The latest measures taken by the Taliban government in Kabul, particularly concerning women, such as access to education, the right to work, and the reintroduction of Sharia law, have highlighted (in case there was any need) the repressive and essentially misogynistic character of the new “emirate,” with its justifications based on tribal and religious traditions. Meanwhile, the country sinks into an unprecedented economic and social crisis, making it one of the poorest states in the world.
Yet in their first press conference after seizing power, the Taliban leaders reassured Western governments, who were concerned about what was happening, that women would be “very active” in their new Afghan society and their rights would be guaranteed. What was not made explicit on that occasion was that this recognition would be implemented according to the dictates of Sharia law, which was to be restored as the basis of the new legal system.
But who are the “New Taliban” who have seized power in Kabul? According to expert Domenico Quirico, there is a difference between the old militants, mobilized by Mullah Omar in the late 1990s, and the current ones. The former were recruited from among the students of the madrasas, Koranic schools, and the people of the Pashtun tribal belt. They were enlisted and armed by Pakistan’s intelligence services in order to control its neighboring largely tribal state through the Islamist movement, which, unlike al Qaeda, did not intend to export its “Islamic revolution” outside the country.