The Japan Times, April 22, 1997

Taliban assault clean-shaven man, women without veil

KABUL (AP ) Mohammed Zaheer arrived in Kabul to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid with his family but found himself the target of the Taliban religious army's wrath.
His crime: He was clean-shaven.
"I don't live in Kabul. I live in Paksitan, and I just wanted to visit my family," said a bruised Zaheer on Sunday, a day after the Taliban religious police dragged him from a bus and beat him with an electrical cable.
According to the Taliban's version of Islamic rule, it is a crime for a man to trim his beard. Zaheer was clean-shaven when he left the Pakistani frontier city of Peshawar Saturday morning, and by late evening he had only stubble.
The religious police who roam the city in search of violators nabbed him as he stepped off the bus.
On Sunday they beat 14 women for not wearing the burqa, which covers females from head to toe.
In recent months the beatings have become a daily occurrence in the beleaguered capital. Women have suffered the brunt of the assaults by the turbaned police.
They carry an electrical cable with them and use it against an offender.