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The Taliban Have Vowed to Enforce Sharia Law in Afghanistan: This is What it May Mean for Afghan Women

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While the Taliban are proud to pose for photos by international journalist on the ground in Afghanistan and to promise the institutionalisation of the Sharia Law, this maybe devastating for women in Afghanistan. One of the most urgent questions raised by the return of the Taliban to power in Afghanistan is whether the radical Islamist group will again impose draconian restrictions on women and girls. Great attention was paid to the statement by a spokesman Aug. 16 that the Taliban would respect women’s rights within the framework of sharia, or Islamic law. However it is unclear what that would mean?

It’s a set of precepts rather than a code of law available for application. It’s comprised of the principles of Islam, laid out mainly in the Koran and in the record of the Prophet Muhammad’s life. Sharia is subject to the interpretation of jurists, clerics and politicians. The body of jurisprudence produced by Muslim scholars since Muhammad’s time is known as fiqh, meaning understanding, and is often spoken of interchangeably with sharia.

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