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Afghanistan: Eye-for-an-eye Sharia penalty returns to the courts


“And we prescribed for them in it, Life for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and retaliation for injuries. But whoever forgoes it, this will be expiation for him. Whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed, such people are wrongdoers.” (Qur’an 5:45)

This can create a cycle of revenge and retaliation that never ends.

“Eye-For-An-Eye Sharia Law Returns To Afghanistan Courts,” Agence France-Presse, December 21, 2022 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Ghazni, Afghanistan: Kneeling in front of a turbanned judge in a tiny room at the Ghazni Court of Appeal in eastern Afghanistan, an old man sentenced to death for murder pleads for his life. The 75-year-old admits to having shot dead a relative — out of revenge, he says, because of rumours he had sexual relations with his daughter-in-law. Under eye-for-eye sharia punishments, officially ordered by the Taliban’s supreme leader for the first time last month, he faces public execution — with the sentence to be carried out by a relative of his victim. “We have made peace between the families,” the old man pleads. “I have witnesses who can prove that we have agreed on compensation.” AFP had rare access to a court in Ghazni to see how sharia justice is being administered since the Taliban returned to power in August last year…. Islamic law, or sharia, acts as a code of living for Muslims worldwide, offering guidance on issues such as modesty, finance and crime. However, interpretations vary according to local custom, culture and religious school of thought. Taliban scholars in Afghanistan have employed one of the most extreme interpretations of the code, including capital and corporal punishments little used by most modern Muslim states. The difference between the system of the former government and today “is as big as the earth and the sky”, says Mohiuddin Umari, head of the Ghazni court, between sips of tea. – ‘God guides us’ – Officials in Ghazni have shunned the use of its formal Western-style courtroom, and proceedings instead take place in a small side room, with participants sitting on a carpeted floor. The cramped room, heated by an old wood stove, has a bunk bed in a corner, on which religious books and a Kalashnikov rifle are placed. The young judge, Mohammad Mobin, listens impassively before asking a few questions. He then orders another hearing in a few days — giving the old man time to gather witnesses who can testify that the families have agreed to what he says. “If he proves his claim, then the judgement can be revised,” Mobin says. If not, “it is certain that the qisas (an eye-for-an-eye) enshrined in the sharia will apply”…. Ghazni court head Umari insists the sharia system is much better than the one it replaced, even while conceding that officials need more experience. Afghanistan was ranked 177th out of 180 of the most corrupt states in 2021 by the NGO Transparency International and its courts were notorious for graft, with cases held up for years. “The Islamic Emirate is showing transparency,” says Umari, using the Taliban’s designation for Afghanistan. Many Afghans say they prefer their chances in sharia courts with civil cases, arguing they are less prone to the corruption that bedevilled the system under the previous Western-backed government….

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