20 Years Of American Influence Reversed As Taliban Order Full Enforcement Of Sharia Law

Photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images

Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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A Taliban spokesman confirmed Sunday that the militant Islamic group will now enforce a full spectrum of sharia law punishments against Afghans, further erasing two decades of U.S. influence.

Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada’ decision applies to Afghan judges’ rulings for punishments of various crimes, according to the BBC. “Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” according to a tweet by Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid quoting Akhundzada.

The Taliban have not detailed the exact crimes and punishments eligible under sharia, but the militant Islamic group carried out public executions during its rule in the 1990s, the BBC noted. Examples of penalties under Sharia law could include amputations, stoning, and public lashings, one Afghan religious leader told the BBC. (RELATED: ‘Sharia Law And That Is It’: Taliban Commander Says Afghanistan To Have ‘No Democratic System At All’)

The Taliban leader’s order represents the most recent rollback of rights and freedoms within the country, the BBC reported. Despite promising a more moderate rule, the Taliban carried out early public floggings and executions at Kabul’s Ghazi stadium, according to The Guardian.

Women’s rights, in particular, have suffered since the Taliban’s takeover after the U.S. withdrawal in August 2021. In early November, women were banned from all public parks in the nation’s capital. The ban now extends to public baths and gyms, according to the BBC. In May, women were ordered to wear face coverings in public. Afghan women must also now be accompanied by a male chaperone on longer journeys under Taliban rule, the outlet said.

This photograph taken on November 9, 2022, shows a poster (R) reading in Pashto, “Dear sisters!
Hijab and veil are your dignity and are in your benefit in this world and in the hereafter”, at the Habibullah Zazai Park on the outskirts of Kabul. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The Taliban’s takeover “gave way to an accelerating human rights and humanitarian crisis,” according to Human Rights Watch. Journalists were beaten, media outlets closed, and schools for girls were closed, representing just a few of the Taliban’s efforts to undo U.S. influence.