In a viral clip published this week, documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz approached students at the University of California, Berkeley, succeeding in garnering funds to support Islamic Taliban terrorists despite presenting the group as determined to attack the U.S. and kill Americans.
Horowitz spoke to students on the campus who can be seen expressing support for the radical jihadist organization branded an international terrorist group by a significant percentage of countries internationally.
In a tweet sharing footage of the campus stunt, Horowitz wrote, “What would happen if I tried to raise money from college kids to fund the Taliban and kill Americans. Not kidding! Watch and find out!!”
The clip, which has over 100,000 views on YouTube as of Sunday afternoon, begins with Horowitz approaching student passersby and presenting his cause.
“We’re raising money for the Taliban here,” he proclaims as he approaches students on campus to pitch his initiative.
“We’re Taliban 2.0,” he says to one student. “We’re kinder, gentler — I mean not really.”
“We want to be able to train our fighters to fight back against American interests,” he says to another.
“Basically [we] want to create a safe space for enemies of the United States,” he says to yet another.
“9/11 was a lesson, but they didn’t learn their lesson from 9/11,” he is seen saying to others. “We want to do that again like we did in 2001.”
At one point, he claims “there’s a lot of weapons that were left [in Afghanistan], we need money to train [the Taliban] how to use it against American forces.”
“We want to strike the U.S both abroad [and] in the homeland to teach them a lesson… America needs to be brought to heel,” he says to yet another student who responds, “Very true.”
Other responses to his appeals for funding included, “Appreciate what you’re doing here,” and, “What you’re talking about is really important and I agree with you fully.”
One student is told that funds would go toward creating “a bulwark against America in Afghanistan to fund and help its enemies around the world strike back against American interests both abroad and in the homeland,” while another responded, “Okay that sounds great.”
When asked about “American imperialism,” one student said she was “definitely” aware of how “damaging” the U.S. is.
“I would work for you,” another student offered.
Later in the clip, students can be seen offering between ten and fifty dollars each to help support the Taliban cause.
After one student offered fifty dollars, Horowitz replied, “Do you know how many Taliban fighters we can train on that?”
Later in the clip, he declares the goal of the funds is to “make the Taliban great again.”
In response to the clip, many took to social media to lament the current state of higher education in the U.S.
“Our school systems, run by @TheDemocrats, are producing a generation of cowardly, leftwing zombies…,” wrote one Twitter user.
“This is why we need a huge change to higher education in the US,” wrote another Twitter user.
“This is what our kids are being taught in America,” wrote another.
“Our future leaders,” wrote another user. “We are screwed.”
The Taliban is notorious for widespread and grave human rights violations as well as the group’s violent implementation of Islamic Sharia law.
According to one 2015 report, Taliban crimes include:
Civilian casualties, targeted killings, and arbitrary executions, rape, torture and beatings, the use of civilians as human shields, hostage-taking, plunder and looting of public and private property, restrictions on access to basic services (food, drinking water, health services and education, electricity, transportation, etc.), blocking roads, paving the way for the escape of prisoners, displacement of families, wrong and inhumane treatment of prisoners of war and preventing the presentation of humanitarian aid to those in need.
In August, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet denounced the Afghanistan-based terror group for possible “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” including “deeply disturbing reports” of summary executions after government troops surrender, the beating and killing of civilian women, and escalating violence against children.
In territories recently conquered by the jihadist group, reports of mass abductions of young girls to be forced into marriages with jihadis have already begun.
“[T]he Taliban are going door-to-door in some areas, compiling lists of women and girls aged between 12 and 45 years for their fighters to forcibly marry,” Bloomberg reported.
The recent success of the Taliban, which has declared its intentions of imposing a strict Islamic sharia law system on Afghans, has been a growing concern for various groups, including ethnic and religious minorities within Afghanistan.
According to human rights group Amnesty International, the Taliban recently “massacred” and brutally tortured members of Afghanistan’s Hazara minority.
“The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban’s past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring,” Amnesty’s Secretary-General Agnès Callamard said
In late August, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in a press conference the terrorist organization is urging all women in Afghanistan to stay home for their safety as the group has not yet taught its own terrorists “how to deal with women.”
The same month, the Taliban went “door-to-door” in some regions of Afghanistan to select girls as young as twelve to become “sex slaves” for the group’s jihadi fighters, News Corp Australia’s News.com.au reported.
Shortly before that, a 33-year-old woman who claimed to have been brutalized by the Taliban after she was shot by insurgents and her eyes gouged out in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province in 2020, said that to them “women are not living, breathing human beings, but merely some meat and flesh to be battered.”
Christians, too, are also reportedly in danger.
The Barnabas Fund, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, warned that Christians remaining in Afghanistan “are very likely to be killed” if caught by the Taliban, which applies sharia law literally.
The Taliban’s rise has also been seen as a boost for Islamic extremists worldwide, giving groups from Syria and Gaza to Pakistan and West Africa good reason to celebrate.
In July, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, a founding member of the Taliban, said the extremist group would resume executions and amputations as punishments for violating Islamic law, regardless of the international community’s views.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein