The Taliban's draconian new rule for Afghan men: 'NO CHOICE'

·2-min read

The Taliban have banned shaving or trimming beards in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, saying it breaches Islamic law.

Local daily newspaper Etilaatroz reports the Taliban's religious police announced the decision during a meeting with barbershop owners on Sunday, and anyone caught violating the new rule will be punished.

Taliban officers have since posted a notice on the front of salons stating hairdressers must follow Sharia law for haircuts and beards.

"No one has a right to complain," the notice read, according to the BBC.

 (Left) An Afgan man has his beard shaved at the Fazal Mohammad Barber Shop March 4, 2003 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Right)A barber cuts shaves beard at a shop in Khost, Afghanistan on September 23, 2021. Source: Getty Images
Taliban local officials have issued a ban on shaving beards in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand. Source: Getty Images

An official letter issued by Taliban authorities has also been shared on social media, which warns hairdressers and barbershops of consequences if it is proven that they have shaved someone's beard.

Some barbers in the capital Kabul have reportedly also received similar orders.

Barbers, who have not been named to protect their safety, told the BBC the new rules are making it hard for them to make a living.

"For many years my salon was somewhere for young people to shave as their wish and look trendy," one said.

"There is no point to continue this business."

The Taliban regime's official spokesman is yet to make a comment.

A Pakistani hairdresser styles the moustache and beard of a customer at a hair salon in Peshawar on March 6, 2018. Source: Getty Images
Clean-shaven looks become a fashionable sign of freedom following the fall of the Taliban's strict, extemist regime in the late 1990s. Source: Getty Images

Sign of a return to Taliban’s past rulings

Men were forced to grow beards during the Taliban’s first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.

But since then, clean-shaven looks have become a popular and fashionable sign of freedom.

Despite promises of a milder form of government, the new instructions indicate a return to the previous regime, which saw public lashings, limbs amputated and people stoned to death. 

The Taliban's spokesman announced new government appointments in a press conference in early September. Source: Reuters
Afghans and governments worldwide are watching to see whether the militant Islamists will govern more moderately this time. Source: Reuters

Since the Taliban seized control of the country last month, the regime has imposed gender-based segregation on university classes and prevented women from working in public. In addition, girls are not allowed to attend school beyond sixth grade.

On Saturday, the Taliban displayed the bodies of four men it alleged were kidnappers in the western Afghan city of Herat.

With AAP

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