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If accused of a crime, citizens hold the right to be informed of the charges, to representation by an advocate, and to presumption of innocence. Article 34 states, "Freedom of expression shall be inviolable. Every Afghan shall have the right to express thoughts through speech, writing, illustrations as well as other means in accordance with provisions of this constitution.

Every Afghan shall have the right, according to provisions of law, to print and publish on subjects without prior submission to state authorities. Directives related to the press, radio and television as well as publications and other mass media shall be regulated by law. Article 16 of the constitution states that "from amongst Pashto , Dari , Uzbeki , Turkmani , Baluchi , Pashai , Nuristani and other current languages in the country, Pashto and Dari shall be the official languages of the state.

Article 20 states that the Afghan National Anthem Wolesi Tarana "shall be in Pashto with the mention of "God is Great" as well as the names of the tribes of Afghanistan.

The constitution's provisions on religion drew international controversy in , when Afghan-born Abdul Rahman , a convert from Islam to Christianity outside Afghanistan, was threatened with the death penalty for apostasy. Rahman was released under international pressure on the theory that he was insane and that the case against him had "investigative gaps," and found asylum in Italy.

Democracy and Islam in the New Constitution of Afghanistan

The constitution itself was not changed in response. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

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Administrative divisions. Provinces Governors Districts.


Recent elections Presidential: Parliamentary: Foreign relations. Other countries Atlas. Further information: National Assembly Afghanistan. Further information: Judiciary of Afghanistan. Further information: Afghan Cabinet of Ministers. Further information: Provinces of Afghanistan. Further information: Districts of Afghanistan. Further information: Religion in Afghanistan. Further information: Human rights in Afghanistan. Further information: Languages of Afghanistan. Elections for the national assembly were still held, though the results were manipulated.

Nevertheless, there was economic progress through a series of five-year development plans within the state-dominated economic system. Meanwhile, continued expansion of the modern educational system and the gradual unveiling of women helped to swell the ranks of the frustrated intelligentsia. The third Afghan constitution. A long-standing problem that had first arisen between Afghanistan and the British government of India over a large territory on the Afghan side of the frontier, which had nevertheless been declared part of the British sphere of influence in the Anglo-Afghan agreement of see boundaries iii , became acute after , when it was incorporated by the new state of Pakistan Kakar, , pp.

The shah was to nominate members of the cabinet, but they could be confirmed only by a vote in the assembly, to which they were to be accountable. Judges were to be appointed by the shah but to function independently. All Afghan citizens were guaranteed the rights of free expression, of peaceful assembly, and of association.

The police could neither make arrests nor enter private homes or confiscate property without warrants granted by the courts. Furthermore, individual freedom was guaranteed, except for those found guilty of crimes in the courts. The free press blossomed once again, and political parties became active under the protection of free association, even though they had still not been explicitly legalized. The minority of national and liberal democrats included a few leftists and women.

The assembly often failed to achieve a quorum and was frequently in conflict with the government. The leftist members were particularly outspoken. All these factors contributed to a general atmosphere of instability. In addition, the shah refused to sign bills passed by both houses of parliament to permit organization of political parties, provincial councils, and municipalities, and thus self-government was prevented from taking root at all levels.

He also refused to recognize the governmental authority of the cabinet. The fourth Afghan constitution. The national assembly was to sit for only four months a year and had the power only to question cabinet ministers, who were to be appointed by the president. The coup brought the P. Nevertheless, frequent rebellions weakened his government and increased his dependence on support from the Soviet Union. The expressed aim was to guide the Afghans in the creation of a society of human beings free from exploitation of one another.

The constitution was based on the political structure that was already in existence. The rights to free expression, sanctity of the home, and peaceful assembly were again guaranteed; people were to be accused, arrested, and punished only in conformity with the law; individuals were to be presumed innocent until found guilty in court. The P. Followers not only of Islam but also of other faiths were guaranteed the freedom to practice their religions Kakar, forthcoming, pp.

This constitution represented an ideal, but it had little effect on Afghan society as a whole. States could take any number of steps to do this. Some are as simple as encouraging amicus briefs. Courts could also hire research staff with expertise in all the major strains of Islamic thought in the country. Courts should be required to publish and distribute widely their opinions in cases of Islamic review.

