As if the profound and devastating human cost of the Taliban's rise in Afghanistan needed any further illustration, this is it:
Even as Afghanistan's resurgent Taliban pledged to respect "women's rights" in a propaganda blitz Tuesday, fighters from the group shot and killed a woman in Takhar province after she went out in public without a burqa.
This week, the Taliban is encouraging women to return to work and girls to go back to school, where headscarves are being handed out, according to The Associated Press. But a damning photo shows a woman in district Taloqan, Takhar province, lying in a pool of blood as her parents and others crouch around her, a pitcher on the ground nearby. She was shot and killed for going out without a burqa.
Brutal as this is, it is not, unfortunately, all that surprising. The Taliban's promise to respect women's rights was explicitly qualified: the militant group was "guaranteeing all their rights within the limits of Islam."
The type of Islam practiced by the Taliban has a lot of "limits" on women's rights—something that is painfully evident now and will surely become only more so in the days ahead.
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