Afghan Taliban Forcing Non-Muslims to Dress Differently

Indian Official Protests Decision

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KABUL, Afghanistan, MAY 22, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The ruling Taliban fundamentalists have begun to force non-Muslims to dress in orange or yellow.

The measure against foreigners and non-Muslims has begun in the province and city of Kandahar, the general headquarters of the Taliban.

The measure will soon be applied throughout the country, said Religious Police Minister Mohammed Wali. «Religious minorities living in an Islamic state must be identified,» the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

The UNI agency of India reported that the decree obliges all Hindu residents to dress in orange or yellow tunics, and place a yellow flag at the entrance to their homes.

The Indian Foreign Minister immediately protested against the measure, saying it discriminates against the Hindu minority.

UNI said the decree prohibits men from wearing a turban. The women must be totally covered by a yellow «burka,» with two small openings for the eyes.

Families must display a yellow flag outside their homes — internationally, the sign of infection — of at least 2 meters length. Moreover, Hindus are prohibited from living with Muslims and, henceforth, will not be allowed to build new places of worship.

The Taliban attracted worldwide criticism in March when they ordered, on religious grounds, the destruction of ancient statues of Buddha in Bamiyan.

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