The False Inclusivity of the Taliban’s Emirate

Al Jazeera, 2020

5 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2020

See all articles by Mehdi J. Hakimi

Mehdi J. Hakimi

Harvard University - Harvard Law School; Stanford Law School

Date Written: October 26, 2020


The Afghan peace process entered a pivotal phase with the start of the long-awaited intra-Afghan negotiations in Doha on September 12, 2020. Shortly after the talks commenced, however, the process was stalled due to disagreements over the procedural rules for the negotiations. One of the two main points of divergence concerned the Taliban’s insistence on a particular Islamic jurisprudence—the Hanafi fiqh—as the sole religious basis for the negotiations.

These preliminary disputes, while frustrating, help lay bare the contours of the Taliban’s real vision for Afghanistan. For a long time, the group’s default answer to questions regarding their approach to governance, from elections and judicial philosophy to free speech and women’s rights, consisted of a well-rehearsed and vague notion: an “inclusive Islamic” emirate. That vagueness, however, is slowly dissipating.

This essay argues that there is a blatant inconsistency between the Taliban’s mantra of inclusion and praxis of exclusion. The Islamic emirate’s recurring duplicity must serve as a reminder of the perils of hastily taking a leap of faith towards the Taliban. A lasting peace, after all, is possible only through a genuinely inclusive process—not through one masquerading as such.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Islamic Law, Shari’a, Afghan War, Taliban, Terrorism, ISIS, Daesh, Al Qaeda, Doha Agreement, United States, Peace and Conflict

Suggested Citation

Hakimi, Mehdi J., The False Inclusivity of the Taliban’s Emirate (October 26, 2020). Al Jazeera, 2020, Available at SSRN:

Mehdi J. Hakimi (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Law School

1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Stanford Law School

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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