After forcibly seizing energy in Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban made a public effort to assuage issues by the worldwide group that it could return to its brutal rule of the Nineteen Nineties.
However the militant Islamist group has regularly reverted to its repressive insurance policies of the previous because the prospect of worldwide recognition and help has diminished, specialists mentioned.
In current weeks, the Taliban has reintroduced corporal punishments, together with public floggings. The militants have additionally intensified their assault on girls’s rights, together with lately banning girls from attending college.
Observers mentioned there are doubtless extra draconian edicts within the pipeline because the Taliban reestablishes a theocratic state ruled by the militant group’s excessive and tribal interpretation of Islamic Shari’a legislation.
“It is rather doubtless that the Taliban will more and more impose extra repressive measures,” mentioned Weeda Mehran, co-director of the Heart for Superior Worldwide Research (CAIS) on the College of Exeter. “This development has been established.”
‘Draconian Insurance policies’
Previously 16 months, the Taliban has imposed dozens of restrictions on girls’s appearances, freedom of motion, and their proper to work and obtain an schooling.
Solely ladies beneath the sixth grade are allowed to attend faculty. Excessive faculties for ladies have been closed, regardless of repeated guarantees to reopen them. In a significant blow, the Taliban banned girls from attending college on December 20.
The Taliban’s college ban has fueled hypothesis that the group will impose a blanket ban on schooling for women and girls like throughout its first stint in energy from 1996-2001. The Taliban’s increased schooling minister has known as feminine schooling “un-Islamic and in opposition to Afghan values.”
The militants have additionally reintroduced corporal punishments in current weeks, together with the general public flogging of women and men for crimes akin to theft, eloping from dwelling, and committing adultery.
On December 7, a person was publicly executed in western Afghanistan, the primary such occasion to be carried out because the Taliban takeover. The execution was attended by prime Taliban leaders.
The general public punishments got here quickly after Taliban Supreme Chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada ordered the group’s courts to make use of strict interpretations of Shari’a legislation, which prescribes punishments akin to stoning, execution, amputation, and public lashings. The Taliban handed down related punishments throughout its earlier rule.
Mehran of the College of Exeter mentioned the Taliban has been regularly returning to its “previous practices” as its hopes of recognition by the worldwide group have dimmed.
“The one motive the Taliban didn’t initially implement its draconian insurance policies on the identical degree and extent as its first regime within the Nineteen Nineties was as a result of the group was vying for worldwide recognition, support, and commerce,” mentioned Mehran.
Within the Taliban’s first press convention after seizing energy in Kabul, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid pledged to uphold the free press and girls’s rights — although inside the framework of Islam. However the militants have did not stay as much as their guarantees and as an alternative reimposed most of the repressive insurance policies of the previous.
Omar Sadr, an creator and analysis scholar on the College of Pittsburgh, mentioned the Taliban has strategically used the Islamic idea of “taqiya,” or deliberate deception, to mislead the worldwide group.
“The group’s stance was ambiguous because it by no means promised primary human rights primarily based on the Common Declaration of Human Rights, gender equality, and democratic governance,” mentioned Sadr. “Many interpreted the ambiguous stance as moderation. However there was no proof to assist the idea that the Taliban aimed to reasonable.”
Analysts mentioned the Taliban is prone to impose extra restrictions within the 12 months forward, together with additional eroding girls’s rights, increasing its crackdown on dissent, empowering its infamous morality police to forcefully impose Taliban edicts, and growing its use of corporal punishments.
‘Pure’ Islamic System
The Taliban’s supreme chief has repeatedly pledged to determine what he has known as a “pure” Islamic system in Afghanistan, with out providing any particulars.
Afghanistan was an Islamic republic beneath the political system that was ushered in after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban from energy in 2001. The 2004 structure prescribed that “no legislation may be opposite to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred faith of Islam,” though it contained extra liberal and democratic components.
Observers mentioned the Taliban has retained its purpose of recreating a theocracy primarily based on its radical interpretation of Islam.
“The important thing options of its medievalist imaginative and prescient of political order are a scarcity of differentiation between the private and non-private, in depth policing of particular person habits, and degrading of ladies to second-class topics,” mentioned Sadr.
In October Mujahid introduced that the group was engaged on creating a brand new structure.
Within the late Nineteen Nineties, the Taliban drafted a 14-page structure — the primary and solely try by the group to codify its views on energy and governance. However the doc was by no means formally ratified, and it was unclear how a lot of it was ever applied earlier than the militants have been ousted from energy.
Haroun Rahimi, an Afghan educational who researches Islamic legislation, mentioned the Taliban is transferring towards a “higher use of codification.”
“The current development has definitely been a shift away from a extra laissez faire method to a extra regimented enforcement of what the Taliban take into account to be Islamic rules,” mentioned Rahimi.
Throughout the summer time, Taliban Chief Justice Abdul Hakim Haqqani printed a e-book that some observers have labeled the Taliban’s manifesto. The e-book, which was reportedly endorsed by the Taliban management, hints on the group’s political imaginative and prescient for Afghanistan.
“The e-book makes an argument for the in depth enforcement of Islamic guidelines by state power on par with the primary rendition of the Islamic Emirate,” mentioned Rahimi, referring to the official identify of the Taliban authorities. “How this unfolds in apply stays to be seen.”