July 20 - Local clerics in northern Afghanistan issue a decree banning women from leaving their homes without a male relative and closing some local cosmetics businesses. Lindsey Parietti reports.
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Deh Saleh, Afghanistan, where tensions are brewing as local clerics restrict women's rights.
A recent decree bars women from leaving home without a male relative and orders cosmetic shops shut on the pretext they were used for prostitution.
It also contains a warning: If officials resist our demands, we will start a jihad.
Technically only senior clerics in Kabul are allowed to issue a fatwa, or religious order.
One female MP said the decree was reminiscent of Taliban rule from 1996-2001 when women were forced to wear burqas and sometimes had fingers cut off for wearing nail polish.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) MEMBER OF THE AFGHAN PARLIAMENT, FUZIA KOFI SAYING:
"The rule of law in Afghanistan is clear that everybody has equal rights, now if a specific group comes and they try to impose their own ideas on the citizens of Afghanistan it is actually taking Afghanistan back to the Taliban period ..."
The edict has angered some locals and business owners and a mayor was shot dead while trying to enforce the order.
Deh Salah, near Panshir, was a bastion of anti-Taliban sentiment before the group was toppled by the U.S.-backed coalition in 2001.
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