Publication:
Analyzing Taliban taranas (chants): an effective Afghan propaganda artifact

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Authors
Johnson, Thomas H.
Waheed, Ahmad
Subjects
Afghanistan
Taliban chants or taranas
jihad
pashtunwali
Afghan cultural artifacts
information operations
Taliban narratives
Taliban propaganda
Loy Kandahar
Taliban poetry
Sufism
Advisors
Date of Issue
2011-03
Date
March 2011
Publisher
Language
Abstract
This article describes and analyzes a little understood Afghan Taliban propaganda tool: chants or taranas. These melodic refrains effectively use historical narratives, symbology, and iconic portraits. The chants are engendered in emotions of sorrow, pride, desperation, hope, and complaints to mobilize and convince the Afghan population of the Taliban’s worldview. The chants represent culturally relevant and simple messages that are communicated in a narrative and poetic form that is familiar to and resonates with the local people. They are virtually impossible for the United States and NATO to counter because of Western sensitivities concerning religious themes that dominate the Taliban narrative space, not to mention the lack of Western linguistic capabilities, including the understanding and mastering the poetic nature of local dialects.
Type
Article
Description
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09592318.2011.546572
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs
Other Units
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 22, No. 1, March 2011, pp. 3–31
Distribution Statement
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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