KEY POINTS

  • The new regulation is based on the Taliban's interpretation of the Islamic Sharia law
  • Afghan barbers say the regulation has now affected their businesses
  • The regulation comes after the Taliban "promised" a milder government

Barbers in a province in Afghanistan are now banned by the Taliban from shaving and trimming men’s beards as it “breaches Islamic law.” 

Hairdressers in Afghanistan’s Helmand province are also barred from playing music in their shops under the latest regulations imposed by the Taliban based on their interpretation of the Islamic Sharia law. 

"You are urgently informed that from today, shaving beards and playing music in barbershops and public baths are strictly prohibited," officials at the province’s Department of Virtue and Vice said in a statement, according to CNN.

"If any barbershop or public bath is found to have shaved anyone's beard or played music, they will be dealt with according to the Sharia principles and they will not have the right to complain,” the statement added.

Afghan barbers in the province said the ban has made it harder for them to make a living as residents now want to “blend in” to avoid being targeted by Taliban fighters. 

"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,” one barber, whose identity was not revealed for safety purposes, told BBC.

The Taliban had earlier promised that their current regime would be milder. However, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the insurgent group’s founders, has signaled plans to bring back executions and amputations as punishments despite previously promising a “milder” government. 

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi was quoted as saying by Associated Press. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”

Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, numerous reports have detailed harsh crackdowns and punishments carried out by the insurgent group. 

On Saturday, the Taliban hung four dead bodies from a crane at a city square of people who were killed during an exchange of gunfire early morning. The four dead bodies belonged to men who attempted to kidnap a local trader and his son hours before with the intention of taking them out of the city of Herat, the city’s deputy governor Mulwi Shir Ahmad Ammar told NBC News.

In early September, Taliban fighters reportedly whipped and beat a group of Afghan women who were protesting against the new all-male interim government, according to CNN.

Since the Taliban takeover, Afghans say job opportunities have dried up Since the Taliban takeover, Afghans say job opportunities have dried up Photo: AFP / Hoshang Hashimi