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Taliban say neckties a sign of cross and must be eliminated

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KABUL – A senior Taliban official stated that neckties, worn by men, symbolize the Christian cross, and must be eliminated.

Mohammad Hashim Shaheed Wror, head of the Invitation and Guidance Directorate, a department promoting Islamic principles, highlighted the perceived Islamic implications of neckties in a speech aired on Tolo TV.

According to Wror, in Islam, neckties represent the cross, and he emphasized that the Sharia dictates breaking and eliminating this symbol. It is worth noting that the Taliban has not yet enforced any specific dress codes for men since assuming power in August 2021, but women are required to wear a hijab in public.

Traditionally, Afghan Taliban officials wear similar attire, including shalwar kameez, a waistcoat, and a turban. However, Western-style clothing has become less prevalent after the Taliban’s rise to power, though some professionals and TV newsreaders continue to wear collars and ties.

The history of the tie dates back to the 17th century and gained popularity as a fashion item in France. Previous Afghan governments, including during the Soviet occupation in the 1970s and 1980s, attempted to enforce dress regulations on the population, with government workers discouraged from wearing traditional clothes in favor of suits.

Even former president Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country after the Taliban’s takeover, preferred Western suits while abroad and traditional attire within Afghanistan. During their insurgency, the Taliban’s fighters typically wore shalwar kameez, but after assuming power, they introduced modern military uniforms for the armed services.

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