Piers Morgan grills Taliban spokesman on Talk TV

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Shocking footage has shown the moment a Taliban official began whipping female students outside a university campus in northern Afghanistan for wearing what he deemed inappropriate headwear. As male students walk into the establishment, past the Talbian official, female students can be heard screaming as they are blocked from entering. The women, students at Badakhshan University in northeastern Afghanistan, said they were beaten by Taliban officials from the Ministry of Virtue and Vice for wearing hijabs, which are headscarves, instead of burkas, which cover the entire face and body. 

In the footage, the Taliban official, dressed in military attire, can be seen furiously slashing at the crowds of young women as they attempt to enter the university. 

The crowd then disperses in a panic as screams break out and the women try to avoid being hit. 

As the dozens of women flee, the Taliban official returns to the entrance and suggests the crowds move elsewhere. 

He then turns around to invite some male students into the building. 

Under Taliban rule, women are not allowed in public unless they are wearing a niqab, which is a veil covering the head and face but not the eyes, or a burka. 

The hijab, which is also a form of headwear in Islam, is not permitted by the Taliban. 

They are known for their extreme interpretation of the Sharia law, which is Islam’s legal system based on the Quran and teachings from scholars, and such views often discriminate against women. 

According to the Directorate of Vice and Virtue, proper attire for women in public must include the complete covering of the head and face. 

Mursal, a student at Badakhshan University, told Alive in Afghanistan that she has witnessed women being turned away for not wearing the proper dress code.

Another student, Samia, told the news website that women were even being stopped for “wearing nail polish”. 

She said: “We were stopped on the way to university today and they even checked our fingernails. 

“They wanted to slap a student for wearing nail polish, but the girl ran away. They called ahead to the next checkpoint to apprehend and punish her.”

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Under previous Taliban rule, in the five or so years prior to the turn of the millennium, women were forbidden from working or receiving education. 

But public universities reopened for female students in February this year – nearly six months after the Taliban retook control of the country. 

However, secondary education for girls is still banned, meaning that soon women will not have the qualifications needed to enrol in higher education.

And a source with Taliban leadership ties told the Guardian that even if practical barriers to women entering higher education were removed, the authorities are considering limiting them to degrees in healthcare and education. 

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