Remember That New Modern Taliban? They Banned Women Driving Long Distances Alone.

AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an interview that Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi gave with the Associated Press where he tried to paint a rosy picture of the Taliban as a better and more modern version of the monsters who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001.


Muttaqi tried to demonstrate that they’re better on women’s rights than they were the first time around and that they’re not retaliating against their enemies like they did a quarter of a century ago.

“We have made progress in administration and in politics [and] in interaction with the nation and the world,” Muttaqi said. “With each passing day, we will gain more experience and make more progress.”

The whole interview was basically a ploy to convince the U.S. and other nations to turn the money tap back on and pour cash back in for the Taliban to use as they see fit.

“Is the Taliban turning over a new leaf? Is there any reason for the U.S. to come to trust the Taliban?” I wrote earlier this month. A more modern Taliban with a commitment to human rights, especially for women sounded too good to be true, and now we know that Muttaqi was blowing smoke.

On top of most secondary schools still being closed to girls and most women unable to work, the Taliban recently banned women from driving long distances alone.

“The latest directive, issued by the Taliban’s Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, said women travelling for more than 45 miles (72km) should be accompanied by a close male family member,” reports the BBC.


Drivers are also supposed to refuse to give rides to women who aren’t wearing the proper head covering.

Related: Not A Joke: Taliban Asks for International Aid to Help It Fight…Climate Change

Naturally, those magnanimous folks at the Taliban are looking out for the ladies, because this new rule is meant to keep women safe, of course.

“The Taliban say the restrictions are ‘temporary’ and only in place to ensure all workplaces and learning environments are ‘safe’ for women and girls,” the BBC says.

How gentlemanly of them.

By the way, the rule also bans playing music in vehicles.

One Afghan woman complained about the new rule to the BBC.

“I cannot go out independently,” said the woman, identified only as Fatima. “What should I do if either I or my child is sick and my husband is not available?”

Another woman told interviewers that the rule wouldn’t guarantee that women won’t be put in harm’s way.

Fatima put a finger on what the new law really does to women.

“The Taliban captured our happiness from us,” she said. “I have lost both my independence and happiness.”


The new law comes a month after new regulations banned women from appearing in television dramas — including canceling foreign dramas with women in lead roles — and required female news presenters and reporters to wear headscarves. The mayor of Kabul also recently told women to stay home from work unless their jobs couldn’t be filled by men.

Yeah, this new version of the Taliban sounds like loads of fun. Thank you, Joe Biden, for foisting them upon the women of Afghanistan.


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