Since the U.S. pushed the Taliban from power following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, music has once again become a staple of life. Afghanistan has its own version of “American Idol,” and the leading TV stations routinely play risque music videos.

“The Taliban want to show their power and they think that they can be victorious over the army of 46 countries here in Afghanistan,” said Vahid Mojdeh, an Afghan political analyst who served as a diplomat during the five years of their government. “Some people were thinking that due to the changes, the Taliban had changed too and become more moderate. But we see that they have become more extreme.”

A few weeks, ago Jalalabad business owner Zainuddin was on a trip in Pakistan when he got a late-night call: His music store had just been bombed. Unlike Pacha, Zainuddin, who like most Afghan uses one name, said he received no warning of the attack on his store, which he opened soon after the Taliban were ousted.