Photo: United Nations

UN Condemns Taliban Leader’s Call for Strict Sharia Law As the Group Intensifies Crackdown  

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – A UN spokesman described the recent statement by the Taliban supreme leader on enforcing strict Sharia law in Afghanistan, including stoning and beating women, as “extremely disheartening.” He emphasized the critical need for equal rights for women in the country.

During a press briefing on Monday, March 25, Farhan Haq, a UN spokesman, expressed concerns about the mistreatment of women by the Taliban, calling for the removal of the regime’s edicts on women.

“It’s extremely disheartening. As you know, we’ve been expressing our concerns consistently about the mistreatment of women under many of the rulings by the Taliban, and we’ve called for those edicts to be revoked,” he said. 

“We will continue to press upon that and continue to push for the equal rights of women in Afghanistan and indeed in all countries,” the UN spokesman added. 

In a recent audio clip broadcasted by the Taliban-controlled National Radio and Television of Afghanistan (RTA), the Taliban supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, stresses the continuation of enforcing strict Sharia law in Afghanistan.

The Taliban supreme leader said that the enforcement of Sharia law in Afghanistan, including stoning and public punishment of women, might not be in favor of Western countries and democracy, but he vows to continue implementing them.  

“You view the act of stoning as a violation of women’s rights. In the near future, we plan to implement the punishment for adultery, which includes publicly stoning and flogging women,” Akhundzada said, addressing the Western world. “The enforcement of Allah’s Hudud contradicts your democracy, you may debate our action,” he added. 

“Just as you strive to save and liberate humanity, so do I. You represent Satan, and I represent God. As Allah says, ‘The party of Allah will prevail,’” the Taliban supreme leader said. 

Rahmatullah Nabil, former head of Afghanistan’s National Security, says that Akhundzada’s recent remarks clearly indicate that the regime’s extreme ideology has not changed over time.

“Afghan people are well aware of the Taliban’s claims to divine representation on earth and autocratic leadership and have no illusions about changing the group’s extremist ideology,” he said. 

Former Afghanistan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta similarly noted that while Western and Afghan lobbyists and supporters of the Taliban try to hide the true face of the group, Akhundzada exposes their true intentions when he speaks.

“No matter how one dresses up Talibanism, its essence lies in what Mullah Hibatullah says. Afghan lobbyists, along with certain Western and neighboring representatives, are not conveying the truth,” Spanta said.