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The Layha for the Mujahideen: an analysis of the code of conduct for the Taliban fighters under Islamic law

31-03-2011 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 881, by Dr. Muhammad Munir

The following article focuses on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Rules for the Mujahideen to determine their conformity with the Islamic jus in bello. The author argues that many of the Taliban rules have only a limited basis in, or are wrongly attributed to, Islamic law.

Abstract

The following article focuses on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Rules for the Mujahideen to determine their conformity with the Islamic jus in bello. This code of conduct, or Layha, for Taliban fighters highlights limiting suicide attacks, avoiding civilian casualties, and winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the local civilian population. However, it has altered rules or created new ones for punishing captives that have not previously been used in Islamic military and legal history. Other rules disregard the principle of distinction between combatants and civilians and even allow perfidy, which is strictly prohibited in both Islamic law and international humanitarian law. The author argues that many of the Taliban rules have only a limited basis in, or are wrongly attributed to, Islamic law.

Annex: The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Layha [Code of Conduct] For Mujahids

Biography

Dr. Muhammad Munir is Associate Professor and Chairman, Department of Law, Faculty of Shari‘a and Law International Islamic niversity, Islamabad.


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