ISIS in Afghanistan

Friday, November 20th, 2015

I watched the latest Frontline, ISIS in Afghanistan, and had a few thoughts.

Frontline correspondent Najibullah Quraishi seems rather… credulous. Apparently Afghan fighters are defecting from the Taliban to the new, better-paying Islamist group, ISIS — and ISIS is running schools where they teach the children how to fight unbelievers.

Only no one at the school they visited seems to know much about gun-handling. The boys at the ISIS-run school have clearly never handled the guns before, and the teacher doesn’t seem to have many technical pointers to offer.

Also — random thought — I can remember reading years ago — in Matt Ridley’s The Red Queen, I believe — that blond hair is attractive because it suggests youth, and that seemed odd to me, because I hadn’t noticed kids being blonder than adults while growing up. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, the difference in color between children and adults is stark. Almost all the adults have dark hair and skin, but many of the children are blond.


  1. Redwolfe says:

    Red and blond hair runs in my family, but the blonde turns brown approaching puberty. I read an article a while back about the DNA responsible for that (R1 Haplogroup, I think) originating in the Afghanistan area.

  2. Grurray says:

    The blond hair and green eyes are passed down from Alexander the Great and his Macedonian army. The Kalash in Pakistan are the purest example.

  3. Weltanschauung says:

    New riddle for the Sphinx: What creature has blond hair in the morning, brown at noon, and gray in the evening?

    Answer: many northern Europeans, and in some populations probably the majority. Of course, to notice this you have to keep in touch with the people you grew up with.

  4. Yazzo says:

    When I was wee, I had blond hair which turned brown as I grew up. Nice to be reminded.

    Like Redwolfe, red hair is in my family. What connection that has I never thought of. I assumed the light young hair was just a “baby” thing.

  5. Dan Kurt says:

    German-Austrian descent both sides, Baltic to Alps as my father said. Sister platinum blond grey-blue eyed and still blond at 65 with beginning greying. Father Blond blue/green eyes but his hair darkened as he aged. Mother was called “whitey” as a nickname as her hair was so white (platinum blond) as a youth through to adulthood but she had light brown eyes and her hair eventually went light brown and then she greyed in her 50s and wore a whig most of the rest of her life, saying that she just hated her hair. I was blond as a child, a tow head as pictures show, but developed light then darker brown hair as I aged as an adult. I am still dark hared with beginning grey now that I am 73. My maternal grandmother was a grey-blue eyed red head who one would have thought were Irish given her temper but she was of Alpine Austrian (descent) with the ability to swear in multiple languages when aroused. My son (mother a red head with really blue eyes) was starkly golden blond as a child and has retained his blondness still in his 30s but it no longer is golden. He has his mother’s blue eyes.

  6. Graham says:

    Blond hair in children, who then go dark as they get into the teens, is extraordinarily common in Britain and among British descended. I was a blond kid and turned brown by my teens.

    I also observe it is more common on the male side — my blonde cousin is still blonde past 40.

  7. Spandrell says:

    Where I’m from, people blame that on the water. People in that city lose their blonde hair because the water from there is hard or soft or dirty or whatever. Our hair though stays blonde because our water is awesome/blessed/sacred.

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