A Taliban leader said that music will be banned in Afghanistan and women will need a male chaperone if they travel alone for a handful of days, while noting that the Taliban is looking to “build the future.”
“If they go to school, the office, university, or the hospital, they don’t need a mahram,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an interview with The New York Times, explaining that women need a chaperone, or “mahram,” during journeys of three days or longer.
Mujahid also explained that music in the country will be banned as it “is forbidden in Islam,” adding that, “we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressure them.”
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“We want to build the future, and forget what happened in the past,” he noted.
Mujahid had warned earlier this week that employed women in Afghanistan temporarily stay indoors until the Taliban trains security forces on “how to deal with women.”
“Our security forces are not trained [in] how to deal with women – how to speak to women [for] some of them,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday. “Until we have full security in place … we ask women to stay home.”
The Taliban recently said it will respect “women’s rights,” but various reports from the ground show a different story, and women are expressing fear that the Taliban will return to how it ruled from 1996-2001.
During those years, women were not allowed to attend school or work, could only leave their homes with the presence of a man and were required to wear head-to-toe coverings.
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One former Afghan journalist who fled the country in 2015, Rukhsar Azamee, spoke with Fox News’s “The Story” Wednesday and said her “heart goes out for all the women in Afghanistan.”
“They won’t have the opportunity to go to school, to go to college, and to have a right to work or just leave their house without a male. It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking. We’re also seeing the sign of those actions already. There are many women now, on state-owned TV stations in Kabul, that female journalists and TV presenters were not allowed to go back to work. Despite having, I.D., credentials to work. That is concerning,” she said.
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President Biden decided against extending his Aug. 31 deadline of withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan this week, and is now facing intense pressure to evacuate thousands of U.S citizens and others still in the country.
That pressure was further increased on Thursday, after a suicide bomb attack outside the Abbey Gate at Kabul’s airport killed four U.S. Marines and injured three others.
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“Mr. President, fix the mess you created. Stop running from it. We are still at war. You didn’t ‘end the war,’ you just gave the enemy new advantage. Go on offense, establish superiority, and don’t leave until all our citizens and allies are safe,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted in response to the violence on Thursday.