Afghanistan: Taliban leader bans music; says it’s against Islam, women require male chaperone before travelling

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Despite promises that the Taliban group will be more liberal than they were 20 years ago, the terrorist group that has taken over Afghanistan is demonstrating that their policies have not changed much.

A Taliban leader has declared that music will be banned in Afghanistan and that women will be required to travel with a male chaperone on multi-day trips.

In an interview with the New York Times, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated that while women will eventually be allowed to return to work and travel to schools and hospitals, longer-distance trips will require a male chaperone.

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 He also stated that music will be prohibited in the country.

“Music is forbidden in Islam,” Mujahid explained, “but we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things rather than pressuring them.”

Still, he believes that things will be different under the Taliban regime than they were under the previous regime.

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Rejecting reports that the Taliban is already exacting vengeance on those who opposed them, Mujahid stated, “We want to build the future and forget the past.”

According to the New York Times, he believes the Taliban will allow women to return to work in the future as long as they wear a head covering. He went on to say that fears that the Taliban would force women to stay inside or cover their faces are unfounded.

He also stated that those with proper travel documents will be able to leave the country and that his regime will not go after former interpreters and others who have worked with the American military over the years, but he expressed disappointment with American evacuation efforts.

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 He stated: “They should not interfere in our country and take our human resources, such as doctors, professors, and other professionals. In America, they could work as dishwashers or cooks. It’s heinous.”

However, he remains optimistic that the Taliban will be able to establish positive relationships with the international community, claiming that they have already collaborated with international leaders on issues such as counterterrorism, opium eradication, and the reduction of refugees to the West.

 Mujahid’s comments come just a day after he told a press conference that women should stay inside “until we have a new procedure” in place, while the Taliban trains its forces not to harass women.

He stated: “We are concerned that our forces, which are new and have not yet received adequate training, will mistreat women. We don’t want our forces to harm or harass women, for God’s sake.”

Meanwhile, he said, women’s salaries would be paid in their homes, echoing what Ahmadullah Waseq, deputy of the Taliban’s cultural affairs committee, told the Times: the Taliban has “no problems with working women” as long as they wear hijabs.


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