Afghanistan: compulsory hijab and music ban in the car

Status: December 26, 2021 4:29 p.m.

When they seized power, the Taliban promised moderation in Afghanistan. However, the latest orders show that doubts are justified. It is currently affecting drivers – and especially women: They are only allowed to ride in a hijab.

A good four months after their brutal takeover of power in Afghanistan, the Taliban are gradually tightening more areas of public life. In the future, it is now forbidden to listen to music while driving a car. This emerges from a letter from the Ministry for the Preservation of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice that has been spread on the streets. The Ministry’s spokesman, Mohammed Sadik Asif, confirmed the order.

Women must wear hijab

In addition, women are deprived of other rights. They are only allowed to ride in the car if they are wearing a hijab. How exactly this should look like is not apparent from the arrangement. As a rule, however, the Taliban understand this not only to mean covering the hair and neck, but also a cloak from head to toe.

In addition, drivers are encouraged not to take women with them who want to travel more than 45 miles (about 72 kilometers) without a male companion. In the letter, which was also circulated on social media, motorists were instructed, among other things, to take breaks to pray. And they should advise men to grow beards, it said.

The Taliban continue to manifest their power and increasingly curtail women’s rights. If they want to travel more than 45 miles, this will in future only be possible with a male companion.

Image: AFP

Taliban dissolve electoral commission

The Taliban are also tightening their course in restructuring the political order. The radical Islamists dissolved the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission. There is no need for these bodies, said Taliban government spokesman Bilal Karimi. He has also said that the Ministries for Peace and Parliamentary Affairs have recently been abolished.

The election commission, established in 2006, had the task of organizing and monitoring presidential and other elections in Afghanistan. Former Afghan government representative Halim Fidai condemned the dissolution of the commissions. The decision shows that the Taliban “do not believe in democracy”. The former governor accused the radical Islamists of securing their power “through bullets and not through elections”.

Taliban dissolve electoral commission

Tagesschau 04:28 a.m., December 26th, 2021

The Taliban had regained power in Afghanistan in mid-August. So far, no country has officially recognized the Taliban leadership, which assumed the promise that its new rule over the country would be more lenient than it was in the 1990s.

Decisions such as the re-establishment of a ministry for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, however, raised doubts about the assurances of the Islamists.

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