When the Taliban-led government says it is implementing Islamic law in Afghanistan, it is referring to its own strict Sunni interpretation of Shari'a.
There is no universal Islamic law, because Shari'a is open to different interpretations among the five main schools of Islamic jurisprudence: four Sunni schools of thought and a Shi'ite school.
Thus the Taliban's version of Islamic law differs from Shari'a in other predominantly Muslim countries, including other mostly Sunni countries.
In fact, many scholars insist Western media is overly narrow when it defines Shari'a as "Islamic law."
"Shari'a includes large areas of personal conduct not generally covered by legal rules in many societies," says Nathan Brown, a professor of political science at George Washington University. ...
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