By John Hale
Published: August 31, 2021 Noon EST
(3 minute read)
Two decades after the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate government was driven from Kabul by the United States and its allies, the infamous Islamic extremist group retook Afghanistan in a span of a few short days. As soon as they retook the Presidential Palace, the radical sect wasted no time to raise the group’s jihadist flag — telling the whole world the following message — the militants have destroyed Afghanistan’s representative democracy and replaced it with an Islamic Emirate state, once again. And with that, comes the inevitable reinstatement of its plan to restore its barbarous, “authentic” interpretation of Sharia law.
Sharia itself is neither static nor limited to one single interpretation; for the Taliban, a “genuine Islamic system“ is the only way to eradicate modern culture and ensure women’s rights in line with cultural traditions and religious rules, by any means necessary.
Under the barbarous rule of the Taliban, characterized by its abhorrent violations of fundamental human rights, epitomized by egregious acts of violence, women were stripped of basic human rights and freedom, as well as brutally punished if they dared cross the line. Prior to 2001, girls were banned from school and largely confined to their homes; women accused of committing crimes such as not covering themselves properly were stoned to death in public; and sex-based segregation was enforced. The militant group imposed rules on women pertaining to their social lives, dress, education, employment, and access to basic health care services. Women who did not follow these rules endured degrading torture. Today, the Taliban remains “broadly consistent in its restrictive approach to women’s rights” and enforces strict control.
Even under the Allied occupation, the Taliban regained control of many cities and provinces, and continued targeted oppression of women and girls. It was “the most dangerous country to be a woman,” according to Amnesty International, and very likely will regain that “title.” In 1999, a woman violated the Taliban’s prohibition of nail polish, and subsequently was whipped by a truckload of Taliban militants with a rubber cable.
In the Taliban’s twisted worldview, women are not permitted to attend school or study subjects outside of the Islamic faith, or they face atrocious punishments. If a woman is caught studying or going to school, she could be raped, stoned, and tortured. Brutalizing women is a common occurrence for the Taliban regime, and any notion that they will protect women’s rights is an utter fallacy. Women are not to be seen or heard under their rules, women are not even permitted to have their photos taken, and they are confined to their homes with windows covered so they cannot be seen.
The terror has already begun. To the Islamic extremists, women and girls are seen as qhanimat (spoils of war). Jihadists are allowed to claim women as their objects and rape them, as well as taking them as sex slaves, or force them into marriages with their fighters. Taliban commanders have forced imams and mullahs in the areas they have seized to bring them a list of unmarried girls so they can be divided up among the victors.
Afghan girls beg American soldiers at the airport to save them from what they know is coming. pic.twitter.com/KQyxULaXXp
— David Patrikarakos (@dpatrikarakos) August 18, 2021
Women have historically endured nothing but horror under a Taliban regime. It is hard to imagine a modern society where a woman cannot leave the house without a male escort, or she will be murdered, or where a woman has to wear an all-enveloping burqa, or she would be stoned. But this is the harsh reality Afghan women and girls will face under Taliban rule; its interpretation of Sharia has already been imposed. They are fearing for their lives, and a lifetime of rape and sexual servitude awaits unmarried girls in Afghanistan, instead of opportunities and freedom.
Pray for Afghanistan. Pray for these women and children.