The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Inside the Taliban campaign to forge a religious emirate

By Susannah George

18 Feb 2023 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the group have been slowly eroding the country's justice system. This in-depth report from The Post provides details of what is happening on-the-ground.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, the group quickly launched what officials called a "purification" campaign aimed at stripping the country of civil laws and institutions to build an entirely Islamic society.

A year and a half later, the Taliban has gutted the country's justice system in its campaign to forge a religious emirate, by scrapping the constitution and replacing the legal code with rules based on a draconian interpretation of Islamic law. The Taliban has filled prisons to overflowing, deprived men and women of basic civil rights, and eroded social safety nets meant to protect the most vulnerable Afghans. It is also seeking to transform the media, using it to promote its vision for the country and restricting content deemed un-Islamic, including music and the presence of women.

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