Women not wearing hijab ‘trying to look like animals’, Taliban posters say

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Kandahar (Afghanistan) (AFP) – Taliban religious police displayed posters in Kandahar city, southern Afghanistan, saying that Muslim women who do not wear Islamic hijabs that cover their entire bodies are “trying to look like animals”, a a manager confirmed on Thursday.

Since taking power in August, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on Afghan women, reversing the marginal gains they have made in the two decades since the United States invaded the country and overthrew the group’s previous diet.

In May, the country’s supreme leader and Taliban leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, approved an executive order stating that women should generally stay at home.

They were ordered to cover themselves completely, including their faces, if they were to go out in public.

This week, the Taliban’s Ministry for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Dreaded Vice, which enforces the group’s strict interpretation of Islam, posted posters across Kandahar City showing images of burqas, a type of clothing that covers a woman’s body from head to toe.

“Muslim women who don’t wear the hijab try to look like animals,” say the posters, which have been plastered in many cafes and shops as well as on billboards across Kandahar – the Taliban’s de facto center of power. .

Wearing short, tight-fitting and see-through clothes was also against Akhundzada’s decree, the posters say.

The posters appeared in many cafes and shops, and were also placed on billboards across Kandahar Javed TANVEERAFP

The ministry’s spokesperson in Kabul, the capital, could not be reached for comment, but a senior local official confirmed that the posters had been put up.

“We put up these posters and the women whose faces are not covered (in public), we will notify their families and take action according to the decree,” Abdul Rahman Tayebi, head of the ministry in Kandahar, told AFP. .

Akhundzada’s decree directs authorities to warn and even suspend from government jobs the male relatives of women who do not comply.

Outside Kabul, the burqa, which was compulsory for women during the first term of the ruling Taliban, is common.

On Wednesday, United Nations rights chief Michelle Bachelet slammed the hardline Islamist government for its “systematic institutionalized oppression” of women.

“Their situation is critical,” she said.

After their return to power, the Taliban had promised a softer version of their old system of severe governance, applied from 1996 to 2001.

But since August, many restrictions have been imposed on women.

Tens of thousands of girls have been excluded from secondary schools, while women have been prevented from returning to many government jobs.

Women have also been banned from traveling alone and can only visit the capital’s public parks on days when men are not allowed.

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