The content of the banners installed by the Department of Vice and Virtue in the southern province of Kandahar have sparked reactions.
The European Union’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, said on Twitter that the “step between likening people to animals and ... treating them the same way is often short. And neither of these actions seems characteristic of a respectable, legitimate or recognizable ‘government’ that cares about the citizens or about its own reputation in the world.”
But the Ministry of Vice and Virtue said that the content of these banners doesn’t mean to disrespect human rights.
“The meaning of the sentence is that humans have a precious position for God. Thus it should keep its position and the hijab is a dignity for Muslim sisters,” said Akif Mahajar, a spokesman for the Ministry of Vice and Virtue.
A part of the banner says that those women who do not observe Hijab are likening themselves to animals.
“No problem can be solved via force, but it will be solved with flexibility and slowly with time passing,” said Nisar Ahmad, a resident of Kandahar.
The remarks mentioned in the banner faced reactions of other Afghan citizens as well.
“Thank God our women are Muslim. It doesn’t mean if they don’t wear burqas they are animals. They are Muslim and they observe Hijab,” said Ihsan, a resident of Parwan.
The reaction comes as the Ministry of Vice and Virtue earlier ordered taxi drivers to not carry women without their male guardians.