In these uncertain days involving the transition of power, a bout of shuttle diplomacy has developed between the victorious Taliban and the United Nations (UN)! This has led to a number of peculiar concessions on behalf of the Islam clerics who are responsible for upholding the moral standards of the Taliban movement which in-turn are said to uphold social order and ensure cultural coherency. With what is left of the armed forces of the previous US occupation becoming little more than an unpopular ‘terrorist insurgency’ – the ‘new’ Taliban Authorities are keen to reassure the West that the ‘rights of women’ will be respected albeit within the context of Sharia Law. Under such guidance – women are now required to dress correctly, to stop driving and to leave certain jobs defined as ‘suitable’ for men only – the Taliban has also arranged for women still attending educational facilities to be ‘separated’ from the men so as not to be a distraction.
This is a common Islamic cultural requirement seen in all mosques but extended here into society at large. In a bizarre twist that appears to be a strange homage to the LGBTQNB+ community – the Taliban has announced that certain women over forty-years old will be allowed to don a synthetic beard (made out of goat hair) every other Tuesday between the hours of 4pm – 6 pm – and pretend they are ‘men’ discussing important topics, making decisions and pretending to be ‘equal’ to men for a limited and controllable time period. This move has been greeted with considerable support from the fledgling Taliban ‘Sexual Perversity and Gender Deviancy Network’ tasked with monitoring the rights and well-being of minority groups and alternative lifestyle adherents. This unusual development has been met with a muted indifference from a usually highly vocal Western world.