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Watch: Taliban gets grilled on British talk show over women’s rights

The interview came following the recent Taliban decree on enforcing the hijab for women. The order sparked mass protests and outrage from the international community.

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British broadcaster Piers Morgan gave a tough time to Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen over the Taliban denying women’s rights. Piers Morgan had invited Suhail Shaheen to his talk show “Piers Morgan Uncensored“.

The interview came following the recent Taliban decree on enforcing the hijab for women. To clarify, the Taliban’s Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice issued a new dress code for women in Afghanistan. Under the new Taliban order, all adult women are required to cover their entire body and face, with only eyes and hands an exception.

The order sparked mass protests and outrage from the international community. A small group of women in Kabul also protested the decree, saying men alone should not dictate what women wear.

Read more: Afghan women protest against Taliban’s new order to cover faces

As a result, Piers Morgan – who is notorious for his aggressive approach during interviews – invited Suhail Shaheen to question him about the Taliban’s extreme stance toward women’s rights.

Pertinent to mention, the Taliban promised that women would have equal opportunities as men, including education. However, the Taliban barred girls over the age of 11 from attending schools. Therefore, during the interview, Piers Morgan reminded Suhail Shaheen of the promises that the Taliban failed to fulfill. There are concerns that the Taliban may be bringing back its hardline regime in Afghanistan.

Suhail Shaheen defends the hijab

During the interview, Piers Morgan called the Taliban hijab decree a “draconian measure”.

“Whichever way you try and spin this, that is a draconian measure designed to suppress women more than they have been used to in the last two decades,” Piers Morgan said.

Read more: The Good-Taliban and the Bad-Taliban syndrome – Gen. Tariq Khan

However, the Taliban spokesperson defended the decree. Suhail Shaheen said the information the host got was from the media which is incorrect. Moreover, Suhail Shaheen said the veil is not only in Afghanistan, but women wear it all over the world, even in the UK. He then compared the veil to a face mask.

Needless to say, the criticism racked up for the Taliban after the interview. Later Suhail Shaheen tweeted, “I told Piers Morgan burqa is not the only type of hijab, there are other types of hijab, like a veil and a piece of cloth, fully covering body can be a type of hijab which is acceptable.”