Taliban begin removing pictures of women from beauty salons in Kabul

Kabul, Dec 22 (EFE).- The Taliban have begun to remove images of women from beauty salons in Kabul for supposedly being anti-Islam, a member of the radical group told EFE Wednesday.

“This is the decision of the Islamic Emirate (the name used by the Taliban for themselves) made in the cabinet meetings and suggested by the Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” said Niamatullah Barakzai, a municipal spokesperson in the Afghan capital.

He added the decision to remove the women’s faces from shop windows – many of which had already been blackened due to fear of reprisals following the capture of Kabul on Aug.15 by the Taliban – would soon be implemented across the country.

“This decision will be implemented throughout Afghanistan, but we are only responsible for implementing it in all the 22 districts of Kabul province,” said Barakzai.

Moreover, the spokesman said that the measure not only affected posters at beauty salons but all images considered to be contrary to Islamic law by the fundamentalists.

An official at the powerful Ministry of Virtue, located in the same building that formerly housed the Ministry of Women, however denied issuing an order for removing the pictures of women.

“So far we have not made any action and neither issued any order (in this regard),” said Mohammad Sadiq Akif.

The owners of shops and beauty salons claim that this order to remove the posters is a new setback for their business, especially amid the severe economic and humanitarian crisis in the Asian country.

“We attract most of our clients thanks to photographs and posters, especially those who cannot read and are guided by the images,” Razmina Rasooli, owner of a beauty salon in the Afghan capital, explained to EFE.

Before the Taliban seized power, her business had somewhere between 30-40 clients every day.

“These days it has reduced to 10-15 and some days we don’t have even a single client,” rued Rasooli, whose salon helps support her six-member family.

The Taliban have claimed that they will allow women to work and study, but have so far banned secondary and higher education for girls until a so called ideal environment could be created for them to return to classrooms.

The Islamic fundamentalists have also limited women’s return to certain jobs, triggering international condemnation. EFE


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