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Last Sunday, August 15, the President of Afghanistan , Ashraf Ghani , fled Kabul with a small number of collaborators, which led to the entry of the Taliban to the capital and their seizure of power.

Thus, the flag of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is already flying in the presidential palace and it is feared that the fundamentalists will re-apply Islamic law, the ‘ Sharia ‘, in its most radical and extreme form, as they did between 1996 and 2001.

The so-called ‘ reign of terror ‘ in the late 1990s was a very dark time for Afghanistan. The Taliban sowed fear and stripped their citizens of basic rights. Women and girls were the most affected by the rules and punishments of the fundamentalists, since they had to submit to the will of men and their voice did not count.

Now, although the Taliban try to portray a somewhat more moderate image, the international community fears that crimes as horrible as those committed in the past will happen again. In fact, last Wednesday, the fundamentalist group shot down demonstrations in cities like Jalalabad , 150 kilometers from the capital.

Although women are the most threatened by the new Taliban regime, no one is exempt from the restrictions and punishments of Islamic law applied to the extreme. The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan has published some of the rules that both men and women must adhere to in those regions controlled by the Taliban if they do not want to face harsh physical punishment or even death.

The standards that both men and women must meet
Some of the prohibitions and regulations that the Taliban impose on both men and women are:

  • Listening to music is prohibited .
  • It is forbidden to watch movies , television and, ultimately, any type of video.
  • It is prohibited to celebrate the traditional New Year (Nowroz) on March 21, as the Taliban consider it a pagan holiday.
  • It is prohibited to celebrate International Labor Day as it is considered a communist celebration.
  • It is forbidden to have a non-Islamic name . All those who do not have an Islamic name will have to change it.
  • All young Afghans are required to shave their hair .
  • All men should wear traditional Islamic clothing and something to cover their heads with.
  • It is forbidden to shave or trim the beard , which must grow long enough to protrude from the fist if it is held below the chin.
  • Everyone is obliged to go to the mosque to pray five times a day .
  • It is strictly forbidden to breed and play with pigeons or any other type of bird , as it is considered anti-Islamic. Those who violate this rule will be jailed and the animals euthanized.
  • Anyone is prohibited from flying kites or other toys considered anti-Islamic.
  • Spectators of sports activities will have to encourage the players with chants of ‘ Allah-o-Akbar ‘ (God is great), and they will be prohibited from clapping.
  • Anyone carrying ‘questionable’ literature will be punished.
  • Anyone who converts from Islam to another religion will be executed.
  • All men who study (women are prohibited), are required to wear a turban on their head .
  • Non-Muslim minorities must distinguish themselves with a badge or sew a yellow cloth on their clothing to differentiate themselves from the rest of the population.
  • The use of the internet is prohibited , both for nationals and foreigners.

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