(RepublicanPress.org) – On August 15, the world watched in shock as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan within days, ending with their seizure of the presidential palace in Kabul. Hamid Karzai International Airport has become a security nightmare in the wake of several suicide bomber missions on August 26 that left more than a dozen US troops and more than 150 Afghans dead.
Taliban officials claim they want to rebuild Afghanistan, but what does that entail?
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid hosted the radical group’s first press conference on August 17. He told reporters the group wouldn’t try to exact revenge on Afghans who worked with American-led coalition forces. He also claimed the Taliban would respect women’s rights.
Mujahid echoed that last sentiment during a sit-down interview with The New York Times. According to him, the Taliban want to “build the future and forget… the past.” Continuing, he tried to dispel widespread concerns the Taliban were already hunting down Afghan interpreters and others who worked with occupying forces for the last 20 years. Mujahid also denied that the incoming regime wanted to impose harsh restrictions on women, like those in place when they last ruled Afghanistan two decades ago.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Mujahid has done his best to convince the media the Taliban would respect the rights of women. However, they have already taken some steps, albeit baby ones, towards restricting women’s autonomy. For instance, he readily admits the Taliban will require a male guardian, or mahram, to accompany women when taking a journey of three days or longer.
Mujahid has also confirmed the Taliban would interpret women’s rights as dictated by Islamic law. Under the law, women carry half the legal significance of men regarding inheritance, business concerns, and giving testimony. The Quran does state that women and men originate from the “same essence.” However, many still interpret the law in such a way that gives men far more power than women.
There’s also the issue of the Taliban exacting revenge on Afghans who worked with coalition troops. An August 19 private intelligence report published by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analysis commissioned by the United Nations presented evidence that the Taliban had already begun rounding up Afghans using revenge squads.
The world is watching as events play out in Afghanistan. Hopefully, Mujahid is telling the truth, and the Taliban won’t return Afghanistan to the norms it established the last time they led the country. However, things aren’t looking very good so far.
Copyright 2021, RepublicanPress.org