File photo: A man hits a woman with a whip in front of a crowd in Ghor province. Photograph:( Reuters )
Many Afghans were alarmed when the Taliban reinstated the Ministry for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which had been abolished following the US occupation and was known for its strict interpretation of Islamic law.
The 'Ministry of Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,' which was banned after the US invasion of Afghanistan, has reappeared under Taliban authority in the war-torn country.
According to the New York Post, the infamous ministry was known for implementing the Taliban's strict interpretation of Sharia law, which included a prohibition on women leaving their homes without a male companion and a ban on music and other forms of entertainment.
"The main purpose is to serve Islam. Therefore, it is compulsory to have Ministry of Vice and Virtue," Mohammad Yousuf said, who heads the central zone of Afghanistan.
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"We will punish as per the Islamic rules. Whatever Islam guides us, we will punish accordingly. Islam has its rules for major sins. For example, killing someone has different rules. If you do it intentionally, if you know the person and intentionally kill the person, you will be killed back. If not intentional, then there might be another punishment like paying a certain amount of money. If there is a theft, the hand will be cut off. If there is illegal intercourse, the violators will be stoned," he further said.
"We just want a peaceful country with Islamic rules and regulations. Peace and Islamic rulings are the only wishes we have," he added.
Women were obliged to wear a burqa and not go outside without a male guardian during the Taliban's last reign, which lasted from 1996 to 2001.
Prayer times were imposed harshly, and males were forced to grow beards.
According to the New York Post, moral police were established in every street to punish violators with harsh punishments like whipping, amputations, and public executions.
On the streets of Kabul, signs of such incidents have begun to reappear.
Yousuf is from Baghlan province and claims to have attended conventional school through ninth grade.
Following that, he studied Islam for 13 years before going on to “preach the wisdom of Islam” for the past decade, although he insists that he has never received military training or fired a single bullet.
He stated, "All we want is a peaceful country with Islamic rules and regulations."
Yousuf further mentions that the revived Vice and Virtue Ministry, now directed by Mohamad Khalid, will most likely relocate to the same building as the Ministry of Interior, which is led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has a $5 million bounty on his head.
(With inputs from agencies)