Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters in a press conference Tuesday that the terrorist organization is urging all women in Afghanistan to stay home for their safety, as the group has not yet taught its own terrorists “how to deal with women.”
Mujahid emphasized safety dangers for women under Taliban rule while repeating the jihadists’ promise that they would allow women to work in full-time jobs and leave the house without a burqa, or full-body covering – rights that the Taliban denied on a national level when it last controlled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.
The Taliban became the de facto government of Afghanistan on August 15 after surrounding the nation’s capital, Kabul, prompting former President Ashraf Ghani to flee. It currently has no formal recognition as a legitimate government but has endeavored to place its spokesmen in front of as many cameras as possible, promising the creation of an “inclusive” government that respects women’s rights.
Widespread reports of Taliban activity on the ground in Afghanistan over the past week suggest that terrorists engaging with civilians are ignoring their leadership’s messaging, torturing and killing civilians. Afghans have circulated gruesome videos of Taliban executions, denounced extreme torture (particularly against women), and reported multiple disappearances of former Afghan government workers and officials. The Pentagon confirmed last week that Taliban thugs have beaten U.S. citizens on their way to Kabul’s international airport.
During his press conference Tuesday, Mujahid claimed the Taliban had not received a single report of a killing, beating, or torture. “There is no danger for you,” he promised Afghan citizens desperate to flee the terrorist organization’s rule.
Mujahid appeared only to be referring to Afghan men in his promise of safety, as he shortly thereafter urged all women to stay home indefinitely because they may face violence from Taliban fighters.
“We are asking women to stay home at the moment,” Mujahid reportedly said, adding that not all Taliban jihadists know “how to deal with women” as per the rules the leadership has imposed, which he implied were far less repressive than the Taliban’s historic approach to women and girls. Mujahid said Taliban leaders would allow women out of their homes as soon as they could guarantee security, presumably from their own jihadis. Officials at the highest levels of the Taliban, he added, were working on a formal plan to ensure women would return to their full-time jobs safely.
“There are security concerns and once we have that under control, our sisters will be able to return to work,” Mujahid said, according to the BBC.
Mujahid had vowed, during his last press conference a week ago, that the Taliban would allow women to work “within the framework of sharia,” or Islamic law. Taliban jihadis did not allow women to leave their homes alone, much less work, during their first term running the country.
“The Islamic Emirate is committed to the rights of women within the framework of Sharia. Our sisters, our men have the same rights; they will be able to benefit from their rights,” Mujahid said last week. “They are going to be working with us, shoulder to shoulder with us.”
He suggested the health sector, education, and the legal system as examples of industries that could employ women. Asked about women journalists, Mujahid remained non-commital, claiming Islamic jurists would have to decide.
Afghan women journalists have denounced Taliban jihadis almost immediately banning them from reaching their offices to do their jobs, pressuring them to stay home.
“I wanted to return to work, but unfortunately they did not allow me to work,” Shabnam Khan Dawran, an anchor for Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), said of the Taliban last week. “They told me that the regime has changed and you cannot work.”
Mujahid notably chose a woman journalist to ask the first question at Tuesday’s press conference, though did not reportedly respond to any specific questions about women’s rights in journalism.
Elsewhere in the press conference, Mujahid emphasized the alleged lack of security concerns when addressing the situation at Kabul’s international airport, where thousands of panicked Afghans have convened in an attempt to get on rescue flights organized by foreign countries.
The chaos has resulted in multiple deaths due to stampedes and uncontrolled live fire situations. Several Afghans reportedly died trying to hold on to the outside of an American aircraft as it took off from the runway.
Mujahid blamed the U.S. government exclusively for any violence at the airport and urged, “please don’t encourage Afghans to leave.
“We are asking Americans, change your policy and please don’t encourage Afghans to leave. Don’t encourage our engineers, our doctors, our military. We need them,” Mujahid emphasized. “We need that talent. Don’t take them out to foreign countries.”
“The Islamic Emirate is really really trying to control the situation,” he continued. “The way to the airport is closed now. Afghans are not allowed to go there. Foreigners are allowed to go.”
The Taliban spokesman said the terrorists had chosen to ban Afghans from leaving the country through the airport because the American handling of the situation was so poor that many could die.
“We are not in favour of allowing Afghans to leave”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid adds it would be a “violation” of the agreement to allow evacuations of foreign nationals beyond 31 August
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) August 24, 2021
“We will not allow Afghans to go … because there is a danger that people might lose their lives, there might be a stampede … they [the Americans] shoot at people,” Mujahid said. “Come back to your homes, come back to your normal lives, there is no danger for you.”