Taliban bans barbershops from shaving men’s beard, playing music in Helmand province

Barbers in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province are now prohibited from shaving men’s beards and playing music in their shops, according to a statement issued by the province’s Taliban-led department of virtue and vice. The new regulations mark the latest in a series of restrictions placed on the people of Afghanistan based on the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.

“You are urgently informed that from today, shaving beards and playing music in barbershops and public baths are strictly prohibited,” the local authority said Sunday in a statement. “If any barbershop or public bath is found to have shaved anyone’s beard or played music, they will be dealt with according to the Sharia principles and they will not have the right to complain,” the statement added. Moreover, the group has also issued a warning against ‘stylish’ hairstyles and has prohibited men from getting them. Apart from music, hymns have also been banned from the premises of the hairdressing salons. The latest restrictions on men come after a meeting between officials of the Ministry of Islamic Orientation and representatives of men’s hairdressing salons in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah. The group also has not allowed Afghan girls and women to resume secondary education, despite promising that female students would be allowed to study. When last in power between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban banned women and girls from education and work, and severely restricted their rights. Afghan boys have already been called to return to school.