What is Sharia Law? Taliban confirm womens rights in Afghanistan under Islamic law

Afghanistan: Women protest against Taliban in Kabul

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Having seized power in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Sunday, the Taliban gave its first press conference on Tuesday. Amid widespread concern for the rights of women and girls now the Taliban are back in power, a spokesman for the group said it was “committed to the rights of women under the system of Sharia”.

At the press conference, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said: “I would like to assure the international community that nobody will be harmed.

“We do not want to have any problems with the international community.

“We have the right to act according to our religious principles. Other countries have different approaches, rules and regulations… the Afghans have the right to have their own rules and regulations in accordance with our values.

“[We] are committed to the rights of women under the system of Sharia [Islamic law].”

The spokesman added: “They are going to be working shoulder to shoulder with us.

“We would like to assure the international community that there will be no discrimination.”

The spokesman said women would be allowed to work and study and “will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam”.

The spokesman did not elaborate exactly on what women living in Afghanistan can expect under Taliban control now.

What is Sharia?

Sharia law is Islam’s legal system, and interpretation of Sharia law differs from one Muslim country to another.

Sharia law is seen as a code for Muslims to observe and abide by in their daily life.

Sharia is based on both the Quran and the Sunnah, the daily practices and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

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Under Sharia, hudud crimes are considered the worst crimes and include adultery and theft, among other crimes.

In Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, people were subjected to a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

The Taliban previously ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, and their rule saw public punishments and executions become commonplace.

Severe punishments like stoning, amputations and execution were permitted.

The rights of women and girls were severely curtailed during the last period of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Women were largely confined to their houses and were only allowed to leave their homes if accompanied by a male relative.

In most cases, girls were not allowed to attend school, and women were not allowed to work.

The Taliban beat men who failed to pray five times or more a day, or those who cut their beards.

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