Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Dublin: 25°C Wednesday 10 August 2022
Advertisement

Taliban are still illegitimate rulers, say Afghan women activists

Thousands of male clerics have endorsed the hardline government.

Taliban fighters on a military vehicles in Kabul  last year, when they seized control of Afghanistan
Taliban fighters on a military vehicles in Kabul last year, when they seized control of Afghanistan
Image: Alamy

THE TALIBAN REMAIN illegitimate rulers, despite a declaration by thousands of male clerics endorsing their hardline government, Afghan women activists said today.

The clerics pledged allegiance to the Taliban and its reclusive leader yesterday following a three-day meeting that failed to address thorny issues such as the right of teenage girls to go to school.

The Taliban – who seized power in Afghanistan last August – have since tried to present the meeting as a vote of confidence in their vision of a pure Islamic state totally subservient to sharia law.

They insisted last week that women would be represented at the meeting – attended by over 3,500 men – but only by their sons and husbands.

“Statements released or pledging allegiance to the Taliban in any gathering or event without the presence of half of the nation’s population, the women, are not acceptable,” Hoda Khamosh, a rights activist currently in exile in Norway, told AFP.

“This summit … does not have legitimacy, validity, or the approval of the people.”

Since returning to power in August, the Taliban’s harsh interpretation of sharia law has imposed severe restrictions on Afghans – particularly women.

Secondary school girls have been barred from education and women prevented from working in government jobs, forbidden from travelling alone, and ordered to dress in clothing that covers everything but their faces.

The Taliban have also outlawed playing non-religious music, ordered TV channels to stop showing movies and soaps featuring uncovered women, and told men they should dress in traditional garb and grow their beards.

In Kabul, a collective of women’s groups also slammed the clerics’ meeting as not representative.

Making a difference

A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article.

Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can make sure we can keep reliable, meaningful news open to everyone regardless of their ability to pay.

“The ulema (clerics) are just one part of society, they are not the whole,” organiser Ainoor Uzbik told AFP after a press conference.

“The decisions they made serve only their own interests and are not in the interest of the country and its people. There was nothing for women on the agenda, nor in the communique.”

In a statement, the collective said men like the Taliban held absolute power before in history – but usually only for a short time before being dumped.

“The only thing Afghans can do is to raise their voice and demand the international community puts pressure on the Taliban,” Uzbik said.

© AFP 2022

About the author:

AFP

Read next:

COMMENTS (13)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel