Taliban leader stresses Sharia enforcement in Eid message, ignores girls’ education

KABUL, Afghanistan — In his Eid al-Fitr message, Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada underscored the stringent application of Sharia law, denied any “discrimination and disunity” within their ranks, and called for the proper upbringing of children. However, he conspicuously omitted any reference to girls’ education or women’s rights.

His message contained topics such as the enforcement of Islamic Sharia as well as education, security, economy, Palestine, relations with other countries, fighting drugs, instructions to Taliban officials, and helping the needy.

He called on the people to “responsibly” be satisfied and accept the decisions of the Taliban courts.

He called for enforcement of the Hudud, which includes capital punishment, corporal punishment and other types of punishments under Islamic Sharia.

Taliban have been under harsh criticism by the international community, as well as the Muslim world, for violation of basic human rights as well as corporal punishments.

Human rights organizations and the United Nations have constantly condemned the Taliban’s terms of punishment, including flogging and execution in public.

They also raised their concerns about the lack of access to legal protection in Taliban courts.


Without indicating girls’ education, the Taliban leader noted that every individual is obliged to educate their children and provide them with “religious education”.

“For the religious and modern education of the new generation, the Ministry of Education has broad structures in all provinces and districts and it has operationalized hundreds of religious and scientific centers,” said Akhundzada in his written message posted by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Saturday, April 6.

“In addition, orphanages are also established in various provinces and a number of districts aimed at providing daily care, education and sponsorship for all orphans, which are being managed by an independent administration,” he said.

Taliban has banned girls from attending secondary schools for three consecutive years. Moreover, women are banned from attending universities since December 2022.


Akhundzada pointed to the economic sector, urging the people to start businesses and play a role in the country’s economic growth.

“It is a Sharia responsibility to improve the economy of the people, the Islamic Emirate strives to meet the needs of its people within the limits of possibility, encouraging the establishment of businesses and public welfare activities, in order to provide employment and economic opportunities,” he said.

Afghanistan’s economy crashed after the Taliban takeover in August 2021. UN agencies have estimated that over 26 million of the country’s population are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Relations with other countries

Akhundzada also highlighted Taliban’s foreign policy as moderate and economic-based, urging other countries to create a trustable environment.

He said that they want relations with other countries based on mutual respect and goodwill and want others not to see this intention by the Taliban side with a doubt.

He said that in line with Islamic principles, they seek “good relations with others based on mutual respect and understanding”, and they urge “everyone not to entertain any doubts regarding the good intentions and sincerity of the Islamic Emirate.”

“Our commitment and dedication are firm, and we expect and demand respect for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, integrity, and dignity, ensuring that any disagreements are addressed through dialogue and with mutual respect,” he said.

So far, no country has recognized the Taliban regime in Kabul. Their ties with some countries in the region have also not been well so far. Taliban relations with Islamabad have recently deteriorated as Islamabad accuses the Taliban of supporting the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan—demanding practical acts against the TTP.

Fighting drugs

Akhundzada also emphasized a nationwide ban on the cultivation of poppy in Afghanistan by the Taliban, terming it his “great achievement”.

“The Islamic Emirate is determined to carry out this important task with firm resolve and decisiveness, seeking support and cooperation from its own communities, emphasizing the need for a drug-free Afghanistan,” he said.

“The people of Afghanistan are obligated to cooperate with the Mujahedeen in the implementation of the decree, tackling this issue,” he added.

Instructions to Taliban members

His message also included instructions to Taliban members. He said that their negligence in fulfilling their responsibilities is not considered as an excuse in Sharia and they should avoid differences among themselves.

“All officials must ensure that their duties are carried out effectively to uphold the rights of the people of Afghanistan in every ministry, province, region, and department. If any official neglects their responsibilities, their negligence is not excused under Sharia law,” he said.

“Officials should live a brotherly life among themselves, avoid disagreements and selfishness,” he said.

He said that “security does not come from being tough and killing more; rather, security is aligned with Sharia and justice”.

This comes as in response to the Taliban leader’s recent statements regarding the reinstatement of the sentence of flogging, execution and punishments, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said in public that it condemns it and that the Taliban should change their policies.