Taliban ban Helmand barbers from trimming beards

Taliban ban Helmand barbers from trimming beards
Since the Taliban left power, hair salons have become increasingly popular among Afghan men. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: The Taliban has ordered barbers in Afghanistan’s Helmand province not to shave or trim beards, saying it breaches their interpretation of Islamic law.

Taliban religious police say, anyone violating the rule will be punished.

Some barbers in the country’s capital have said they also received similar orders.

The instructions indicate a return to the strict policies and rulings of the Taliban’s past tenure in power, despite promises of a milder form of government.

Since taking control of Afghanistan last month, the group has carried out harsh punishments on opponents. Taliban fighters shot dead four alleged kidnappers on Saturday and their bodies were hung in the streets of Herat province.

In a notice posted on salons in southern Helmand province, the hardline Islamists group warned that hairdressers must follow Sharia law for haircuts and beards.

“No one has a right to complain,” the notice read.

One barber in Kabul said: “The fighters keep coming and ordering us to stop trimming beards. One of them told me they can send undercover inspectors to catch us.”

Another hairdresser, who runs one of Kabul’s biggest salons, said he received a call from someone claiming to be a government official. They instructed him to “stop following American styles” and not to trim or shave anyone’s beard.

During the Taliban’s first tenure in power from 1996 to 2001, the group banned flamboyant hairstyles and insisted that men grow beards.

But since then, clean-shaven looks have become popular in the country and many Afghan men have gone to salons for fashionable cuts.

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