HashimKamali

The Taliban have not changed

Friday, 01 April 2022 16:59
Published in Articles

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan's ban on secondary education for girls announced on March 23 backtracked their earlier statement on reopening of schools for all students (boys and girls).

The ban was met with a chorus of denunciation and disdain by the Afghan population, seven months after schooling was suspended.

The ban on girls' secondary education is basically dogmatic, emanating from, in my view, a deep-seated prejudice against women.

Who can in their right mind and in the name of Islam and Afghan culture take such a retrogressive step in the face of the ubiquitous emphasis in the Quran and hadith on learning and the Afghan traditional appreciation for knowledge!

The Education Ministry spokesman also mentioned that the ban came from the top (i.e, Mulla Hibatullah Akhundzada), referred to as Commander of the Faithful (Amir al-Mu'minin), indicating perhaps that the ministry had not proposed it.

Civil society, especially women leaders, parents and the girls themselves, are calling this as the "darkest day" and an intellectual blow for Afghanistan.

Parents spoke with emotion that their daughters were eagerly preparing to return to school. Many were seen crying at their school gates and elsewhere wiping their tears.

Former deputy education minister Thurayya Paikan, prominent women rights advocates Mahbuba Siraj and Monesa Mubariz, Afghanistan's former ambassador to Norway Shukria Barakzai, Strategic Studies Centre of Afghanistan director Atif Mokhtar, and leader of the Party for Intellectual Advancement of Afghanistan Saleem Paygir, among others, spoke forcefully in denunciation of the ban, coming also on the heels of similar restrictions on women's right to work.

The Taliban have no right to make such a momentous decision, especially when they lack popular mandate and came to power through coercive methods.

Seven months after their takeover, no country has yet to officially recognise the Taliban government.

Spokesmen and women leaders were askanced as to what kind of a society does the Taliban want. What do they try to make of Afghanistan — and what is their endgame? They have not explained their plans and programmes.

Former president Hamid Karzai had suggested earlier that the Islamic emirate should convene the traditional Loya Jirga (grand national assembly) and seek approval for their actions.

All are asking for immediate reversal of the ban, adding that the emirate is responsible in respecting and upholding people's rights, not to violate them.

Siraj and Paikan noted that people had remained patient and appreciative of the peace they enjoyed after some 40 years of turmoil, but that may be running out.

Civil protests on the streets of Kabul and provinces, especially by schoolgirls, has already started and likely to grow wider.

Paikan further noted that the Islamic emirate was breaking the promise made earlier that all schools will be opened after months of closure; the Taliban should know that breaking a promise is unacceptable in Islam.

Barakzai added that the Taliban were moving Afghanistan further away from progress and civilisation, wasting the hard-earned gains of the past decades.

The Afghan people and the international community seem to be seeing more of the fanatic side of the Taliban that has not changed since the 1990s when they ruled Afghanistan for five years (1996‒-2001).

The UN Security Council issued a resolution asking the emirate for immediate removal of the ban and opening of all schools.

The United States, European Union and virtually all leading countries of Europe have denounced the decision as a violation of basic rights and unacceptable. The US scheduled meeting in Doha on March 26 with a view to normalise relations was also cancelled.

I had quoted one of the Taliban spokesmen, Suhail Shaheen, who said the Taliban had changed from 20 years ago as they realised some of the mistakes they made and changed their views, especially with regard to female education that they now approve of.

It seems that this is not so. The fanatic side of Taliban has not changed.

On a more symbolic note perhaps, the Afghan people generally felt it was unnecessary and verged on self-styled dogmatism when months earlier, the Taliban replaced the traditional tri-coloured national flag of Afghanistan with their own white flag.

Both exhibited the same testimonial of the faith (the shahada) and there was no need to change the flag.


Mohammad Hashim Kamali is founding chief executive officer of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia.

Published in: The New Straits Times, Friday 01 April 2022

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2022/04/784993/taliban-have-not-changed

Lack of recognition haunts Taliban

Monday, 10 January 2022 13:58
Published in Articles

EVENTS are still unfolding but expectations are already dampened by the Taliban's performance in government after four months in power. Up to late December last year, only Malaysia has officially recognised it.

This is perhaps not highly significant given the fact that Malaysia has no diplomatic mission in Kabul and deals with Afghanistan through its embassy in Qatar.

Pakistan is generally seen to have actively supported the Taliban takeover of power in August last year but it has yet to officially recognise it.

The United States has not recognised the Taliban and according to its Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, it is not likely to do so unless the Taliban changes its stance on inclusivity and human rights, especially of women's rights to work and education.

Due to legitimacy issues, Washington is refusing to release US$10 billion of Afghanistan's reserves in the US despite public outcry in Afghanistan that those funds are sorely needed.

