Afghan authorities order Kabul residents to pray in mosques

Mosque in Kabul.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue has ordered the residents of the 7th district of Kabul to attend mosques to pray.

According to a five-point announcement released by the ministry, all shopkeepers must close their shops at 12:30pm on Fridays and be present in mosques for congregational prayers.

Secondly, shopkeepers have been ordered to pray five times a day in congregation and close their shops during prayer times.

Thirdly, worshippers should be informed about the duties and obligations of prayer in the mosque as well as the correct pronunciation of the prayer.

Fourthly, people have been asked not to play musical instruments and sing in wedding and other happy gatherings.

Fifthly, utensil rental shops have been told not to rent utensils to those who play instruments in their gatherings.

It is not clear why the edict has only been issued to one district in Kabul, although sources have told 5Pillars this could be extended to other areas as well.

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The Islamic Emirate have been in power for over a year now and up to recently have not enforced Sharia law upon the people.

In an interview with 5Pillars last year the Vice and Virtue Ministry pledged to advise and educate people about Islam as many had lost their way during the 20 year foreign occupation.

However, in recent months the IEA have been showing a greater willingness to enforce Islamic law.

Three weeks ago they started publicly implementing Sharia hudood punishments. Local media reported that in Zabul province two women and a man were publicly lashed 39 times after being convicted of adultery.

Separately, two men were given 20 lashes after being arrested on charges of robbery in the same province. They were sentenced to one month in prison.

Last month the leader of the Islamic Emirate, Sheikh Hibatullah Akhundzada, called for the implementation of Sharia law in Afghanistan, stressing the need to preserve Islamic values.

He told a gathering of provincial governors in Kandahar that there was a need to solve every problem through Sharia and not man-made laws.

“Over the past 20 years, there have been a lot of anti-Sharia and Islam rhetoric and laws which are made by the people are not implementable,” Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid was also quoted as saying.

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