In the Kite Runner, how is religion used to acquire political power in Afghan society?
In this novel (and in real life, in 1996) the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. The Taliban is a group of exremists that believe Islam is more than just a religion, that it is a political system as well. Therefore, under this group, religion and politics are combined. The Taliban enforced an extremely strict form of Shari'a law in which women were viewed as evil and always trying to seduce men. Therefore, they needed to cover themselves from head to toe. Punishments for crimes, even petty ones, required death, or for robbery, cutting off a hand. There were public executions and stonings right in the middle of Kabul. As a result, Amir and Baba have to escape to the United States because they do not share this extreme form of Islam. People like Assef have been given important positions under the Taliban and they rule Kabul with an iron fist. In the novel, they have so much control that they persecute the people and do nothing with sadists like Assef who rape little boys. They are fanatics.