> The Taliban make my blood boil. When I see stories about what they are doing,
> I want to pack up my arsenal and ship it to women in Afghanistan, along with a
> crate of feminist literature. But then I realize that the sort of memetic
> action on this side of the knowledge wall the Taliban are building that
> Kathryn mentioned is about all we can do for now.
I don't understand Islam or Islamic politics very well, but bad as they are the Taliban may not be the worst threat to women or to transhumanity. As I understand it, Islam is divided into the Shi'a (Shiite) branch, spiritually based in Iran, and the Sunni branch, Spiritually based in Saudi Arabia. The division is older than the protestant/catholic division. Both branches have fundamentalists and moderates, but on the whole, the Shi'a branch is more fundamentalist as seen by "westerners" and is certainly more evangelical. It's also more clearly the insturment of state policy of a dangerous state (Iran). The problem is that the Taliban, while being fundamentalist extremists, are also Sunni, and overthrow of the Taliban will very likely lead to the rise of a fundamentalist Shi'a faction backed by Iran. This is unlikely to help the Afgan women very much at all.
I would deeply appreciate corrections to this post by any historians, Islamic scholars, or international experts out there. Also note that, as Greg said, from the transhumanist point of view religious fundamentalists of any type are more similar to each other than to their more moderate co-religionists.