The Taliban say they want to rule Afghanistan under strict sharia rules. What does that mean? We asked two experts; Laila al-Zwaini and Anne Kwakkenbos.
Laila al-Zwaini is a lawyer and Arabist and was head of the United Nations rule of law mission in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2009. Anne Kwakkenbos is Gender, Peace and Security expert at the aid organization Cordaid.
Sharia are the rules you must follow to live as a good Muslim. “Every Muslim must follow the will of God and this is found above all in the Koran and the Hadith, the latter describes the words and customs of the Prophet Muhammad, ”explains Laila al-Zwaini.
But these rules are interpreted in different ways in different areas, within a certain bandwidth. So the sharia does not exist in the strict sense of the term. The Taliban variant is considered very strict and, according to many Muslims, their strict rules no longer fall under Sharia law.
The origin of Sharia law
“Over the centuries, scholars have formulated new and derivative rules of Sharia by debating the interpretation of the Quran and hadiths,” al-Zwaini explains. These jurists were located in different regions of the ancient Islamic world. They took into account local laws and customary law, which gave rise to different schools of law. “
After the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic empire, certain rules of Sharia law were enshrined in law for the first time in history. “This is why Sharia law is applied differently in countries like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco,” al-Zwaini said.
The Taliban ideology is also a mixture of general Islamic law and local customary law, says al-Zwaini. In this ideology, for example, women have far fewer rights than in other variations of Sharia law. It is because it is involved in the common law, the pashtunwali, from the Pashtun Afghan / Pakistani population group, in which there are many restrictions for women.
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