 
This was also followed in recent days by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's statement that in practice Afghanistan's official recognition is taking place. But, official recognition has not been forthcoming even from the Russians.

Other countries tend to follow the US and have refused recognition for similar reasons, saying that the Taliban should act on its promises first.

The Taliban considers the prevailing non-recognition as less than acceptable and unfair.

The Taliban maintains — and confirmed in a Jan 4 interview with First Deputy Prime Minister Mullah Baradar — that it fulfils all the requirements of recognition, take credit that security prevails under it, and that its policies are people-friendly and responsive to actual developments.

Earlier comments by some of the Taliban spokesmen claimed that the Taliban is not the same group as the one of 20 years ago (when it was in power from 1996 to 2001) and has changed in many ways.

Yet, it has not budged on its negative stance on women's rights despite the frequent comments by international commentators that the Taliban should change this.

Public expectations that the Taliban will be a people's government are also dampened due to a series of restrictions it is imposing on public activities. Media representatives are complaining of many restrictions.

An earlier announcement by the Taliban Ministry for the Promotion of Good and Prevention of Evil said the media should expose people to that which is good and beneficial and avoid coverage of futile activities.

There is talk that the Taliban is clamping down on music. People are expected to wear beards and the traditional shalwar-kameez outfit. Internally displaced and unemployed people are growing in numbers and further swelling the existing problems of poverty and deprivation.

The fears of drastic food shortages and increasing economic problems add to the gloomy outlook. About 90 per cent of Afghans currently live below the poverty line.

Banks were closed for weeks before it reopened but are still far from returning to their normal pace of activities. Government employees and workers are complaining of not receiving their salaries for months amid widespread unemployment.

There are fears of an impending humanitarian disaster due to worsening food shortages and rising prices. Recent announcements that the import trade volumes are declining is indication of an economic slowdown.

This is despite an earlier announcement by Pakistan that it is allowing India's export of food and medicine to Afghanistan though its territory.

Time is not on the Taliban's side. Problems are piling up and the people's view of it is also turning negative.

It bought time earlier by saying publicly that it needed to consult internally among themselves and formulate new policies, that it was new in office and had inherited a corrupt regime and so forth.

Instead, the Taliban has gradually come up with more restrictions and issued few reassuring statements to respond to public concerns.

What policies the leadership was consulting about and formulating should perhaps be discussed in the open and deliberated for better results.

People expect more effective measures to curb food supply shortages, declining market situations and financial activities.

The value of the Afghan currency, Afghani, versus the US dollar is in a free fall. It was 80 Afghani some months ago but it is now 104. Trading volumes in the Kabul Market and other major cities have also declined.

All this give fodder to the rumour that the Taliban is likely to collapse due to lack of funds, ineffective governance and lack of international support.


Mohammad Hashim Kamali is founding chief executive officer of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia.

Published in: The New Straits Times, Sunday 09 January 2022

Source: https://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnists/2022/01/761426/lack-recognition-haunts-taliban

January 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the current constitution of Afghanistan. Issues have arisen since then over textual ambiguities in the constitution as well as the locus of authority that can address and clarify them. Ambiguities are not unexpected with a new constitution.

The question is whether the constitution itself, and the institution it creates, are able to resolve and clarify the ambiguities in the way that fortifies the constitution and the rule of law.

Following the publication of the paper, Dr Kamali gave an interview expanding on his analysis and reflections. An edited extract of the interview can be found at (http://www.usip.org/olivebranch/afghanistans-prospective-unity-government-test-the-constitution). The full length transcript of the interview will be included in a forthcoming revised version of this paper.

 

Download full length publication from;

http://www.areu.org.af/EditionDetails.aspx?EditionId=770&;ContentId=7&ParentId=7&Lang=en-US

 

Also available in: Dari and Pashto.

This article advances an enquiry into President Hamid Karzai’s (r. 2001-2014) constitutional legacy with special reference to relations between the executive and legislature during his presidency. Before engaging in that enquiry, a brief account is given in the introduction of the developments during the months following Karzai’s exit from office. What happened during this period tends to accentuate the unresolved issues of Karzai’s presidency and put Afghanistan’s commitment to constitutionalism to the test. The events of the past six months also point to the need for clarity regarding the status of constitutional interpretation and judicial review, two necessary ingredients of constitutionalism that ensure the conformity of laws and government action with the constitution. Dysfunctional executive-legislature relations and ambiguities over matters of interpretation have often meant that disagreement over issues did not find prompt and effective solutions.

