I watched this interesting documentary on Mulla Umer, Amir-ul-Momineen, on the ARY television last night (4th January 02). The commentators described Umer as tall and handsome, polite, calm, well composed, God-fearing and a dedicated Muslim with tremendous leadership qualities. The gist of the documentary was that Taliban is a short-term name for thousands who have been directly involved and millions of Muslims who have been indirectly involved in an ongoing jihad ie struggle (against tyranny and oppression) which though now based in Afghanistan and led by Umer, is wide-spread and has been and will be led by other Muslim heroes. There was good account of Afghan characteristic that is hardly understood by Americans (power has a blinding effect!). There were ample illustrations of lawlessness and atrocities, including lootings and rapes, before the active Taliban era. Many Muslim leaders and others, who know Afghan history very well, admired the Talibans for cultivating and maintaining law and order and for their firmness in implementing Sharia. They felt that the model of an Islamic state presented, no matter how confined, short lived or disliked by non-Muslims and some so called Muslim heads of state, was inspiring and has provided opportunities to evaluate practices in an Islamic state and work out most effective future governance and implementation of Sharia. A sort of learning curve. The programme pointed out the re-establishment of communist elements in the country and predicted the return of lawlessness and instability in Afghanistan, leading to a demand for the consolidation of the struggle. The programme made references to leaders like Ahmed Shah Abdali and to past/present teaching of Islam (as a system) in the region – Afghan society is madrasa based. The ARY took a bold step in making such a documentary at a time when colonialists are harassing, amongst others, fair-minded media, particularly the Muslim media. I hope the ARY would not mind any feedback by serious people but not by CIA/FBI agents, right-wing racists, and anti-Muslim lobby who seem to be around the Net a lot lately.