Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

Staking Women’s Rights not Acceptable

Afghan women are still concerned about the return of the Islamic Emirate as the Taliban appear to be seeking to curtail the role of women and restrict their freedoms. The Taliban’s recent practices indicate that their ideology has not been moderated. The group shows no inclination to democratic values or the rights and liberties of women included in the post-Taliban Constitution.
The Taliban, on the one hand, are not able to define a clear policy regarding women and their fundamental rights and freedoms as well as the government’s system. On the other hand, they are unlikely to reconcile their ideology with democratic values. According to the Taliban, Islamic Sharia is irreconcilable with democratic principles. However, they are not able to paint a clear picture about Sharia law.
It is self-explanatory that Islamic Sharia based on radical interpretation will be against democratic discourse. Nonetheless, a moderate interpretation will reconcile Islamic tenets with democratic principles. For instance, the post-Taliban Constitution was endorsed on the basis of democratic values as well as Islamic tenets. The Constitution was endorsed by a number of Afghan high-level Sunni and Shiite clerics. Constitutionally, women should not be discriminated on the grounds of their gender, which is also supported by Islamic law. Furthermore, discrimination on the grounds of one’s ethnicity, religion, or sect has no room in the Constitution. But the Taliban still practice upon radical and dogmatic ideology and their perspective towards women and ethnic minorities have not changed.
A video clip went viral shows that some members of the Taliban group are punishing a woman in desert court. Punishing woman in public gathering, as men are the spectators, will be against the dignity of women, not to mention their rights. Perhaps, the Taliban members feel nostalgically about their regime (1996 – 2001) and seek to revive it.
On the contrary, the people of Afghanistan, including men and women, do not approve of the Taliban’s ideology or their political system. People seek to have their rights and freedoms respected and protected. Women no more want to be marginalized and their social and political role be curtailed. In other words, women have played active and constructive role in the post-Taliban administration in social, political, cultural, and economic arenas and made great strides. They could prove that their role carries increasing significance for the community. Therefore, they seek to continue playing their role to make changes in the society. Women will not backtrack and are likely to resist against the Taliban’s dogmatic mindset and radical perspective.
Meanwhile, establishing Emirate system is also disapproved by regional and global actors. Afghanistan’s neighboring countries and international allies are against the formation of Islamic Emirate, as they have reiterated earlier.
With the emergence of democratic discourse and constitution in the post-Taliban administration, the ideology of the Taliban has been outdated. It is self-evident that the Taliban will not be able to manage the country through their old-fashioned and fundamental ideology. A legitimate system will be based on democratic values and constitutional principles, in which all are equal and no one is supposed to be discriminated on the grounds of their caste, color, creed, or gender.
The Taliban are still unable to define a clear political structure for the future of Afghanistan. Suppose the entire Afghanistan is controlled by the Taliban, how will the group manage to deal with the complicated political, economic, cultural, and social issues? During the Taliban’s regime, men and women were jobless, the country was in dire poverty, and people were dying of hunger, but the Taliban were involved in punishing men for not wearing beard and women for not wearing burqa or going out without male chaperon. They mystified everything, saying that Allah would feed you without having any strategy for creating jobs or resolving social, political and economic challenges.
Overall, the Taliban claim to Islamize everything without having any short-term, mid-term and long-term plans for social, political, and economic issues. They want people to practice upon their ideology or will be punished or dead. But they never talk about having programs for managing public challenges.
If the Taliban do not moderate their ideology, the people will not accept even their integration into the future political system. The Taliban have to clarify the system they are seeking to have in Afghanistan and ask for public will. Establishing a system at the barrel of gun will neither last long nor acceptable to the public. To form a sustainable system, the public will and constitutional principles need to be observed. There should be no discrimination, mainly on the grounds of sex and ethnicity.