First, the Taliban gave a deadline before it started blowing schools up; now it’s giving men in the Swat Valley a “grow-your-beards” deadline. And yet, for all the Taliban’s evident intolerance and totalitarianism, some U.S. “experts” suggest we have “talks” with these Islamic terrorists.
“Stop shaving beards: Taliban’s edict for Swat men,” from the Hindu, January 21:
Islamabad (PTI): Days after banning girls’ education in the troubled northwestern Swat valley [by blowing schools up], the Pakistani Taliban has directed men in the region to wear Muslim skull caps and stop shaving their beards.
In an edict issued on Tuesday, the militants set January 25 as the deadline for the residents to start wearing caps and growing beards.
They said that after the expiry of the January 25 deadline, no man would be allowed to trim his beard as the Taliban were trying to establish a “complete Islamic society“.
“The move was in the best interest of the people,” they said.
The step is being seen as part of the Taliban’s efforts to implement their self-styled Islamic laws in Swat, located just 160 kms from Islamabad.
Taliban have already issued a diktat to the barbers in the valley to resist from shaving and trimming beards, following which all the barbers have displayed posters saying “Shaving is banned” at their salons.
Earlier, the militants have banned girls’ education from January 15. Some 400 private schools in the Swat valley of the North West Frontier Province closed down last week.
In the wake of the ban, the Taliban have destroyed at least seven more schools in Swat, including two that were blown early this morning.
The total number of schools torched or blown up by the militants has risen to nearly 190. The education of about 100,000 students, including 45,000 girls, has been affected by the destruction of these schools.