The Islamic Emirate announced new rules regarding women’s covering or hijab on Saturday, saying it will be implemented in two steps -- encouragement and punishment – and defining the types of dress that women will need to wear when stepping out of home.
The plan was confirmed by Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the Islamic Emirate.
“If a woman doesn't wear a hijab, first, her house will be located and her guardian will be advised and warned. Next, if the hijab is not considered, her guardian will be summoned. If repeated, her guardian (father, brother or husband) will be imprisoned for three days. If repeated again, her guardian will be sent to court for further punishment, the plan reads,” said Akif Mahajar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Vice and virtue.
A statement from the Vice and Virtue Ministry of the Islamic Emirate reads that hijab is an obligation in Islam and that any dress that covers the body can be considered as hijab given that it is not “thin and tight.”
When it comes to the type of the covering or hijab that women will need to wear, the statement says that burka is the best type of hijab/covering “as it is part of Afghan culture and it has been used for ages.” It adds that another preferred type of hijab is a long black veil and dress that “should not be thin or tight.”
The statement, called “the descriptive and accomplishable plan on legitimate hijab,” also instructs women not to step out of home unless it is necessary, calling it one of the best ways of observing hijab.
The plan was announced by the Ministry of Vice and Virtue on Saturday at a press conference in Kabul.
The rules were published in a two-page statement and were approved by a seven-member team whose names and signatures are on the second page.
The plan, according to the statement, will be implemented through encouragement and punishment. The statement says that the benefits of wearing hijab need to be introduced to the people by media and mosques. Meanwhile, it says that messages about hijab should be written on banners in markets and other public places to encourage the people.
According to the new plan, if a woman doesn't wear a hijab, first, her house will be located and her guardian will be advised and warned.
Next, if the hijab is not considered, her guardian will be summoned. If repeated, her guardian (father, brother or husband) will be imprisoned for three days. If repeated again, her guardian will be sent to court for further punishment, the plan reads.
The statement also said that female public employees will be fired if they don't wear hijab.
Male public employees will be suspended from their jobs if female members of their families do not wear hijab.
The acting Minister of Vice and Virtue, Khalid Hanafi said: “This plan will be implemented and put into practice.”
The Islamic Emirate’s spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said they have paid sacrifices over the past two decades to implement Shariah law.
“The current world or the Western world wants to interfere so that we do not implement Sharia although our nation is Muslim,” he said.