Vice and Virtue Ministry
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The Vice and Virtue Ministry was a government department during the reign of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It set and enforced the moral standards required to be followed in society. Utilizing a squad of over 30,000 men, shopkeepers were forced to close during prayer time, video and cassette tapes were banned, television and kite-flying were outlawed. It has been alleged that schools for females were shut down but Taliban spokesperson Rahmatallah Hashimi has dismissed the allegation stating that all schools were initially closed because of safety concerns, but were later reopened upon achieving stability in the controlled regions. The squads allegedly harassed and attacked women if their head-to-toe burqa veils revealed skin and men if their beards did not meet the required length.
In 2005, the indie band The Happy Bullets recorded an album and song using the same title, but changed the institution into a British prep school with tongue-in-cheek references to climbing the social ladder of European high society.
- Taliban spokesman interviewed in America by NPR http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2OgytUuYkM