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Music is forbidden in Islam, says Afghan Taliban

Zabihullah Mujahid, a senior Taliban official, after a briefing in the Ministry of Information and Culture in Kabul on Tuesday.Credit. Image Credit: Jim Huylebroek – The New York Times

One of the Taliban group leaders in Afghanistan, Zabihullah Mujahid, in an interview with New York Times has stated music is forbidden in Islam.

Despite the tense situation at the airport on Wednesday, where thousands of people were still crowded around most entrance gates, Mujahid expressed hope that the Taliban would build good relations with the international community, pointing out areas of cooperation around counterterrorism, opium eradication and the reduction of refugees to the West.

“Music is forbidden in Islam,” he said, “but we’re hoping that we can persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressuring them.”

Although he sought to convey a much more tolerant image of the Taliban, Mr. Mujahid did confirm one report: Music will not be allowed in public.

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“We want to build the future, and forget what happened in the past,”

However, Mujahid had earlier warned the women of Afghanistan that it might be safest for them to remain home until more rank-and-file Taliban fighters have been trained in how not to mistreat them.

“If they go to school, the office, university, or the hospital, they don’t need a mahram,” said Mr. Mujahid, who also serves as the Taliban’s chief spokesman.

He also offered assurances to Afghans trying to leave the country, saying — contrary to news reports based on his news conference on Tuesday, including in The Times — that those with valid travel documents would not be prevented from entering the airport.

“We said that people who don’t have proper documents aren’t allowed to go,” Mr. Mujahid said. “They need passports and visas for the countries they’re going to, and then they can leave by air. If their documents are valid, then we’re not going to ask what they were doing before.”

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