The Afghanistan Bulletin
Taliban Are Bringing Back Sharia Law Punishments
The Taliban is returning back to their strict interpretations of Sharia Law in Afghanistan. Taliban’s supreme leader has ordered “judges to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law that includes public executions, stoning, floggings, and the amputation of limbs for thieves.” These actions are not new to the Taliban as they have implemented these harsh interpretations during their previous ruling in the late 1990s.
The group has confirmed their first public lashings for Sharia law violators last week. Three women and 11 men were “flogged [last] Wednesday after being found guilty of theft and moral crimes.” The floggings took place in front of a football stadium in which there were many witnesses including “honorable scholars, mujahideen, elders, tribal leaders, and local people.” This incident came after 10 men and nine women were whipped for adultery and theft on November 11. Both of these actions show that the Taliban are carrying out harsh and inhumane practices that should not exist.
Many are not surprised that the Taliban has returned to their strict interpretations as they have done this before, but their return to these harsh rulings contradict their promise of being more moderate when they first took power in August 2021. The Taliban initially promised to be more moderate and allow for women’s and minority rights. This is certainly not the case due to the many crackdowns on women’s rights and freedoms. Women are banned from parks, fun-fairs, gyms, and most forms of employment.They are also expected to be covered from head to toe if they are in public. Girls’ education is heavily restricted as going to school beyond sixth grade is forbidden. There are many restrictions that the Taliban has enforced on women and girls that show that they are not fulfilling their initial promises to the country.
Image Source: CNN
In their focus on Sharia Law, the Taliban fail to consider the country's humanitarian crisis and economic problems. They are focused on creating an authoritative, fearful regime while the rest of the country suffers from poverty and food insecurity. Afghan parents are giving their children medications to sedate them so they won’t feel hungry. The lack of attention by the Taliban illustrates that they struggle to run a country as they only pay attention to their own selfish needs and not the Afghan people.
Many international observers are concerned as the country experiences an economic downturn. The United Nations has said it is “increasingly concerned that restrictions on girls’ education, as well as other measures curtailing basic freedoms, will deepen Afghanistan’s economic crisis and lead to greater insecurity, poverty, and isolation.” In addition to the restrictions, the return of the Taliban’s harsh interpretations will only worsen Afghanistan’s stability and emphasize that the group is not capable of fulfilling their promises.