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Taliban bans Nowruz Celebration in Afghanistan's Daikundi
Kabul: Taliban have banned the celebration of the Afghan festive Nowruz in the central Daikundi province, warning residents if they are caught celebrating the occasion, they will be treated accordingly, Khaama Press reported.
Taliban's Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in an announcement said the group's regulators have told people "Islam prohibits the celebration of Nowruz". According to this announcement, Taliban observers have met with the worshipers of at least 35 mosques in Daikundi, and have asked them to resist the "Western ideas, Khawarij and rituals that are not in line with Islam", Khaama Press reported.
In this declaration, Nowruz is attributed to the "era of ignorance" and people are warned that the occasion is promoted by "foreigners" among Muslims.
The ministry of vice and virtue of the Taliban has warned ordinary people to refrain from celebrating "alien and un-Islamic customs, and days that are not "holy in Islam", Khaama Press reported.
The popular festival was banned during the Taliban's previous rule between 1996 and 2001. However, last year the group said they will not celebrate the Nowruz, but have no problem with those celebrating it.
Nowruz has been celebrated for more than 3,000 years, observed by adherents of both the main branches of Islam, Sunnis and Shias in Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia, and parts of the Middle East - and usually marked by a public holiday.
Banning the Nowruz celebration, which marks the arrival of spring in Daikundi, indicates the ruling regime's opposition to the popular festive, which prompted widespread criticisms in the past as well.
Nowruz celebration is one of the ancient rituals of the people of Afghanistan, being celebrated in different ways, similar to other countries' so-called "Nowruz region".
The United Nations officially recognized the "International Day of Nowruz" with the adoption of Resolution 64/253 by the United Nations General Assembly in February 2010.
Nowruz is to be observed on March 21 this year. (ANI)