The Ministry of Vice and Virtue emphasized once again that female presenters on television should cover their faces. According to the ministry spokesperson, women presenters are obliged to use masks during television programs starting tomorrow, Sunday.
The ministry spokesperson also told TOLOnews that the decision was final and that there was no room for discussion on this issue.
The Ministry of Information and Culture also supports the decision of the Ministry of Vice and Virtue, said Zabiullah Mujahid.
Two days ago, the Ministry of Vice and Virtue and the Ministry of Information and Culture issued the order verbally to media outlets.
“Some media outlets reported that the Ministry of Vice and Virtue had recalled its decision about the female journalists, saying they can carry one of their TV programs without wearing a mask. This news is not true at all and on Sunday any woman who appears on the TV should cover their face with a mask,” the ministry said on Twitter.
“Hijab is an order which was issued several days ago, which is for every Afghan without exception. We call on all Afghans and sisters to observe it. It is a religious order,” the Islamic Emirate’s spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said.
“It was very difficult for me to run my programs while having a mask on. I was very uncomfortable,” said Yalda Ali, a female anchor.
“It is very difficult to run a TV program which lasts for more than three hours with a mask which is issued in the decree,” said Tahmina, an anchor of TOLOnews.
The question has been raised about whether wearing masks while running TV programs is practiced in other Islamic countries.
“In accordance with the general views of Fiqh and agreements in Hanafi religion, covering the face of a Muslim woman while she has no make-up on, is not a Sharia hijab,” said Fazal Hadi Wazeen, a member of the International Islamic Scholars Union.
“Unfortunately, we see the closings of schools, and wearing masks on TV channels has become mandatory on TV. This is not seen in any country, not even in Islamic countries. This change and interpretation and culture belongs to the personal ruling of the country," Mahamood Marhoon, a university instructor.
The decision of the Islamic Emirate to force female TV presenters to wear masks while presenting their programs has faced strong criticism on social media.