In media statement, member of Taliban’s cultural commission seeks to assure women their rights will be protected
The Taliban on Monday declared a general “amnesty,” with a member of the group’s cultural commission urging women to join the government in accordance with shariah law.
“The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” said Enamullah Samangani, according to report by news agency Associated Press. “They should be in government structure according to Shariah law,” he added. In a statement issued by its political office, the group has also urged all government employees to return to work, assuring them they would not be targeted in any reprisals.
Samangani’s comments come amidst reports of residents of Kabul fearing a return to the ultraconservative government of the Taliban prior to the 2001 U.S. invasion, which including public executions and a ban on women in public places. While reports suggest only rare instances of abuse in the past two days, many residents are staying home over skepticism that the Taliban have truly moderated their views on fundamental human rights.
“The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join,” the spokesman stressed, refusing to clarify any specific guidelines or details. “Our people are Muslims and we are not here to force them to Islam,” he said, implying that the public was already aware of the rules of Islamic law the Taliban expected them to follow.
In recent days, spokespersons for the Taliban have sought to reassure the global community that they would not see a return to the style of governance they employed in the 90s. Earlier this week, spokesman Suhail Shaheen told BBC that women would be allowed to work and continue their studies “in line with shariah law,” implying that the wearing of hijab would be mandatory if they wished to step outside their homes. They have also repeatedly stressed that they would not allow the use of their soil by terror outfits against any other country.
Despite all these assurances, there is visible panic amongst Afghans who either worked for the government or aided in the work of foreign troops. On Monday, thousands rushed to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in a bid to secure passage out of the country. In harrowing scenes, some clung onto a military jet as it took off, eventually plunging to their deaths as it continued its ascent.