The Taliban regime in Afghanistan is tightening its Islamic grip on Afghan society, with state interference pervading from people’s private lives to electronic journalism. What is common in the diktats of dress code is that they always preach to women the virtues of modesty and morality, with the country’s Vice and Virtue Ministry, in its latest clampdown on women’s freedom, making it mandatory for women news presenters to cover their faces on air. But now something weird has happened under the rule of Islamic despots.
The new mandate, when it first came in last week, saw sparse compliance, which made the ruling group enforce it last evening. Now men in newsrooms are covering their faces.
These Afghan men are seen in Western suits and not a hair out of place as they break stories on air with masks on their faces.
Weirder still, believing these men were women, a hashtag #Freeherface trended on Twitter — as the though the Taliban cares about Twitter campaigns — with journalists, both men and women and the Afghan diaspora posting masked-up photos of the men anchors.
Earlier in May, the Taliban had ordered all women to be covered from head to toe while out in public and to wear clothes in which only the eyes are visible. The obscurantist decree permits women to leave their homes only when necessary and lists punishments for men relatives if a woman violats the dress code. Men can even be jailed if the women refuse to comply.
During the Taliban‘s previous tenure in power in Afghanistan, they had imposed overwhelming restrictions on women, denying them education and barring them from public life, among other.