This article is structured with an introduction and six sections. The introduction takes a look, as already mentioned, at the developments after Karzai left office. The first section discusses the presidential system Afghanistan has adopted under the 2004 Constitution, and the succeeding two sections address constitutional interpretation and the question as to who has the power to interpret the Constitution. Sections four and five are devoted to a discussion of judicial review, and the conflict of jurisdiction over who has the power of judicial review in Afghanistan respectively. The
last section looks into the parliamentary powers with special reference to the use of the noconfidence vote by the Wolesi Jirga. This article concludes with a brief reflection back on the post-Karzai developments, the hitherto unmet challenges over constitutional issues Afghanistan is faced with, and the way forward toward solutions.

............ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

Available in three languages; 1. English 2. Dari, 3. Pashto

The plan for a “unity government” in Afghanistan that includes both of the top presidential candidates will test the integrity of the country’s constitution, according to a legal scholar who was chairman of the commission that conducted public consultations for the final 2004 constitution. USIP Program Officer Lillian Dang interviews Mohammad Hashim Kamali, an influential expert on Islam and legal issues and a United Nations advisor on constitutional reform................Read the full interview at: United States Institute of Peace

Introduction

In recent months Kabul, Washington and the Taliban have made overtures to work out a negotiated settlement for Afghanistan and plan the impending exit of foreign
troops from the country. Yet those gestures have not been followed through and the prospects are not getting any better – as the spate of recent violent episodes and perverted behaviour of some US soldiers over the war dead have shown. Time is running out and any further episodes will exacerbate the tension that flared up with the Qur’ān burning, the March 2012 massacre of 17 civilians, and the most daring Taliban attack on 15 April 2012 of five locations in as many provinces........ Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

The early version of this article appeared in The New Straits Times  (Kuala Lumpur) on 02 May 2012.

Abstract

This paper is presented in three parts and several sections. The first part consists of a stock-taking of recent developments and dynamics that have engaged President Hamid Karzai's governemnt ever since he came to power in December 2001. A mixed picture is presented which draws attention to many problems that have impeded reconstruction efforts in the country. Some positive developments have also occured including, for example, the introduction of a new constitution, presidential and parliamentary elections, as well as resumption of schooling for children that by mid-2006 had numbered four million throughout the country. An overview of the previous constitutions and a brief historical perspectives attempt to show how leadership flaws and internal differences in the royal household plunged Afghanistan into a succession of coups, foreign invasions, and catastrophic consequences for its people. Are there any lesson to be learnt? The second part of this essay focusses on a review and analysis of the 2004 constitutions with special reference to Islam, and the last part takes a similar approach to women's rights......... Download the full article in pdf attachment (below)

 

Mohammad Hashim Kamali. "References to Islam and Women in the Afghan Constitution." Arab Law Quarterly 22 (2008):270-306

Western Model Fails in Iraq, Afghanistan

Saturday, 10 July 2010 11:08
Published in Media Exposure

 

"Constitutionalism and democracy are seen by many, especially Western powers, as the routes towards peace. But the journey is unlikely to be smooth the whole way, writes Mohammad Hashim Kamali."

 

Published in New Straits Times Monday 05 April 2010

Afghan Peace Talks Hit Brick Wall

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 10:58
Published in Media Exposure

"Confidence-building measures are needed now to put fresh impetus in the stalling peace talks. This may involve a clear indication of interest, especially by the Americans, in peace negotiations. Further clarification over the military bases  is also needed as the assumption would hold otherwise that the US is planning a long-term stay in Afghanistan, which is seen as a recipe for continuation of conflict."

 

By Mohammad Hashim Kamali

New Straits Times

02 May 2012

 

Peace for Afghanistan Calls for a New Vision

Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:47
Published in Media Exposure

The security and economic situation in Aghanistan is now so untenable that only a radical rethink of American military policy and exit statergy towards the country can yeild results, writes Mohammad Hashim Kamali.

 

Newspaper Excerpt

 

This book is the revised version of Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali's doctoral dissertation "Matrimonial Problems of Islamic Law in Contemporary Afghanistan" which he completed at London University in 1976.

Other references:

"Reference to Islam and Women in Afghan Constitution," Arab Law Quarterly, 22 (2008), 270-306.

"Islam and its Shari'a in the Afghan Constitution 2004 with Special Reference to Personal law," edited by Nadjam Yassari, The Shari'a in the Constitution of Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt - Implications for Private Law, Tubingen: Mohr Sieback, 2005, 23-43.

"Islam in the Constitutions of Afghanistan," Bayan Journal (Kabul) vol. 6, no. 1 (July 2003), 1-15.


"Islam , Iconography and the Taloban," published in German translition in Berliner Zeitung (full-page magazine section), 10/11 MArch 2001, p. 5. The English version was published by Islam 21 (London), August 2001.

 

*Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1985, pp 265.

Copyright by HashimKamali 2012-2021. All rights reserved.