The taliban have taken power again in Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled Accept together with a small number of collaborators. According to Ghani, his departure was necessary to “Avoid a bloodbath” at the hands of the Taliban, fearing that “countless patriots would be martyred and Kabul destroyed” if he stayed.
Panic has spread in the Afghan capital. Thousands of citizens try to escape the city with the few belongings they can treasure. At the Kabul airport there have been situations of great tension and at least five people have diedAlthough it is not known whether due to the shooting to disperse those who crowded to get on the planes or due to the avalanches that took place on the take-off runways.
However, the taliban They try to reassure the population and ask for “calm.” The spokesman for the fundamentalist movement, Zabihullah MujahidAs part of the Taliban campaign to give a more moderate image, he guaranteed last Tuesday in one of his first statements to the media that no harm will be caused to the Americans or other members of the international community who are on Afghan soil. In addition, the fundamentalist group assures that they will carry out a ‘general amnesty ‘for all those who collaborated with the previous regime and affirms that the rights of women will be respected. Yes indeed, “Within Islamic law”.
“They are going to work shoulder to shoulder with us,” announced Mujahid, who wanted to give assurances to the international community that under his regime “There will be no discrimination”.
However, his words do not arouse much confidence. It is feared that the application of the ‘Sharia‘or Islamic law, re-implement in Afghanistan the’reign of terror‘, as happened between 1996 and 2001, a period in which there were multitude of human rights violations, especially those of women and girls, considered by religious fundamentalists to be second-class citizens, if at all they consider them people.
The ‘Sharia’ or Islamic law
The Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy defines the ‘Sharia’ as the ‘Islamic religious law regulator of all public and private aspects of life, and whose follow-up is considered to lead to salvation.
In reality, the ‘Sharia’ is not a manuscript as such, a codex that explains point by point what a good Muslim can or cannot do. It is not a dogma nor something indisputable, as it could be the Koran, the holy book of Islam, but, rather, a set of texts subject to interpretation. Thus, depending on the Islamic legal school that deciphers the texts, the ‘Sharia’ will be applied in one way or another.
The ‘Sharía’ drinks from four main sources: the Koran (‘recitation’), the Hadeeth (‘narration’), the Ijma (‘consensus), and the Ijtihad (‘effort’). Most Muslims understand this law as the revealed word of God, as it begins to take shape after the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632 AD and consider that it has a single interpretation. Thus, states such as Saudi Arabia or Iran apply the ‘Sharia’ very strictly, which affects the rights of women and other groups.
However, there is another Muslim part that understands that the ‘Sharia’ can have multiple interpretations. This means that there are countries in which certain aspects of the lives of their citizens are governed by the ‘Sharia’, but not everything revolves around it. It is the case of Egypt or Turkey.
According to the results of a survey carried out in 2013 by the Pew Research Center, most Muslims are of the opinion that ‘Sharia’ should apply only within the Muslim community, focusing primarily on the resolution of family or property disputes. However, there are more radical groups that believe that the ‘Sharia’ should be the ‘law of the land’. Thus, there are Muslims who prefer to follow the ‘Sharia’ in a flexible way and others who support the harshest punishments, such as stoning women who commit adultery or amputation out of the hands of thieves.
However, it is important to remember that Islam does not have a religious hierarchy that acts as an intermediary and guide between God and the faithful. This is why the different schools of interpretation of Islamic jurisprudence, known as ‘Madhab’. There are currently five big ones, four in Sunni Islam and one in Shiite Islam.
The school with the most presence in Afghanistan is the Hanafí, of Sunni Islam, known as the school of opinion (‘rai’). The Hanafis follow the sayings of the prophets, the customs and the laws of previous religions. Thus, they carry out some of the stricter interpretations of Islamic laws.
The rights of women according to the ‘Sharia’
One of the main concerns in Afghanistan after the arrival of the Taliban are the lives of Afghan women and girls, the big losers if finally the ‘Sharia‘. Islamic law considers women citizens of minor importance, subject to the will of man and object of provocation for the same. That is why females should hide their body, and even their face from any stranger with full veils like him. burka. They cannot speak in public and their laughter must not be heard by any stranger.
During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in the late 1990s, women suffered humiliating treatment and serious violations of their rights and their integrity, both physical and psychological. They could not leave their house if they were not accompanied by their mahram (man of close kinship, like father, brother or husband); they could not work and the medical attention they could receive was very precarious, since a male doctor could not explore a female’s body. Few positions were reserved for female doctors and nurses, unable to serve the large number of women in need of health care. In addition, those women who they did not comply with the law (they committed adultery, showed their faces or ankles, used cosmetics, left home alone or tried to study), were subjected to harsh physical punishment that, on many occasions, ended his life.
And it is that, the feminine word has no value in court in the territories subdued by the Taliban. The crimes established by the ‘Sharia’ can only be proven by men. Thus, if a woman witnesses a crime, can not act as a witness. If she does, she could be subjected to whipping.
‘Hadd’, the most severe punishments of the ‘Sharia’
Within the ‘Sharia’ different types of crimes can be distinguished. Thus, the hardest are the ‘Hadd‘, those to be decided by a judge. These are:
1. Illegal sexual relations (sexual relations outside of marriage, adultery and homosexuality).
2. False accusations about illicit sexual relations.
3. The consumption of wine (sometimes extended to alcohol consumption in general).
4. The robbery
5. Armed robbery or banditry.
6. Apostasy, which includes blasphemy (although the latter is not considered a ‘Hadd’ offense by all Islamic jurists).
The types of punishment range from flagellation,with a variable amount of strokes, to the capital punishment, going through the amputation.
It should be noted that these penalties are specified both in the Koran like in the Sunna, but in all occasions conditions are applied. The definition of these conditions is a matter for debate within Islam, since they suppose human rights violations.