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Afghanistan: After banning education, music, Taliban ban restaurants and gardens for women in Herat

Authorities say the curbs are in place because of gender mixing or because women allegedly are not wearing the hijab, or Islamic headscarf, correctly.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Herat Published on: April 10, 2023 17:37 IST
Women protesting against the Taliban regime.
Image Source : AP Women protesting against the Taliban regime.

Kabul: As Afghanistani reeling under the grave atrocities under the Taliban, it has again announced a decree banning the entry of families and women in restaurants with gardens or green spaces in the country's northwestern Herat province.

The moves followed complaints from religious scholars and members of the public about the mixing of genders in such places, an official said.

It was the latest in a slew of restrictions imposed by the Taliban since they took power in August 2021. They have shut girls out of classrooms beyond sixth grade and women from universities, and most types of employment, including jobs at the United Nations.

Women are also banned from gym

They are also banned from public spaces such as parks and gyms. Authorities say the curbs are in place because of gender mixing or because women allegedly are not wearing the hijab, or Islamic headscarf, correctly.

Conditions for availing restaurants 

The outdoor dining ban only applies to establishments in Herat, where such premises remain open to men. Baz Mohammad Nazir, a deputy official from the Ministry of Vice and Virtue's directorate in Herat, denied media reports that all restaurants were off limits to families and women, dismissing them as propaganda.

It applied only to restaurants with green areas, such as a park, where men and women could meet, he said. “After repeated complaints from scholars and ordinary people, we set limits and closed these restaurants.”

He also denied reports that sales of DVDs of foreign films, TV shows and music are banned in the province, saying that business owners were advised against selling this material because it contradicted Islamic values.

Luckily, internet is not banned 

Shopkeepers who did not follow through on the advice eventually saw their shops closed, Nazir added. He also denied local media reports that internet cafes have shut down in Herat, but said that gaming arcades were now off-limits to children because of unsuitable content.

Some games insulted the Kaaba, the cube-shaped structure in the Great Mosque at Mecca toward which Muslims turn when praying, and other Islamic symbols.

"Internet cafes, where students learn and use for their studies, are necessary and we have allowed them," Nazir said. 

(With inputs from AP)

Also Read: Afghanistan: Women-run radio resumes broadcasts after shutdown

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