Taliban bans shaving or shaving barbershops in southern Afghanistan province

The order in Helmand province was issued Monday by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

KABUL: The Taliban banned barbershops in a southern Afghanistan province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming their edict is in line with Shariah, or Islamic, law. The order in Helmand province was issued Monday by the provincial Taliban government’s vice and virtue department to barbers in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

“Since I have heard I am heartbroken,” said Bilal Ahmad, a Lashkar Gah resident. “This is the city and everyone follows a way of living, so they have to be left alone to do whatever they want.”

During their previous rule of Afghanistan, the Taliban adhered to a harsh interpretation of Islam. Since overrunning Kabul on Aug. 15 and again taking control of the country, the world has been watching to see whether they will re-create their strict governance of the late 1990s.

Some indication came on Saturday, when Taliban fighters killed four alleged kidnappers and later hung their bodies in the public squares of the western city of Herat.

“If anyone violates the rule (they) will be punished and no one has a right to complain,” said the order issued to the barbers. It wasn’t immediately clear what penalties the barbers could face if they don’t adhere to the no shaving or trimming rule.

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