Q Why is it in News ?
A The Taliban have pledged that women in Afghanistan will have rights “within the bounds of Islamic law,” or Shariah, under their newly established rule.
Q What is Shariah?
- Shariah is based on the Quran, stories of the Prophet Muhammad’s life and the rulings of religious scholars, forming the moral and legal framework of Islam.
- The Quran details a path to a moral life, but not a specific set of laws.
Q How is Shariah Interpreted ?
- The interpretations of Shariah are a matter of debate across the Muslim world, and all groups and governments that base their legal systems on Shariah have done so differently.
- One interpretation of Shariah could afford women extensive rights, while another could leave women with few.
- Critics have said that some of the Taliban restrictions on women under the guise of Islamic law actually went beyond the bounds of Shariah.
- When the Taliban say they are instituting Shariah law, that does not mean they are doing so in ways that Islamic scholars or other Islamic authorities would agree with.
Q What does Shariah prescribe?
- Shariah lists some specific crimes, such as theft and adultery, and punishments if accusations meet a standard of proof.
- It also offers moral and spiritual guidance, such as when and how to pray, or how to marry and divorce.
- It does not forbid women to leave home without a male escort or bar them from working in most jobs.
Q How have the Taliban previously interpreted Shariah?
- When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they banned television and most musical instruments.
- They established a department for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice based on a Saudi model.
Q What were the restrictions imposed on Women earlier under Taliban regime ?
- Restrictions on behavior, dress and movement were enforced by morality police officers, who drove around in pickup trucks, publicly humiliating and whipping women who did not adhere to their rules.
- In 1996, a woman in Kabul, Afghanistan, had the end of her thumb cut off for wearing nail polish, according to Amnesty International.
- Other restrictions include a ban on schooling for girls, and publicly bashing people who violated the group’s morality code.
- Women accused of adultery are stoned to death.