I am writing this analysis from the view of an observer. And without a reliable primary source of any of the events taking place in Afghanistan. I do not condone violence nor any threat to women and children. I am neither a political analyst nor a politician. I am just a writer and a researcher who has an interest in Social Justice and the protection of Human Rights. Also, I do not have any political qualifications whatsoever. Lastly, I am analysing Afghanistan|Taliban situation from an informal perspective; therefore, please read with a light heart.
About the writer
I have a qualification in Law, also furthering that Law education at the moment. From the business side, I hold a Master of Science in Project Management, Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Business Economics, Bachelor of Commerce in Management, Lean/ Six Sigma Green Belts, and a few certificates in Data Science.
Now that I have said all of that, let’s begin.
This is a short perspective on what has been going on in Afghanistan. We all know by now that the Taliban have taken back the control over Afghanistan. And it happened so quickly with minimum resistance from the opponents. On here, I will mention the Taliban, human rights, Islamic Law, Western Law, and religion.
According to the BBC (several articles and documentaries), the United States of America believed that the 9/11 attacks were made by Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was a militant regime that was led by Osama Bin Laden. Osama who was taken down by President Barack Obama in 2011. Apparently, the sin of the Taliban for which its price they paid in blood and surrender was that they refused to handover Osama Bin Laden to the Americans.
Are Afghans citizens of Afghanistan? Yes. Taliban also citizens of Afghanistan? Yes. Are other stakeholders such as America, UK, and Pakistan citizens of Afghanistan? No.
Involvement of International States in the Affairs of National Politics
The International Law does permit other states to intervene in a country’s affairs where the lives or human rights of its citizens are threatened. Also, in terms of International Criminal Law, some countries have signed an international agreement of being accountable for extraditing a criminal to the country where the crime took place. So, from this point of view, we can assume that this is how the Americans gained an advantage and entered Afghanistan (to deal with Osama).
Treatment of Women
The media has widely spread that due to the Islamic Law which the Taliban follow, women have not been able to work, go to the shops, get education, or play sports. The media has further stated that women are forced to wear the ‘all-covering burqa’. As a result, since 9/11 the Islamic religion began to attract lots of criticism and disdain globally. Some Islamic women have also complained about the treatment that they’ve endured under the ‘strict’ Sharia Law. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook have given us a hint of their sadness.
The Taliban deny that they mistreat women. In fact, for each question, they give a response citing the Islamic Law for their actions. For example, they say that they request women to cover up because that’s what the Quran says. They also deny that women are not allowed to obtain education. Well, which could be true, because some women in Afghanistan do indeed have education. Perhaps, the denial of education to women is regional? Investigative journalists are yet to tell us. For example, how did some educated women or doctors obtain their education if it’s against the law in Afghanistan? Many questions, few answers.
I have been lucky enough to have acquaintances from all corners of life. People of different religions, citizenships, races, ethnicities, and social classes. I am a Christian whose views on religion are receptive to those of others. With that said, my acquantances include Islam believers. Of course, we talk about religion because curiosity enlightens the mind, right? Indeed, some Muslim women hold ‘global’ views. They prefer not to cover themselves up, or even wear the hijab. They feel that their freedom is compromised through the Islamic Law. On the other hand, some Muslim women love their religion. They do not feel threatened by following the Islamic rules, or covering themselves up. They want to do it willingly; and to honour their Allah.
The ironic thing is that even the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah require women to cover themselves up. And no-one criticizes or has a negative attitude towards the views of these Books. Of course, what we cannot tolerate, from the legal perspective, is when the basic human rights of people are infringed upon. But pertaining to religion, we ought to be careful. People believe in different gods, and that should be alright. People follow different religions, and that too should be alright. Because the religion topic will remain subjective as long as we live. Unless, of course, God comes down Himself and corrects us all.
With that said, ideally we should not interfere in the religious affairs of others. Unless in cases where people are being forced into believing in a religion that they do not want. Or, in cases where others practice their religion by sacrificing children or other humans. If people just want to follow their religion and worship their god in their land without taking away the human rights of others, let them do so. There is no terrorism in that.
