Taliban measure beards with lantern glass
Taliban religious police jail beard-trimmers for 10 days

Taliban will not provide any services to men without beards

November 6, 2000

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's ruling Taliban will not provide any services to men without beards, residents of the capital Kabul said Monday. A decree issued by Taliban's reclusive leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, copies of which were pasted at the gates of various government ministry buildings, said citizens without beards would not be considered for jobs or any other services. "Growing beard is the tradition of Islam's Prophet Mohammad that must be followed by Muslims," the decree said.

The latest decree from the Taliban, who rule 95 percent of the war-battered country, is part of its efforts to turn Afghanistan into the world's purest Islamic state. Soon after sweeping to power more than four years ago, the Taliban announced that beard-growing was compulsory. The radical movement, which sprang from religious schools mostly in Pakistan, has drawn criticism from the international community, including some Islamic countries, for its hardline policies, including restrictions on the activities of women.

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