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Kabul Korrespondence

Fresh, factual, and funky view of Afghanistan and the surrounding Central Asian region

No worries for me!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Pakistani Taliban leader has warned local tribesmen to grow beards within the next two months in accordance with Islamic teachings or face harsh punishment, residents said Monday.

The threat came amid an apparent increase in incidents of militants trying to enforce Islamic Sharia law in Pakistan's tribal belt bordering Afghanistan, where the new government is trying to make peace with hardliners.

"Men must grow beards and stop shaving within the next two months," residents quoted senior Taliban commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad as telling dozens of people at a mosque in Khar, the main town in Bajaur tribal district.

Beards were mandatory under the harsh Taliban regime which ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 as part of a strict morality code that also made women wear the all-encompassing burka and outlawed music and other entertainment.

"It is un-Islamic to shave beards. Harsh punishments will be awarded to all violators," added Mohammad, the central vice chief of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistan Taliban Movement) and also a Muslim cleric.

Suspected Islamic militants have been meting out vigilante justice in the tribal belt and targeting "un-Islamic" hair salons, music and video shops with explosive devices for the past few years.

But activities have increased in recent weeks amid a lull in military operations and fighting since a new government took power after defeating President Pervez Musharraf's allies in elections.

posted by Travis, 9:38 am


or me! well for the moment :-)
commented by Blogger Big BAD Benny, 8:32 am  
commented by Blogger chenlina, 1:01 pm  

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