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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

May-05-99

Taliban Creates Islamic Constitution

The Taliban's Ministry of Justice has worked with more than 2000 religious scholars to draft a constitution based on Islamic Sharia law. The constitution is currently pending approval from the Taliban's leadership.

A representative of the Taliban stated that the new constitution concentrates on three fundamental objectives -- enforcement of Islamic principles, restoring peace in Afghanistan, and clearly defining the country's borders and territories.

On the issue of women's rights leaders and other forces opposing the Taliban, envoy to Pakistan Maulvi Saeed-ur-Rahman Haqqani told reporters "We will not snatch rights from women that have been given to them by Islam. After the war is ended in Afghanistan, we will present a model for womenfolk." Noting that there is no possibility of co-education in Afghanistan because "Islam does not allow such a system," Haqqani added, "We do not want to make women as animals. We will keep them nicely in a box like pearls."

Haqqani also declared the Taliban's desire for international recognition and for friendly relationships with other countries. He urged countries opposing the Taliban to stop their interference, saying "We have no aggressive designs against any country. We do not believe in aggression."

Taliban soldiers regularly beat women for things like laughing, walking loudly, or failing to cover their entire bodies while in public. Women accused of adultery are stoned to death and suspected thieves have their hands amputated at public ceremonies.

After recent military gains by opposition forces, the Taliban now reportedly controls 75% rather than 90% of the country.

Media Resources: NNI - May 3, 1999


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