Wednesday, August 10

Return to the Sharia, the rule of law under the whip




The Islamic legal code, the Sharia -literally ‘the clear path to water’- it admits interpretations related to the five schools of Islam and the rigor of its many currents, but it has a common foundation to all of them. To say Sharia is to point to prohibitions, such as alcohol or pork, to stipulate a dress code for women, or to affirm the male supremacy in matters of marriage and family or in legal matters. In the Sharia that the Taliban imposed between 1996 and 2001 these were some of the practical consequences:

Dress code

The Sharia establishes the principle of modesty in clothing, particularly for women. Many countries simply stipulate the headscarf, or hijabBut the Taliban apply a rigid version and demand the full veil (burqa) that completely covers the woman’s body. Men are urged to grow beards and dress modestly.

Women and public life

The Taliban have vowed this week to respect women’s rights “within Islamic law.” Your interpretation of this has been in the past prohibit the presence of women in jobs facing the public, and deny them access to education from the 10 years. Nor could they go out alone; they had to do it always accompanied by their male tutor.

Corporal punishment

Islamic code fixes two types of crimes, those that require automatic punishment and those that are left to the interpretation of the judges. The radical enforcement carried out by the Taliban established a religious police that watched over the Sharia in the streets and beat women who they believed were breaking the dress code. He amputated the hands of thieves and carried out public executions in crimes that in the Sharia carry the death penalty such as adultery.


Man can be polygamous (up to four wives according to the Qur’an, although Muhammad apparently had thirteen), as long as he treats all women “equally.” The Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man; the Mohammedan on the other hand, because the husband is the guarantor of the religious education of the children and not the wife. The man can disown his wife in the presence of two male witnesses. The husband can divorce his wife without going through a civil court. The guardianship of the children is always for the father.

Religious freedom

The practice of any religion other than Muslim is strictly prohibited.

Legal inequality

According to the Sharia, the testimony of a man before the judge is equivalent to that of two women. In matters of inheritance, the woman receives half as much property as the man. The Taliban strictly enforce these Islamic rules.

See them