I have just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini and it has changed my life. And I say this humbly, and with a lot of unexplained pain inside my heart. I cannot recommend it enough for your guys to read it.
There are many magical moments in the novel that transported me right into the heart of Kabul, Afghanistan.
But nothing is more shocking than this short piece of passage I am going to share with you. The Talibans have just taken over Afghanistan and this was written on the flyers, strewn around the city:
Our watan is now known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. These are the laws that we will enforce and you will obey:
All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.
All men will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath the chin. If you do not abide by this you will be beaten.
All boys will wear turbans. Boys in grade one through six will wear black turbans, higher grades will wear white.
All boys will wear Islamic clothes. Shirt collars will be buttoned.
Singing is forbidden.
Dancing is forbidden.
Playing cards, playing chess, gambling and kite flying is forbidden.
Writing books, watching films, and painting pictures are forbidden.
If you keep parakeets, you will be beaten. Your birds will be killed.
If you steal, your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again, your foot will be cut off.
If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. if you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed.
You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street, you will be beaten and sent home.
You will not, under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with 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 make eye contact with men.
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. All schools for girls will be ceased immediately.
Women are forbidden from working.
If you are found guilty of adultery, you will be stoned to death.
Listen. Listen well. Obey. Allah-u-akbar.
Put things in perspective eh?