Taliban explains why it’s banning beauty salons

The Afghan morality ministry claims services are un-Islamic and cause economic hardships

Eyebrow shaping, the use of other people’s hair and application of make-up interferes with the ablutions required before prayers, the Taliban’s Virtue and Vice Ministry said on Thursday in justification of a controversial move to shut down all women’s beauty salons across Afghanistan.

Moreover, it’s customary that the cost of pre-wedding salon visits by the bride and her female family members is to be borne by the groom’s family, which causes additional economic stress, the morality ministry’s spokesman Sadiq Akif Mahjer argued, according to the Associated Press.

Whilst the move has drawn criticism from human rights defenders, the Taliban claims that the government has taken all necessary steps for the “betterment” of women’s lives in Afghanistan to “provide them with a comfortable and prosperous life according to the Islamic Shariah.”

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Taliban explains why it’s banning beauty salons
Taliban bans beauty salons

“Under the rule of the Islamic Emirate, concrete measures have been taken to save women from many traditional oppressions, including forced marriages, and their Shariah rights have been protected,” said the supreme leader of the Taliban, Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada.

Since seizing control of Afghanistan amid the botched withdrawal of US forces in August 2021, the Islamist group has been bringing all areas of life in the country in line with its strict interpretation of Islam. The Taliban has imposed severe restrictions prohibiting girls from attending schools beyond the sixth grade, barring women from many jobs as well as public spaces, like parks and gyms. Women are required to cover their faces in public and have a male chaperon for long trips.

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