The Kite Runner

Give three examples of the Taliban's cruelty in Kabul.

chapters 20-22

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The Taliban take children from the orphange to use for sex.

They drive people into the stadium to execute them.

They punish men without beards.

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.