Taliban create bonfire of ‘immoral’ music equipment

HEART (AFP): Members of Taliban set fire to a pile of musical instruments and equipment on the outskirts of Herat.

Authorities from Afghanistan’s vice ministry created a bonfire of confiscated musical instruments and equipment in Herat province at the weekend, deeming music immoral.

“Promoting music causes moral corruption and playing it will cause the youth to go astray,” said Aziz al-Rahman al-Muhajir, head of the Herat department of the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Since seizing power in August 2021, Taliban authorities have steadily imposed laws and regulations that reflect their austere vision of Islam – including banning playing music in public.

Saturday’s bonfire saw hundreds of dollars worth of musical gear go up in smoke – much of it collected from wedding halls in the city.

It included a guitar, two other stringed instruments, a harmonium and a tabla – a type of drum – as well as amplifiers and speakers.

Women have borne the brunt of the new government regulations, and are not allowed in public unless wearing a hijab.

Teenage girls and women have been barred from schools and universities, and they are also prohibited from entering parks, playgrounds and gyms.

Last week, thousands of beauty salons were shuttered across the country after authorities deemed certain makeovers to be too costly, or un-Islamic.