Dissenting opinions should be permitted—at least insofar as this creates pressure on judges in the majority to engage respectfully with views that they do not personally hold. Public discussion about court opinions should be encouraged so that courts have a chance to see how their reasoning is being received. Freedom of speech on this subject needs to be strongly protected. Third, countries should try to ensure that the courts have incentive to engage with the views of the public. In some cases, the incentive occurs naturally.

The justices thus calibrated their decisions to avoid crossing red-lines for either the executive or Islamists, and they made a point to justify their decisions in terms that had maximum appeal. Today the SCC continues to have incentive to reach out to traditionalists and conservatives because those groups control the elected branches of government. In such countries, designers should take steps to ensure that the courts performing Islamic review retain enough independence to be trusted, but at the same time are forced to be sensitive to majority intuitions about Islam and are encouraged to try and integrate them as far as reasonably possible into their interpretation.

There are several ways that this could be done. The most dramatic would be to institute a system of hybrid dialogic Islamic review—something that has been flirted with but never fully adopted in any Muslim country. For this to be attractive, however, a country must be genuinely confident in the quality of their democratic system. In particular, they must be satisfied that any political institutions with the power to override judicial decisions are genuinely representative of the populace. In some countries, then, carefully cabined, informal mechanisms of pressure may be more attractive than formal override.

Finally, in setting up SGC enforcement schemes, Islamic democracies will be obliged to do more than simply ensure that their law is consistent with an interpretation of Islam that is widely accepted as legitimate within their societies. Islamic democracies by definition always have a constitutional obligation to respect at least some liberal rights. Different countries may understand rights differently—some, indeed, may adopt very thin understandings of rights. Once the country develops a democratic ally legitimate interpretation of rights, the institution interpreting the SGC must read Islam to be consistent with that understanding.

In other words, if rights guarantees require the state to act one way, the SGC cannot be interpreted to prohibit the state from doing so. The public may, however, be unwilling to accept the opinions of rights experts on questions of Islam or vice versa. If so, rights guarantees must interpreted by one institution and the SGC by another. Still, a mechanism such as cross-staffing can enable the two institutions to inform each other. Alternatively, the institution performing rights review could be required to consult with the institution performing Islamic review and vice versa.

The institution performing one type of review might even be required to seat ad hoc on every panel one member of the institution performing the other type of review. In countries that do not generally permit legislative override of judicial decisions, it might make sense to permit override in cases of incompatible interpretations of rights guarantees and Islamic guarantees.

During the pre-modern era, many Muslims embraced a principle that state law is legitimate only if it is consistent with Islamic legal principles. In the modern era, this principle has been constitutionalized in a growing number of countries through the mechanism of a Sharia Guarantee Clause, which requires all state law to conform to Islamic principles.

Contemporary Muslims disagree deeply, however, about what constraints these clauses place upon a state. Whatever consensus existed in the pre-modern era about Islamic legal authority has collapsed. Muslims in every country today are contesting basic questions of Islamic law—questions of Islamic authority, questions of interpretive method, and questions about what types of law a state can legitimately enact without violating the fundamental principles of sharia.

Not surprisingly, countries with SGCs have struggled to determine what institution should be entrusted with the power to develop an official interpretation for the state and impose it.

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By choosing one institution over another, a state can greatly affect its legitimacy in the eyes of particular Islamic factions. Since different institutions are prone to interpret Islam in different ways, a state can also shape the amount of discretion that it has to pursue certain policies. Over the past one hundred years, states with SGCs have employed a wide variety of enforcement schemes. Many less-than-democratic regimes have not even bothered to try and develop an SGC with broad appeal.

They have simply decided to ensure that it satisfies some favored sub-set of Muslims and allows the government to pursue policies to which they are committed. A recent turn towards democratization is making that type of policy unsustainable. Countries that are constitutionally committed both to Islamic rule and to democratic rule will need to develop institutions that can identify an interpretation of Islam that will be accepted as reasonable by a broad cross section of the citizens in a country and must impose it through mechanisms that these citizens accept as democratically legitimate.

The Constitution of Afghanistan and Women’s Rights | SpringerLink

The interpretations they develop will have to be consistent as well with any rights guarantees in the constitution. In developing democratic SGC enforcement schemes, rulers can draw insight from debates in liberal democracies around the world about how states can most demo cratically enforce rights guarantees. They can learn as well from the experience of those Muslim states that have tried to develop SGC enforcement schemes that will generate and impose broadly legitimate interpretations of Islam.

Taken together, these two sources do not suggest any one model that will be correct for democratic Islamic countries.