Taliban crack down against Valentine’s Day in Kabul

Kabul, Feb 14 (EFE).- The Taliban security forces on Monday forced markets in Kabul to shut down and destroyed some shops which had been decorated to mark the Valentine’s day, which the regime considers to be against Islam and Afghan traditions.

“Today we prepared our shops inside the market for Valentine’s Day to attract customers and the day started with a rush of couples and youth, but the Taliban security forces came and closed the main gate our market,” Naseeb, a shopkeeper at the capital’s Park shopping mall, told EFE.

Several members of the all-powerful ministry of propagation of virtue and prevention of vice also visited Koche Golfroshi, the main market selling gifts, artificial flowers and Afghan clothes in Kabul, to warn the traders to not mark Valentine’s Day.

“Today morning a member of the ministry of propagation of virtue and prevention of vice visited all the shops and told us to not follow this prohibited culture which is imposed by foreign countries,” a shopkeeper at the market told EFE on the condition of anonymity.

The security forces of the Taliban government also destroyed some decorated shops in the Kart-e-Se area, and blocked access to it for Afghan citizens who wanted to buy presents or do special shopping for the day of love.

A Taliban security official was deployed to keep the main door of the Park mall, who told EFE that “In the morning a lot of rash girls come without veils for celebrating this haram and banned day,” so “we come here to not allow people inside the market.”

However, some youth argued that Valentine’s Day was an occasion to celebrate the happiness in life and express mutual love between lovers, and did not go against Islamic values or Afghan culture.

“This is only a motive to celebrate the happiness of life, and show our love to each other and make ourselves happy, which does not mean we are adding something to our religious and culture”, Pari, a young Afghan woman, told EFE outside the closed door of the Park shopping complex.

Although Valentine’s Day is not part of the Islamic calendar or Afghan culture, during the rule of the recently-ousted government it was celebrated normally in Afghanistan.

This year, the first day of love since the Taliban seized power in mid-August was celebrated in Kabul despite being disrupted in parts. EFE


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