from chapter 21
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He was injured fighting against the Soviets and is fiercely proud of his loyalty to Afghanistan. He blames the Taliban for the country's woes.
Farid blames the Taliban for his Afghanistan's troubles; he was injured while fighting there and continues to be steadfast in his loyalty.
The Kite Runner
Amir also has his first encounter with the Taliban, the group of Islamic radicals that now control Afghanistan. Farid calls them the “Beard Patrol” as they approach in their red pickup truck. His meaning is double: the term describes the Taliban men, who are all bearded, but it also describes what they are doing, which among other things is to literally make sure that all men have beards. In Islam’s holy texts, men are instructed to let their beards grow to distinguish them from followers of other religions. According to the Taliban, a man who shaves his beard is committing a sin, and they make it their job to punish any person caught sinning. Shaving was one of many illegal acts under the Taliban, which is why Amir bought a fake beard before entering the country. The Taliban also prohibited women from working, which the director of the orphanage, Zaman, says is part of the reason there were so many children there. When Afghan men died during the wars, their wives were left to care for their children. But since the women could not work, they had no way to feed the kids. Rather than watch them starve, they would leave them with orphanages.
The public stoning that Farid and Amir witness at the stadium is another example of Taliban law. The Taliban claim to enforce Sharia, the law that all Muslims are supposed to follow. Because Islam makes no distinction between religious and non-religious matters, Sharia governs everything from business ethics to criminal justice, which is why a cleric rather than a judge or some other secular official comes out to speak to the crowd before the stoning begins. Many Muslims, however, believe the Taliban used Sharia as a way to oppress women and justify their violent behavior. The book raises this viewpoint as the crowd prepares to watch the stoning. Farid whispers to Amir, “And they call themselves Muslims” (p. 271). In fact, most of the Muslims Amir speaks with, including Zaman and Rahim Khan, deplore the society the Taliban has created, underscoring the point that the Islamic state the Taliban established is not supported with all Muslims.
The book hints at the corruption of the Taliban by having a Taliban official taking girls and boys from the orphanage. We do not know at this point why the official is taking the children, but the unspoken implication is that the official is sexually abusing them. Whatever the case, the official is clearly misusing his position of power. As Zaman, the orphanage director, tells Farid after Farid strangles him, he has not been paid in six months and has already spent his life savings on the orphanage. Without the official’s money, he is unable to feed the children in his care. Furthermore, if he protests, the official takes ten children instead of one. Much as Hassan was powerless to do anything against Assef, Zaman is now powerless against the Taliban official, and it is Sohrab, Hassan’s orphaned son, who is the victim. Again, it is a case of the powerful in Afghanistan taking advantage of the powerless.