Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid in an interview with the New York Times assured that the Taliban “want to build a future and forget what was before,” and that the concerns about women’s rights in Afghanistan are unfounded. However, music in public places will be forbidden.
Music is forbidden in Islam, but I hope we can convince people of this position rather than force them to adopt it, said Zabihullah Mujahid. The declaration of the ban on music deviated from the general tone of the conversation in which the spokesman tried to portray the Taliban as a movement much more tolerant than its popular image, commented the announcement of their representative from the New York Times.
“We want to build a future and forget what was before,” declared the Mujahid in an interview published on Thursday, the first to be given to the Western editorial office since the Taliban took power over Afghanistan. – Fears that we will force women to stay at home, order them to cover their faces and oblige them to move only in the company of male guardians are unfounded – argued the spokesman. He added that women will only need the company of a male relative on journeys of more than three days.
Not all were “instructed”
The New York Times recalled that on Tuesday, however, Zabihullah Mujahid had advised Afghan women to stay at home for now, as not all Taliban fighters had been instructed to behave towards them, which put them in danger. He stressed that this was only a temporary solution and that, over time, women would be able to return to work and school.
The Mujahid also reiterated earlier announcements that people with valid travel documents (passports, visas) would be free to leave the country.
A Taliban spokesman also dismissed the accusations that the Taliban were looking for former US military associates, and stressed that such people may feel safe in Afghanistan. The Mujahid, however, criticized the mass evacuation by Western countries.
– They should not interfere in the affairs of our country and take our staff: doctors, professors and other people needed here (…) in the USA they can become dishwashers or cooks. It’s inhumane, he said.
Main photo source: AKHTER GULFAM / PAP / EPA