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World News | Taliban ban Nowruz celebrations in Daikundi, Afghanistan

The Taliban on the streets of Afghanistan. (File photo/Reuters)

kabul [Afghanistan]March 20 (ANI): The Taliban has banned the celebration of the Afghan holiday of Nowruz in central Daikundi province, warning residents that they will be treated accordingly if they are caught celebrating the occasion, Khaama Press reported.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Propaganda of Virtue and Prevention of Vice said in a statement that the group’s watchdog had told people that “the celebration of Nowruz is forbidden in Islam”.

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According to the announcement, Taliban observers met worshipers at at least 35 mosques in Daikundi and asked them to resist “Western ideas, Khawarij and rituals that are not in line with Islam,” Khaama Press reported.

In the statement, Nowruz is attributed to the “age of ignorance” and warns that the festival is promoted by “foreigners” among Muslims.

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The Taliban’s Ministry of Vice and Virtue warned ordinary people not to celebrate “foreign and non-Islamic customs and days that do not belong to the ‘holy places of Islam’,” according to Khaama Press.

The popular holiday was banned during the last Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001. However, last year the group said they would not celebrate Nowruz, but had no problem with those who did.

Nowruz, celebrated more than 3,000 years ago, is celebrated by both Sunni and Shia followers of the main branches of Islam in Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asia and parts of the Middle East — often marked by public holidays.

Banning Nowruz celebrations, which marks the arrival of spring in Daikundi, signals the ruling regime’s opposition to popular festivals, which has also drawn widespread criticism in the past.

Celebrating Nowruz is one of the ancient ceremonies of the Afghan people, and it is celebrated in a variety of ways, similar to what is called “Nowruz” in other countries.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 64/253 in February 2010, officially recognizing the International Nowruz Day.

Nowruz will be held on March 21 this year. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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