Taliban supreme leader outlines Sharia law plans in Eid sermon

The Taliban has released an audio tape attributed to Mullah Habatullah Akhundzada, the group’s supreme leader, apparently delivering a sermon following the Eid al-Adha prayers on Wednesday in Kandahar.

The audio published on Twitter by Hedayatullah Hedayat, the deputy head of Afghanistan’s National Radio and Television.

Akhundzada said that the “absolute majority” of people in Afghanistan follow the Sunni Hanafi jurisprudence, and that Afghanistan’s laws and regulations are being formulated according to it. He says that the process of aligning Afghanistan’s laws with Islamic Sharia and Hanafi jurisprudence takes place in three stages.

First, laws are reviewed in the relevant ministries.

Second, they are sent to the Ministry of Justice.

Third, from the Ministry of Justice, they go to a commission under the leadership of the Taliban’s Chief Justice.

Akhundzada said that once the laws have been approved by the commission, they will be implemented.

He also said that the goal of the Taliban’s war in the past 20 years has been to make the “Islamic system and Islamic decrees” enforceable and practical. He claimed that now in Afghanistan, there is a “complete Islamic system,” security is in place, and no part of the country is there any “disorder or disobedience.”

The Taliban has annulled the previous government’s constitution and all other laws formulated in the last 20 years on the grounds that they are against Sharia. Most of the country’s affairs are now conducted based on directives and decrees attributed to Haibatullah Akhundzada. On this basis, the Taliban has annulled the personal status law of the Shiite community (Shia Family Law) in Afghanistan. Now, cases related to the personal status of Shiites are reviewed and decided based on Hanafi jurisprudence.

In his pre-Eid message, Akhundzada claimed that the group had improved the lives of women, claiming that they had been freed from “many traditional oppressions”.

Since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, it has imposed strict restrictions based on Akhundzada’s decrees.

The group has implemented a series of strict measures in Afghanistan, including the ban on music, prohibiting the education of girls from the sixth grade onwards, and restricting women’s activities and work outside their homes. Public punishments have been, such as flogging, have become frequent. And the group has conducted two public executions in the provinces of Farah and Laghman.

Although nearly two years have passed since the Taliban’s takeover of the country, no pictures or videotapes of the group’s leader have been released. However, the Taliban occasionally releases audio tapes or written statements attributed to him and claims he is based in Kandahar.