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**Posted by Phineas
And here I thought the judges on “Dancing with the Stars” were harsh:
Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants, officials said Monday.
The killings, in a district where U.S. Marines have battled the Taliban for years, were a reminder of how much power the insurgent group still wields in the south — particularly as international forces draw down and hand areas over to Afghan forces.
The victims were part of a large group that had gathered late Sunday in Helmand province’s Musa Qala district for a celebration involving music and dancing, said district government chief Neyamatullah Khan. He said the Taliban slaughtered them to show their disapproval of the event.
All of the bodies were decapitated but it was not clear if they had been shot first, said provincial government spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.
Information was only trickling out slowly because the area where the killings occurred is largely Taliban controlled, Khan said. The Taliban spokesman for southern Afghanistan could not be reached for comment.
Many Afghans and international observers have expressed worries that the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic justice will return as international forces withdraw. Under the Taliban, who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001, all music and film was banned as un-Islamic, and women were barred from leaving their homes without a male family member as an escort.
Gee, people are concerned about the Taliban returning to power (as they almost certainly will), just because they decapitate people for dancing? Shoot women for going out of the home unescorted? Throw acid in school girls’ faces for daring to learn to read? Whatever for?
Thanks to President Obama’s waffling and halfhearted commitment to Afghanistan (remember when it was his “right war?“), this is what the Afghan people have to look forward to. Obama’s already announced our withdrawal date. The Taliban just have to wait.
And then the party will really get started.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)