Semple, Michael, "Rhetoric of Resistance..."

Title: “Rhetoric of Resistance in the Taliban's Rebel Ballads”
Author: Michael Semple
Publication Date: 3/15/2011
Abstract: The paper analyses how resistance and those engaged in it are represented in a collection of recently composed ballads supportive of the Afghan Taliban’s struggle. It considers these ballads as a form of popular culture rather than simply propaganda. It concludes that the balladeers construct for the resistance a composite identity drawing both from Pashtun and Islamic cultural references. The Pashtun element of the identity which they construct includes but goes beyond the Pashtunwali honor code and invokes attachment to the land and pastoral images, some of which have long featured in Pashto literature. The balladeers also draw upon images of the Pashtun warrior which have been constructed since Victorian times and the early inter-action between Afghans and Europeans. This representation suggests that resistance draws on multiple cultural resources, with Islam as only one of its sources of inspiration.
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