Taliban Islamise Afghan constitution, laws

KABUL, July 19,1998 (AFP) - The purist Moslem Taliban declared Sunday the deletion of all secular terms from Afghanistan constitution and applicable laws to bring their administration fully in line with Islamic law.

"After a full assessment, the council endorsed articles which were in conformity with Islamic Shariat (law), and amended and dropped other articles which were against the Shariat," Taliban radio Shariat announced.

It said Afghanistan's constitution had been changed to be based on Islamic law, but did not specify which of the country's variety of past secular constitutions the latest emerged from.

"All the laws and regulations applicable in the ministries, independent departments and organs were revised and repaired," the report said.

"All the non-Sharia and secular items were dropped as per an order of His Eminence (Taliban leader) Amir-ul-Momenin," it added.

A large team of senior religious scholars, ordered by Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar, toiled for two weeks on the task, the station reported.

They concluded their council Saturday with a suspension of Afghanistan's civil code, due to "reservations in view of the Sharia," and replaced it with a Sunni Moslem book.

Officials here said the new legal statutes, civil code and constitution were as yet not publicly available as they had yet to receive the final stamp of approval from the reclusive Omar.

Last year Omar declared himself Amir of the dusty war-torn and land locked state, now called an Emirate.

Meanwhile the militia's official paper -- called Shariat weekly -- slammed other Moslem countries for having secular consitutitions.

"The identity and reality of the political systems and governments are judged by the laws ruling them," Shariat said in a front-page editorial.

"If these governing laws are Islamic, we can certainly say these systems are Islamic," it reasoned. "Otherwise we can boldly state that these governments are not based on Islamic methods."

The Taliban control around two-thirds of Afghanistan including the capital Kabul and have imposed what they say is the world's only true example of a pure Islamic state.

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