Adolf Hitler once said, “I do not see why man should not be as cruel as nature. ” Hitler was an extremist who used cruelty against the Jews during the Holocaust. Today, the Taliban uses the same cruelty against the people in Kabul. The Taliban’s acts are limitless, especially towards the women of Kabul. From the public executions, mistreatment of women, and their strict laws, they show no remorse, which demonstrated true cruelty. In the novel Swallows of Kabul by Yasmina Khadra some truly experience cruelty more than others.

Whether being the one treated cruel of treating others cruel, the Taliban, women, and Kabul in general experience cruelty in everyday life. The Taliban is taking over Kabul day by day with their intense cruelty. They may be the law, but they don’t enforce it in the peoples’ best interest. They turned Kabul from a city to a hopeless wonder. From their strict laws such as no music, no public affection, and pure cruelty towards women, Kabul revolves around the Taliban. Ever since they have been in charge the city has changed, and not for the good. They even started public executions where they are constantly killing people, innocent and all.

In the very beginning of The Swallows of Kabul a mullah states, “She has no right to his mercy, no right to the pity. She has lived in dishonor; so she shall die. ” (13-14) being accused of prostitution, a woman is stoned at a public execution. Without any pity the Taliban kills a citizen because of alleged prostitution. As people gathered to watch the horrible event, the Taliban deceived and lied to those who watched to make them think that what they was doing was justified. The woman was not asked or given a chance to explain herself, but she was quickly executed.

The action of killing a person so heartlessly shows that the Taliban do not care about the people of their own community. They turn people against each other by feeding them lies, so in the end everyone will abide by them right or wrong. Their brutal executions are repeated to a point where they are not even significant anymore. People do not realize how they are living compared to how they could be living, which is in peace. In the city of Kabul, men are the dominant gender, which leads from the mistreatment of women. The female gender means almost nothing to most men in he brutal city.

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The Taliban have some of the strictest rules set against females. Rules including always wearing a burqa that completely hides their identity may seem ridiculous, but these are the rules that they are obligated to abide by against their will. Refusing to walk outside with her husband, Zunaira says, “… I prefer to stay inside my own four walls. Here at home, at least, when I see my reflection in the mirror, I don’t have to hide my face. ” (76) To Zunaira, along with other women in Kabul, the burqa is a complete disgust because it hides who they truly are.

It’s disrespectful in Kabul for a woman to show any skin while out in public. Besides this the Taliban enforced rule, there are other strict laws and violations including not speaking unless spoken to, not having marriage options, and not having an option to work. The mistreatment of women is very common. Of all the barbarous treatment shown Kabul itself experience the most brutality. Kabul was once a city that people loved. It was a real home to many which made it a pleasant city to live in and actually be happy. Today in Kabul it is not at all the same as it used to be.

A character named Nazeesh shows how Kabul has changed over a period of time. Not being able to listen to music anymore he asks, “Do you think we’ll ever be able to hear music in Kabul one day? ” (84) This shows how Kabul has changed so much for the worse. Not even being allowed the minor freedom of listening to music symbolizes the crisis Kabul really is going through, which is cruelty against itself. In the novel The Swallows of Kabul Yasmina Khadra cruelty is shown throughout. The Taliban, women, and Kabul experience this cruelty first hand. Sadly enough this city and the people experience more than enough.

The city is under control by a government that does not care about the people and their needs, and is constantly killing to get their point across. People are under control, and they are extremely afraid of what could happen if they were to take a stand. In order to show that they are serious about their laws needed to abide by the Taliban enforced public executions as an example to the people. Laws that may seem absolutely ridiculous to people that are not aware of the crisis going on in Kabul are the same laws that people are terrified city are getting used to.

They are struck in a world that is a slave to itself. Limitless acts of cruelty, strict laws, and mistreatment are taking over a place that people once enjoyed and called home. Now the citizens of this captive city are trying to get away from this maze with no way to get out. Some make plans to get away, while others sit around a pray for the day that things will change for the better. Maybe one day Kabul will be the same, but until then cruelty overrides everything and everybody around.


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