Our business at a standstill, say Ghazni barbers

GHAZNI (Pajhwok): Barbers in southern Ghazni province say their work has come to a standstill following restrictions on trimming beard and cutting stylish hairs.

The Vice and Virtue departments have imposed new restrictions in various provinces, including Ghazni. The departments have asked people not to shave beards and avoid growing stylish hairs.

The barbers in Ghazni say the vice and virtue department officials had many time visited them, asking them not to shave people’s beards and cut hairs in English style, otherwise they would be punished.

As a result, they said their business has been badly affected and they could not support their families now.

Shah Mohammad, a barber in Ghazni city, told Pajhwok Afghan News that his work had come to a standstill following the restrictions.

He said the vice and virtue department officials had visited all barber shops and warned them against shaving beards or making English style hair cut. In case of volition, their shops would be closed and they would be punished, he added.

“Since that orders, my work has come to a standstill, I paid the shop rent, electricity bill and salaries of assistants from my own pocket,” he said.

Another barber, Attaullah, said they had been told not to trim people’s beards and make stylish hairs and this had badly affected their business.

“We are facing starvation due to lack of work. We cannot trim anyone’s beard or stylish hair cut out of fear.”

A number of young people in Ghazni said they could not shave their beards and grow stylish hairs after the restrictions imposed by the Amar Bil Maroof wa Nahi Anil Munkar department.

A youth, Gulab Khan, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the curbs had upset the people, especially the youth and the government should be lenient.

He said he grew beard and had so far not tried to make stylish hairs following the restrictions imposed by the vice and virtue department.

The vice and virtue department says the barbers could not disobey their orders.

Mualvi Mohammad, director of the department, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they had asked all barbers not to trim people’s beard and avoid English hair cut as per their principle and policy of the Islamic Emirate.

“Because these actions are against Islamic tradition and local and foreign religious scholars are against it,” he said. He added that according to the hadiths of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), it was forbidden to shave one’s beard, which is a grave sin.

He said barbers in Ghazni city and all districts had been directed not to shave people’s beard and avoid English style haircuts.

Besides trimming beard and avoiding stylish haircuts, the restrictions include not listening and playing  music in the media, weddings and other places.  A woman cannot travel alone in a taxi or rickshaw and cannot sit in the front seat of a taxi. Women have been asked to observe the Islamic hijab.


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