The Taliban prohibit trimming of women’s beards and cell phones

Taliban soldiers, with untrimmed beards, controlled the streets of Kabul. / AFP

Authorities in three Afghan regions issue restrictive circulars as the Emirate adopts the 1964 monarchical constitution

With each passing day, Afghanistan retreats in gigantic marches into the past. Since regaining power in mid-August, the Taliban seem bent on erasing all traces of modernity and gender equality. The latest demonstration has come from the hand of the circulars issued by the authorities of the provinces of Helmand, Kapisa and Tajar, in which from now on men will be prohibited from shaving or trimming their beards because, in the opinion of the Emirate, it is a sin . Nor will women be able to make use of smart mobile phones, in a new step that confirms the growing discrimination that they are already beginning to witness.

Residents of Kapisa confirmed yesterday to local media the restrictions adopted by the provincial department of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which has replaced the Ministry of Women. “We have been told not to shave or trim our beards in style. Whoever violates this will face legal penalties, ”laments Alem, a hairdresser from this region. According to the Afghan television channel Tolo TV, the order has also been replicated in Helmand and Tajar.

In light of the controversy that arose, Inaamulá Samangani, member of the Cultural Commission of the Ministry of Culture and Information, stressed that “the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has officially announced that this statement was not published by them and that it is on social networks that do not belong to the organization. In any case, the aforementioned regulations are already applicable in three provinces to the applause of some of their residents.

The circulars also limit the expenses in the weddings and it is prohibited to shoot into the air during the celebrations, which have left several victims in recent months. To this must be added that information has emerged about the plans that the Taliban are considering to restore amputations and executions in the country and that on Saturday they hanged four kidnappers killed during an operation in the city “as an example” to possible criminals.

The regime, in parallel, reported this Tuesday that it will temporarily adopt the monarchical Constitution of 1964, which granted women the right to vote. However, the Ministry of Justice was quick to clarify that everything that conflicts with the sharia and the principles of the Islamic Emirate will be discarded. The Taliban promised upon coming to power that they would be more inclusive, but when they presented their interim government earlier this month all the top positions went to hardliners and no women were included.

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