Talibanization (or Talibanisation) is a term coined following the rise of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan referring to the process where other religious groups or movements come to follow or imitate the strict practices of the Taliban.
In its original usage, Talibanization referred to groups who followed Taliban practices such as:
The term pre-dates the Islamic terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was first used to describe areas or groups outside of Afghanistan which came under the influence of the Taliban, such as the areas of Waziristan in Pakistan, or situations analogous to the Taliban-Al-Qaeda relationship, such as the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Somalia and its harboring of Al Qaeda members, or similar harboring of Islamic extremists in Nigeria, Malaysia, or Kashmir and elsewhere around the world, such as Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the current regime of the country, has been accused of "Talibanizing" the country, especially in their persecution of the Hindu minority
Following the takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Hamas has attempted to implement Islamic law in the Gaza Strip, mainly at schools, institutions and courts by imposing the Islamic dress or hijab on women. While Ismael Haniyeh officially denied that Hamas intended to establish an Islamic emirate, in the two years since the 2007 coup, the Gaza Strip has exhibited the characteristics of Talibanization, whereby the Islamist organization imposed strict rules on women, discouraged activities commonly associated with Western or Christian culture, oppressed non-Muslim minorities, imposed sharia law, and deployed religious police to enforce these laws.
Palestinian researcher Dr. Khaled Al-Hroub has criticized what he called the "Taliban-like steps" Hamas has taken. In an article titled "The Hamas Enterprise and the Talibanization of Gaza", he wrote, "The Islamization that has been forced upon the Gaza Strip – the suppression of social, cultural, and press freedoms that do not suit Hamas's view[s] – is an egregious deed that must be opposed. It is the reenactment, under a religious guise, of the experience of [other] totalitarian regimes and dictatorships.
A 2005 research by Eli Berman of UC San Diego and the National Bureau of Economic Research drew a number of parallels between Hamas and Taliban. Researchers noted that Taliban and Hamas are both highly ritualistic, extremely conservative Muslim groups, which augment the prohibitions of mainstream Islamic practice, and tend to segregate themselves from other Muslims and to be intolerant of deviation.
The term is also used non-literally, and is applied to non-Islamic bodies and organizations by those who allege them to hold "repressive policies" based on their respective religions.
In addition, some members of the left in the United States may use it as a criticism of the Republican Party and the Christian Right in their allegations of the radical right wing implementing policies based on Fundamentalist Christianity.
Sometimes, different analogous neologisms are used by the accusers, such as allegations of "saffronization" used to describe or critique right-wing policies related to Hindu nationalism or as a slur used by far left and anti-Hindu groups. Radicalized Muslims often exploit the resonance with this term to attack Hindu nationalists as kafirs (infidels) and "Hindu Talibs". The term has also been used to denote Sikh Extremism (Khalistan) In India, the far-left Naxalite terrorists beheaded Police inspector Francis Induwar in the state of Jharkhand in 2009. The action has been compared to the tactics of the Taliban, and fears exist that the leftists in these areas are "Talibanizing"
Like any highly politicized term, it may also be used hyperbolically or in an alarmist manner, to make a slippery slope argument, such as in the invocation of the phrase "Talibanization of Bradford" to discuss a gamut of common racial problems and tensions which fall far short of the imposition of sharia law and terrorist attacks. It may also be applied unfairly by those who do not understand Islamic culture and the basis of sharia law, or who fail to distinguish between moderate Islamic and extremist Islamist states, or misapplied to perceived threats which are not true or have yet to be proven.