept Caliphate rule must be annihilated.

Taliban, on the other hand want to establish strict Quran described Shariat law all over the Islamic world. They don’t consider women as human being, and view women as means of sexual gratification and child-bearing machine with only contribution of adding to Muslim population.


ISIS is headed by a number of Islamic scholars. The rank and file of ISIS consists of many educated youth. The leadership comprises of many ex officers of Saddam Husein’s Baath party. On the other hand Taliban leadership comprise mainly of uneducated tribal chieftains.

Area of operation

ISIS’s geographical area of operation comprises of Iraq, Syria, Jordon, and Lebanon. The outfit draws cadres from all over the world including Europe, America, Pakistan, and India, apart from middle-east countries.

Taliban, on the other hand recruits cadres from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and law-less tribal areas Afghan-Pak border.


Taliban’s chief source of fund is illegal poppy cultivation and trafficking of synthetic drugs, where as ISIS draws fund from extortions and illegal sale of oil.


      1. (i) ISIS was established in Iraq, where as Taliban is Afghan and Pakistan based organisation.


      1. (ii) ISIS aims at establishing rule of Caliphate, but Taliban wants to implement Shariat law.


      1. (iii) ISIS has more educated leadership and cadres, where as Taliban leaders and cadres comprise mainly of uneducated or Madrasah educated clerics.


      1. (iv) ISIS operates in and around Iraq and Syria, Taliban operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan.


      1. (v) ISIS’s main source of fund is illegal businesses, Taliban’s chief source of fund is drug trafficking.


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1 Comment

  1. your opinion is quite wrong about the Taliban. It is not so much different as you explained, nor too much cruel as you described.
    after reading the true story of a non Muslim woman,
    read it with the help of bellow link.

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