Setting up checkpoints in picnic sites in the northern Faryab province, the Taliban morality police or vice and virtue operatives of the group has launched a campaign of advising the people to observe “Islamic orders” and adjust their picnics to Islamic Sharia in the province.
Abdul Moqayyet Islamjar, a senior official of the group’s morality police in Faryab, has personally showed up in these picnic areas in recent days, recommending the people on picnic to have “proper funs” in line with the Islamic orders.
“Listening to rhythmic music is prohibited while on picnic and those who go on picnics must avoid listening to it,” he has stressed to the people in picnic sites.
This comes ahead of Nawroz, the start of the Persian new year which is widely celebrated across Afghanistan mostly with music, entertainments, and socializing in open air and green nature.
The local Taliban morality police official said to another group of people on picnic that “we have come to here to make sure prohibitions are observed” recommending the youth people that they must attend Friday prayers in a nearby mosque.
Shawkat (not his real name), who has heard these orders from Taliban’s morality police, complained that the group is disrupting the people’s personal lives and put them under “mental and psychological” pressures.
“Doing body check-ups in greenery [picnic] sites is interfering in the people’s personal lives and makes people to regret from going to picnic. We return after being psychologically harassed, instead of enjoying the picnic and visiting the green nature,” he added.
Most of the people in Afghanistan go to picnic days before and after Nawroz together with their male and female family members.
The Taliban, however, has set up specific week days for picnic based on gender, separating men and women, to visit amusement parks.