Taliban supreme leader vows to stone women to death, promises to bring sharia 'into action'

By The Christian Post |
Kabul, Afghanistan
Kabul, Afghanistan | Wanman Uthmaniyyah | Unsplash
The Taliban's supreme leader promised in a recent voice message that it will punish adulterous women by stoning them to death in public, declaring that the radical Islamic group is acting in accordance with God while Western officials are of the "devil." 

Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada said in a voice message that the rights Western officials advocate for on behalf of Afghan women violate the Taliban's strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law, The Telegraph reported Thursday. The Taliban's supreme leader also vowed to uphold sharia and continue to fight against Westerners. 

Akhundzada has never been seen in public, and Afghanistan's state TV, which is under the Taliban's control, broadcasts voice messages that are purportedly from the group's supreme leader. Following the United States' 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's subsequent return to power, the group has continued to impose harsh restrictions on women. 

"You say it's a violation of women's rights when we stone them to death," Akhundzada was quoted as saying. "But we will soon implement the punishment for adultery. We will flog women in public. We will stone them to death in public." 

"These are all against your democracy, but we will continue doing it," he continued. "We both say we defend human rights — we do it as God's representative and you as the devil's."

The Telegraph reported that Akhundzada is believed to be in southern Kandahar, which has frequently served as a stronghold for the group. 

"Do women want the rights that Westerners are talking about? They are against sharia and clerics' opinions, the clerics who toppled Western democracy," Akhundzada said in his message. "I told the Mujahedin that we tell the Westerners that we fought against you for 20 years, and we will fight 20 and even more years against you." 

According to the Taliban's supreme leader, the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan does not mean that the group intends to "now just sit and drink tea." 

"We will bring sharia to this land," Akhundzada said. "It did finish after we took over Kabul. No, we will now bring sharia into action."

The international community has repeatedly condemned the terror group for imposing harsh restrictions on women, such as prohibiting them from attending universities. Not long after the Taliban banned women in December 2022 from seeking a university education, the group prohibited women from working at non-governmental organizations. 

Shortly after the Taliban returned to power, the radical Islamic group also issued a decree in May 2022 requiring women to conceal their faces and wear a full-body covering in public.

The decree included punishments for Afghan women's fathers or closest male relatives, who might be fired from their jobs or imprisoned if their female relative does not cover her face outside the home in the manner dictated by the Taliban.

Earlier this year, The Associated Press reported that Abdul Ghafar Farooq, a spokesperson from the Taliban's Vice and Virtue Ministry, said that the group has arrested women in the Afghan capital for wearing "bad hijab." Farooq told AP that the outlet had received complaints for two years about women not wearing the hijab correctly. 

The spokesperson did not say how many women have been arrested, nor did he explain what constitutes a "bad hijab," according to AP. Farooq told the outlet that ministry officials advised the women to follow the dress code, but when they did not comply, female police officers were dispatched to arrest the women.

"These are the few limited women who spread bad hijab in Islamic society," Farooq said. "They violated Islamic values and rituals, and encouraged society and other respected sisters to go for bad hijab."

Originally published by The Christian Post