New Delhi: Taliban has ordered judges in Afghanistan to fully impose their interpretation of Sharia Law, including potential public executions, amputations, and flogging, as reported by CNN. According to many experts, this will lead to a further deterioration of human rights in impoverished country.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghanistan’s Supreme Leader Alaiqadar Amirul Momineen made the “obligatory” command after meeting with judges to “investigate the cases of thieves, kidnappers, and seditionists,” as reported by CNN. “Those cases that have met all the Shariah conditions of limitation and retribution, you are obliged to issue the limitation and retribution, because this is the order of the Sharia… and it is obligatory to act,” Mujahid tweeted Sunday.
Kaheld Abou El Fadl, a professor of Islamic Law at UCLA and one of the world’s leading authorities on Sharia law, told CNN there’s a rich history of debate on the laws of Sharia and various interpretations of their meaning. “Every point of law you’ll find 10 different opinions … Sharia is very open-ended,” he said. Sharia law within Islamic jurisprudence means the “search for the divine will,” El Fadl told CNN. “Although, both in Western and native discourses, it is common to use Sharia interchangeably with Islamic law.
The United States has condemned the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, to keep secondary schools closed to girls.
“The US condemns, the Taliban’s indefensible decision to ban women from universities, to keep secondary schools closed to girls, and to continue to impose other restrictions on women and girls in Afghanistan to exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” US State Dept spokesperson Ned Price.
The Taliban’s hardline implementation of the doctrine when the group was last in power from 1996 to 2001 included violent punishments, such as public executions, stoning, floggings, and amputations.
El Fadl said that within the 1400-year tradition of Sharia, those punishments were rarely implemented because the majority of Islamic jurists throughout history didn’t interpret the law the way the Taliban currently does. “The Taliban have a particular approach to Sharia that one cannot ignore,” El Fadl said. “Anyone who doesn’t fit their definition can be possibly put to death.”
Women in Afghanistan can no longer work in most sectors and require a male guardian for long-distance travel, while girls have been barred from returning to secondary school. Last week, women were stopped from entering amusement parks in the capital Kabul after the Taliban’s morality ministry said women’s access to public parks would be restricted.
Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, told CNN the Taliban’s recent announcement regarding Sharia law was “worrying.”
“Since they took over as de facto authority, we expect them to abide by their promise to uphold existing human rights commitments made in Afghanistan,” Haq said. “They have not been living up to the commitments. We will continue to press them on this. We are opposed to the death penalty in all its forms.”
The security situation in the country has also deteriorated since the group’s takeover last year, with the nation growing increasingly isolated and impoverished.
According to the United Nations, nearly half of the country faces acute hunger. An estimated 43% of Afghanistan’s population is living on less than one meal a day, with 90% of Afghans surveyed reporting food as their primary need. CNN cited a May report by the International Rescue Committee.
(With CNN Inputs)