Ban on Shaving Beards for Hairdressers in Afghanistan

In the Afghan province of Helmand, the Taliban have banned hairdressers from shaving or trimming beards. This is yet another manifestation of the strict interpretation of Islamic laws that the movement had promised not to enforce strictly.


Yesterday barbers in Helmand received a letter signed by the Ministry of Promoting Virtue and Combating Immorality stating that they cannot touch beards. Doing so will result in punishment and public humiliation for both the hairdresser and the client. Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary reports this in a tweet.

Salons in Kabul have also been told to stop “following American styles,” the BBC reports. They have also heard that the Taliban are planning to send soldiers incognito to check on it.

Immediately after the takeover, the Taliban promised a more lenient approach than their earlier reign in the 1990s, where they applied a strict interpretation of Sharia. Now, a few weeks later, their actions seem to contradict this. Increasingly strict regulations are being introduced by the infamous Ministry of Promoting Virtue and Combating Immorality.

In addition to the beard shaving ban, the Taliban have imposed strict restrictions on female students, there have been new executions and hand amputations, and public hangings have resumed. If this trend continues, Afghanistan will be back to square one in no time.

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