Arabist: The Taliban call it Sharia, but it’s about power

Arabist: The Taliban call it Sharia, but it's about power

The Taliban say they want to rule Afghanistan within the strict rules of Sharia. What does that mean? We asked two experts; Laila Al-Swaini and Anne Quakenbose.

Laila al-Swaini is a lawyer and Arab and served as head of UN law work in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2009. Anne Guacanbose is a corporate gender, peace and security expert courtesy.

God’s will

Sharia is the rules you have to follow to live as a good Muslim. “Every Muslim must follow the will of God, which is first found in the Quran and Hadith. The latter describes the words and customs of the Prophet Muhammad, “says Laila al-Swaini.

But those rules are interpreted differently in different areas within a particular bandwidth. So not in the strict sense of the word Sharia. The Taliban variant is considered very strict, and according to many Muslims their strict rules no longer fall under Sharia.

Origin of Sharia

“For centuries, scholars have derived new Sharia rules derived from discussing the interpretation of the Qur’an and Hadith,” explains al-Jawaini. Those legal experts were spread across various parts of the former Islamic world. They took into account local laws and customary law, resulting in the creation of various law schools. “

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic world empire, some Sharia rules were included in the law for the first time in history. “That’s why Sharia is used differently in countries like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco,” al-Swaini said.


The ideology of the Taliban is a combination of general Islamic law and local traditional law, al-Swaini says. For example, in this ideology, women have far fewer rights than other types of Sharia. That’s because it’s mixed with common law பஷ்டுன்வலிAfghanistan / Pakistan Population Group Pashtun, which has many restrictions on women.

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