The Taliban has ordered government officials to wear a beard and adhere to dress codes, as provided by their hardline interpretation of Islam. On Monday, March 28, representatives of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice visited government offices, enforcing the new order.
According to Reuters, members representing the ministry “were patrolling the entrances to government offices.” They were making sure employees were compliant with the new rules.
Aside from prohibiting them from shaving their beards, government employees must wear peran, a long, loose top, and turbans.
The Taliban also prohibited government employees from wearing western clothes. The new order included a reminder to pray correctly, five times between dawn and before sunset, as recommended by Islamic laws.
Bilal Sarwary, an Afghan journalist, tweeted a photo showing men gathered around the entrance of the foreign ministry office. Employees told Sarwary that the Ministry said, “if they don’t grow beards and stop wearing suits, they won’t be allowed to enter the ministry premises.”
#AFG Foreign ministry employees were prevented from getting into the ministry, Vice and Virtue of Taliban warned them, if they don’t grow beards and stop wearing suites, they won’t be allowed to enter the ministry premises, employees at foreign ministry tells me. pic.twitter.com/tF5ePfUHFy
— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) March 28, 2022
Muhammed Sheer, a government worker in Kabul, said he was barred from going to work because of his trimmed beard. “The Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice people stopped us for a couple of hours and warned us that you should come with a long beard next time or risk losing your job,” Sheer said.
In less than a year after seizing power, the Taliban effectively backtracked on its promises prompting protests from the international community. U.S. representatives withdraw from meeting Taliban negotiators over the school issue and piling cases of human rights abuse.
Earlier this month, the Taliban announced that schools would be open for girls and then withdrew the decision. Women’s rights advocates, students, and parents were outraged at the Taliban’s callous decisions.
The U.S. was scheduled to meet with the Taliban in Qatar to discuss critical economic concerns, including the sanctions imposed by the west.
Aside from policing government officials and their beards, the Taliban also announced that parks would be segregated and prohibited foreign shows. This includes blocking media outlets like the BBC, Voice of America, and Deutsche Welle, a state-owned news agency from Germany.
According to the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, women will be allowed to visit parks for three days, while men on the remaining four days of the week.
This means that even married couples and their family cannot visit parks together.