The Taliban has prohibited some Afghan barbers from shaving or trimming beards, as the militant group expanded its hardline rule based on Islamic law just a month after seizing control of the country.
According to the BBC, the Taliban has prohibited barbers in Afghanistan’s Helmand province from shaving or trimming beards, claiming that it violates their interpretation of Islamic law.
The Taliban’s religious police have stated that anyone who violates the rule will face punishment.
Some barbers in Kabul’s capital said they had received similar orders.
Despite promises of a more moderate form of government, the instructions suggest a return to the strict rulings of the group’s previous tenure in power.
According to the BBC, Taliban officers posted a notice in Helmand province salons warning hairdressers that they must follow Sharia law for haircuts and beards.
“No one has a right to complain,” the notice, which was seen by the BBC, read.
“The fighters keep coming and ordering us to stop trimming beards,” one barber in Kabul said.
“One of them told me they can send undercover inspectors to catch us.”
Another hairdresser, who owns one of the city’s largest salons, said he received a phone call from someone posing as a government official. They told him not to shave or trim anyone’s beard and to “stop following American styles.”
During the Taliban’s first tenure in power, from 1996 to 2001, the hardline Islamists outlawed flamboyant hairstyles and required men to grow beards.
However, clean-shaven looks have become popular in recent years, and many Afghan men have visited salons for fashionable haircuts.
However, the barbers, who have not been identified for their own safety, claim that the new rules are making it difficult for them to make a living.
Another barber in Herat stated that, despite the fact that he had not received an official order, he had discontinued offering beard trims.
“Customers don’t shave their beards (because) they don’t want to be targeted by the Taliban fighters in the streets. They want to blend in and look like them.”
Despite lowering his prices in order to save money, his business has dried up.
“Nobody cares about their style or hair fashion,” he said, the report added.