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After banishing Afghan women from political life, high school and air travel, or banning them from traveling without a male family member, the Taliban issued a decree on 7 May imposing women the wearing of an Islamic veil which must cover the face. But some resist the return of the burqa.
“When you wear this, you can’t even breathe. Even if they threaten to hang me, I won’t wear the burqa.” In Afghanistan, where the Taliban have again forced Afghan women to wear the burqa in public, women have decided to resist further tightening of restrictions on their freedoms.
They refuse to wear the hijab as defined by the Taliban regime, namely an Islamic veil must cover the face. In the streets of certain districts of Kabul, some Afghan women still dare to go out without covering their faces, but they are, since the publication of this decree, much rarer.
“Good Islamic dress covers from head to toe including the face, argues Mohammad Akif Muhajir, spokesperson for the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Repression of Vice. This order does not come from the Islamic emirate, but of Allah and the Quran. The application of the decree began the day we announced it. For now, we are explaining things and acting gently towards our sisters.”
A message that does not pass. “They insult us, explains a resident of Kabul, opposed to wearing the full veil. We can’t tell them anything because they have weapons and their fingers are always on the trigger. They don’t care that we are women, they don’t place no value on women. I’m not just standing up for my own rights, I’m standing up for the rights of all women in Afghanistan.”
The Taliban have warned that those who do not obey will expose their heads of families to prison.