I just finished reading a good book and don’t know what to do with myself. I’ve been living the story of two women living in the tumult and violence of Afghanistan for the past thirty years. The book “ A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini described the personal story of people trying to raise families and go about the business of life in a world full of political upheaval and war. It is a powerful story that helps me understand the overwhelming problems in Afghanistan. In spite of all the pain and tragedy this a story of hope, courage and victory. I highly recommend it.
The book lists some of the rules imposed by the Taliban on these people.
· All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something else you will be beaten.
· All men will grow their beard. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath your chin. If you do not abide by this you will be beaten.
· Singing is forbidden.
· Dancing is forbidden.
· Playing cards, playing chess, gambling and kite flying are forbidden.
· Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden.
· Special rules for women.
· You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for a woman to wander aimlessly around the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street you will be beaten and sent home.
· You will not under any circumstances show your face. You will cover with a burqa when outside. If you do not you will be severely beaten.
· Cosmetics are forbidden.
· Jewelry is forbidden.
· You will not wear charming clothes.
· You will not speak unless spoken to.
· You will not laugh in public. If you do you will be beaten.
· You will not paint your nails. If you do you will lose a finger.
· Girls are forbidden from attending school.
· Women are forbidden from working.
· If you are found guilty of adultery you will be stoned to death.
The faithful of the Taliban thought they were imposing the will of God. I find that frightening.