Taliban bans shaving beards in Helmand province
News Desk || risingbd.com
Taliban local officials have issued a ban on shaving beards in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, local media have reported.
The Taliban's director of information and culture, Hafiz Rashed Helmand, told a local daily newspaper that the decision was made by the Taliban's religious police during a meeting with barbershop owners in the province.
An official letter issued by Taliban authorities has been circulating on social media, in which Taliban officials in the province warned barbershops of consequences if it is proven that they have shaved someone's beard.
Quiffs, mohawks, and crew cuts were hairstyles Herat barber Nader Shah was accustomed to styling for image-conscious young men.
But since the Taliban swept to power last month, Afghans have little cash to spare and fear being punished for sporting short or fashionable cuts.
"Before, people came and asked for different hairstyles, but it's simply not like that anymore," Mr Shah said.
During the Taliban's first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, the hardliners banned flamboyant hairstyles and insisted men grow beards.
After they were ousted, being clean-shaven was often considered a sign of modernity, including in the relatively cosmopolitan western city of Herat.
"Now people come here and they only ask for simple cuts," Mr Shah said.
"They also don't shave their beards, so it's a problem now."