Taliban Spokesman Drops Bombshell: Women Must Hide Faces or Lose Value!

A spokesperson for a key ministry in Afghanistan’s Taliban government declared on August 17th that Afghan women would lose their value if men could see their faces uncovered in public. He also claimed that many religious scholars agree that women should cover their faces when outside their homes.

Molvi Mohammad Sadiq Akif, the spokesman for the Taliban’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue, said during an interview with the Associated Press that there is a possibility of fitna, or falling into sin in Islam, if women don’t cover their faces in public.

It is very bad to see women (without the hijab) in some areas (big cities), and our scholars also agree that women’s faces should be hidden,” Akif said. “It’s not that her face will be harmed or damaged. A woman has her own value, and that value decreases by men looking at her. Allah gives respect to females in hijab, and there is value in this.

But Tim Winter, who is the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity, disputed this statement by Akif, insisting that there is no scriptural mandate for face coverings for women in Islam and that the Taliban would struggle in finding anything in Islamic scripture that would back their interpretation of Islamic laws.

Their name implies they are not senior religious experts,” Winter told the Associated Press. “The word Taliban means students [in Pashto].

Winter also said that the Taliban operates based on textbooks used in religious schools and village madrasas. He also added that Muslim religious scholars who have been to Afghanistan during both periods of Taliban rule have been underwhelmed by their level of religious knowledge.

They have just been so isolated from the wider Muslim community,” Winter said.

Akif, who is the primary spokesperson for the Taliban’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue, did not answer about bans imposed on women in public life, such as prohibitions on women in places like parks and outdoor baths, including whether any of these bans would be lifted if everyone in Afghanistan universally adhered to their hijab rules. He said other departments could deal with these issues.

He also claimed that the Ministry of Vice and Virtue faced no obstacles in their work and that the Afghan people supported their measures.

People wanted to implement Sharia (Islamic law) here. Now we’re carrying out the implementation of Sharia.” All the decrees are Islamic rulings, and the Taliban have added nothing to them, he said. “The orders of Sharia were issued 1,400 years ago, and they are still there,” Akif said.

Under the current regime, according to Akif, men could no longer stare at or harass women like they used to do during the previous government. The Taliban also said that they destroyed the “evils” of drinking alcohol and the practice of bacha bazi, or the practice of wealthy and powerful men exploiting boys for entertainment, especially dancing and sexual activities.

The ministry also relies on a network of informants and officials to check if they are following the regulations set by the Taliban regime.

Our ombudsmen walk in markets, public places, universities, schools, madrassas, and mosques,” Akif said. “They visit all these places and watch people. They also speak with them and educate them. We monitor them, and people also cooperate with and inform us.

When asked if women can go to parks, one of the public spaces they are banned from, Akif said they could go as long as certain conditions are met.

You can go to the park, but only if there are no men there. If there are men, then Sharia does not allow it. We don’t say that a woman can’t do sports, she can’t go to the park, or she can’t run.” Akif said. “She can do all these things, but not in the same way as some women want, to be semi-naked and among men.

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