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Afghanistan: ‘Virtue’ ministry promotes separating women from men as ‘fundamental Islamic value’



In September, the Taliban replaced Afghanistan’s women’s ministry with its Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

This ministry now insists that separating men and women is a fundamental Islamic value. It is. Women in Islam are inferior, and gender segregation is routine in mosques and across Islamic countries.

In Iran, the practice is enforced from kindergarten. The Taliban has opted to follow Iran’s model of governance, even appointing a Supreme Leader of Afghanistan, and Iran has pledged to work with the Taliban.

The Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice isn’t new:

The Ministry of Vice and Virtue existed during the previous Taliban period, from 1996 to 2001, when it became a notorious symbol of arbitrary abuses, particularly against women and girls. The ministry ruthlessly enforced restrictions on women and men through public beatings and imprisonment. The ministry beat women publicly for, among other things, wearing socks that were not sufficiently opaque; showing their wrists, hands, or ankles; and not being accompanied by a close male relative. It barred women from educating girls in home-based schools, from working, and from begging.

Deplorably, ten countries signed a joint statement in a Moscow meeting in late October about “humanitarianism” in Afghanistan, which moved toward legitimizing the Taliban. The statement read:

It was stated that further practical engagement with Afghanistan needed to take into account the new reality, that is the Taliban coming to power in the country, irrespective of the official recognition of the new Afghan government by the international community.

This statement of tacit recognition of the Taliban is nearly as reprehensible as signing a statement of “practical engagement” with the Islamic State, which continues to take over territory in Africa and work toward establishing and expanding Sharia domains — the same goal as that which is held by the Taliban. Iran and China have gone one step further and legitimized the Taliban as the “interim government” of Afghanistan.

Wherever Sharia is implemented, women’s rights are curtailed. The stricter a country or territory adheres to the Sharia, which is considered divine law, the more women suffer.

“Afghanistan dispatches: Taliban Minister of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice insists that separating men and women is a fundamental Islamic value,” Jurist, November 16, 2021:

JURIST EXCLUSIVE – Law students and lawyers in Afghanistan are filing reports with JURIST on the situation there after the Taliban takeover. Here, a Staff Correspondent for JURIST in Kabul offers his observations on recent activities of the Taliban Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. For privacy and security reasons, we are withholding his name. The text has been only lightly edited to respect the author’s voice.

The Minister for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice said in a statement Tuesday that the Taliban are not against girls’ education, but men and women sitting together at a table is in contradiction to Islamic values. He further added that if the international community puts pressure on the Taliban for this reason, they will not leave their beliefs.

There have been reports that this ministry is looking into options to control the media, telecommunication, and other aspects of citizens’ lives. During the first Taliban-led government of Afghanistan in 1990s this ministry was one of the worst. Among other things, it publicly punished people because of Hijab and other small Islamic rules.

Until now, the ministry has gathered a number of times in the country and most recently there was a gathering in Mazar province. In this gathering the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice Director for this province was introduced. During the gathering, the minister said that former politicians such as Karzai, Abdullah, and Muslimyar are the politicians who should be asked about their wealth since they are living under the Taliban rule at the moment.

In provinces like Nangarhar, Takhar, Kapisa, Nuristan, and Kandahar the ministry’s officials have sent letters to barbers and public baths stating that no barber is allowed to shave anyone’s beard….

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