Growing a beard and attributing one’s affiliation with ISIS in Afghanistan




Experimental narrative of a trained young man living in Kabul. In an interview with the Times, the young man claims that he tried to gain the consent of the Taliban by growing his beard more. Still, he was killed when confronted with the Taliban at security checkpoints and in a physical attempt without justifying the Taliban fighters. They arrested him and then transferred him to the security services for further investigation. After two hours and an inspection, the young man says that the Taliban found out that he had no connection with ISIS and then released him. He says he now has two options: if he grows a beard, the incident will not happen again.


One day I went out to the market to buy grocery. I waited; I needed to go to the market; I got in the car and went to the market. My shopping was over, and I had to walk to call home. On the way, I came across one of the Taliban checkpoints. The fighters of this group stopped me when they saw me; I said to myself that everything was fine, I did not have a phone with me, I greeted them with full courage, they asked me where you are going, I told them I had bought it, and I will go home again to take the requirements.


They threw my grocery on the ground and first made a physical effort; after receiving nothing from me, this group tied my hands around my neck and then took me to the security area. One of their officials came to interrogate me in the security area, asking me what he was doing and where he had gone, and I explained to him that I had taken grocery. Two and a half hours passed after this incident. After the interrogations of the district officials were completed, one of the members of the Islamic Emirate, who was from Maidan Wardak, came to me and said that it was good that there was nothing suspicious about him because we had such a big beard. That you may be affiliated with ISIS, and that is why we transferred you to the constituency so that you can be interrogated more.


After being released from the convent, I returned home, very upset by this situation; my wife asked me why your purchase took so long time; I explained the story to her in full. “I asked you before to cut your beard,” he said with a sly smile. What will he do if he is not arrested again for being affiliated with ISIS? “Right now, I never go out,” he says.