The meaning of the word terrorism seems to be saturated nowadays. Thanks to its misuse in the media, or by politicians. Politicians love to use this word when they meet political oppositions. They did it with Nelson Mandela and his regime during the times of apartheid in South Africa. They did it with Che Guevara, a leader of Argentina. And so with the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Basically, it seems to be a theme to label others as terrorists when they start to fight for their land, resources, or freedom. In the end, just like Mandela became a global hero, it is possible that the Taliban will once more be seen as heroic.
The problem with politics is that the direction changes all the time. And rightfully so. Otherwise the science in politics would be lost. We love and accept the science of politics because it does also bring good to the people. The issue is that the subjects in the political sciences are ordinary people, who end up suffering. Hence politicians themselves see the necessity for putting measures in their field to manage the dynamics. Those measures include the law.
Again, we cannot blame politicians for doing what politicians do. It is the nature of their science. They fight, argue, manipulate, debate, and do everything they can to have the maximum power and control of resources. Those resources include land, natural resources, and currency. However, I think that we can all agree that they have not mastered political sciences to the point that they can play these power games without sacrificing Human Rights. Perhaps, this is a challenge for future political science researchers or students to explore further. Thus, bringing a solution that works for people.
The question that I would propose to political stakeholders is: How could politicians be politicians without sacrificing the nobility of Human Rights? Follow the law?. This could be the first suggestion. Definitely the law is the first measure to follow. But there is a catch.
The shortfall with the law is that it is limited by the subjectivity of those who apply it. If the law was drafted and applied by an Artificial Intelligence agent, a robot, maybe all criminals would indeed get what they deserve. Maybe politicians would not compromise people’s lives while doing their jobs. Maybe justice would be served and fairness would be applied. But it is the subjectivity in the people who apply the law, such as lawyers, judges, or the police that compromise the dignity and the strength of the Law.
The Law in Afghanistan
Afghanistan was following the Islamic Law for as long as it existed. Well until the Americans partly took control over the country post 9/11. Thereafter, Afghanistan adopted and adapted to the Afghan Constitution. This Constitution, from the Taliban’s point of view, contradicted their religion, and the Islamic Law. Now, we must remember that all laws are based originally on religion. For example, the Western Law is based partly on the Bible. In fact, many western courts demand that witnesses place their hands on the Holy Bible when giving a testimony. With that requirement, asserting the power and necessity of religion in our daily lives.
But at the same time, the Islamic Law includes human views and perspectives which are enforced and applied when punishing or judging people. In this analysis, we have already established that humans can be subjective. And it is through this subjectivity that people’s human rights get destroyed. From that, we can agree that there is room to improve the Islamic Law. For example, it can be adjusted to meet the modern needs of people. Definitely, no-one should change what is godly, such as the Holy Quran. But, we can work around flexing those laws that were made Based on Reason. Because what could have been reasonable 50 years ago, may not be reasonable today.
In Biblical terms, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Give to the Taliban what belongs to the Taliban. In assuring the stability and peaceful lives of their people, the Taliban should enforce their law, rightfully so. However, they should also be open to adjusting that law to satisfy the maximum number of people that it serves. And not only serve a certain gender, or a certain class.
For example, slavery upon Black People was once an official Law. And the Holy Bible was used as the basis of that Law. I mean, there are many verses that we could quote just to show how ‘fair’ that slavery law seemed to be at the time. Similarly, the Apartheid Laws in America and South Africa seemed fair at the time. In fact the international units such at the level of the United Nations had accepted those Apartheid Laws as fair and just.
Therefore, as history has shown, with an adjustment from all parties, we can reach a level where everyone’s freedom and fundamental human rights are not threatened. The UN or NATO may not recognise the government of the Taliban for a few years, but eventually they could. Women and children who are at a disadvantage within the system could be protected eventually.
Why? Because the only fact that we can rely on about the Taliban is that they are human beings. Now, because they are humans, we know that they are subjective, emotional, and have perspectives like everyone else. Therefore, eventually, they will look at their mothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters and see them as valuable as themselves.
Opposing leaders failed in their approach against the Taliban because they attacked the Islamic Law, and the Islam religion. They criticised and demoned it as if trying to ‘convert’ Muslims. And not necessarily focusing on the law aspects that could be improved. Obviously, if you negatively criticise someone’s beliefs and with malice, they will feel a strong need to defend their religion and those beliefs. The unfortunate part is that in the end, both parties miss the opportunity of improving human life and its experience.
—We should not treat people as if they were commodity.