There should be no compulsion in faith and Islam respects the rights and freedoms of women, the former head of the Islamic Community in Bosnia, Dr. Mustafa Ceric, said in a letter he addressed to the Taliban and their leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar, arguing that those are not the messages the group is currently sending to the people of Afghanistan.
“As I watch your return and entry into Kabul through the open door of the Presidential Palace, I have mixed feelings. I don't know whether to rejoice or grieve? Joy may be in that you came back as liberators after twenty years of persecution, but the sadness is greater as Afghans flee from you. They are running away from your threats of sharia law,” the letter says.
“I wish your return to Kabul was like the return of Muhammad, a.s. in Mecca. I would like you to remember in the Shariah, to which you refer, the Prophet's message to the Quraysh after the fatwa, the liberation of Mecca: “Go, you are free.” Instead of that universal message, you have told Afghans, especially women, that they are free under Sharia. This is not a universal but a Taliban message, which is not in the spirit of Sharia,” it said.
Authentic Sharia Law is only possible within the framework of freedom and not the other way around, he argued, pointing out that the universal message from the Qur’an is that “there is no compulsion in faith.”
“The secret of the success of Islamic culture and civilization, which has survived all historical despotic dynasties and tyrannies, is within that universal message. Has Islam not abolished infanticide, the infanticide of a female child, and freed a woman from slavery?” he noted, arguing that in the teachings of Islam, women are considered the “pillar of the family” and should “not to be kept in a closed cage, but to have her human, women's rights to freedom respected.”