01/08/2024 Afghanistan (International Christian Concern) — The Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has cracked down on women who fail to observe the strict dress code, starting last week. Dozens of women have been arrested in the streets of Kabul and taken to unknown locations. The spokesperson for the Ministry referred to this as “bad hijab” and warned women they would continue tracking down those in violation of the rule.
This development comes on top of a multitude of restrictions Afghan women and girls are already facing, including restrictions on education, work, travel, and even healthcare. To be a Christian woman in Afghanistan would almost certainly bring a death sentence.
The brutal control of the Taliban has infiltrated every part of Afghan society, down to what its citizens can eat and drink, listen to, and even so far as to what they can wear. Several months after the terrorist group regained control of the country in August 2021, Taliban officials issued a decree outlining a strict Islamic dress code for women, allowing them only to reveal their eyes in public. Not only is this a grave infringement on the rights of women and girls, but it forces Afghan Christians and other religious minorities to adhere to the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Sharia law.
The U.S. State Department estimates that the Christian population ranges from 500-8,000 individuals in Afghanistan. As the Taliban reimplements strict laws from its earlier rule in the late 1990s, Christians have gone into hiding or have been forcibly displaced into neighboring countries. Reports have shown the Taliban has no mercy for individuals complacent to their radical laws.
In a press conference concerning the declining state of human rights in Afghanistan, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, Matthew Miller, said, “The decisions made risk irreparable damage to Afghan society and move the Taliban further away from normalizing relations with the international community.”
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