Journalist Dons Restrictive Hijab Overnight as Taliban Take Over Kabul

Afghanistan CNN

CNN Journalist Clarissa Ward was forced to don a hijab overnight as the Taliban begin their campaign to restrict women.

Twitter users noticed how on August 15, Ward reported from Kabul without covering her hair, only to wear a hijab the very next day, August 16, as the Taliban took over the Afgan capital. Ward wears the more restrictive form of religious clothing, an abbaya dress with an al-amira headscarf.

Ward noticed the meme spreading, and posted a clarification on Twitter, “This meme is inaccurate… I always wore a head scarf on the street in Kabul previously, though not w/ hair fully covered and abbaya. So there is a difference but not quite this stark:”

During a segment with CNN Monday, Ward also said women are terrified and the Taliban attempted to stop her from reporting:

Anytime we want to shoot video on the street, we’ll stop and we’ll go and ask them [the Taliban]… Occasionally, my gender does flummox them. At the entrance to the presidential palace, as you saw, it was sort of an uncomfortable moment and they were shooing me away, and sort of asking why my colleagues had brought a woman with them, which is, you know, frankly to be expected and not unusual.

… Also, a lot less women on the streets today. Normally Kabul, it’s still a conservative society, women do wear the headscarf, but not quite as tightly as this. You might see them with some hair showing, you might see them with some colors, you might see them with slightly more shapely silloutes than I’m wearing in this abaya. Today, seeing a lot more burqas on the streets and far fewer women.

Ward has not left Afghanistan and is staying to report on the Taliban takeover. She posted a picture on Twitter of her posing with Taliban fighters, captioned, “On the streets of Kabul today- feel we are witnessing history.”:

Breitbart News reported Monday that CNN also showed a clip of the Taliban holding up their guns and chanting. Ward said, “They’re just chanting, ‘Death to America,’ but they seem friendly at the same time. It’s utterly bizarre.”

Ward and her CNN team were also able to gain access to a former U.S. military base, Combat Outpost Andar, which is now controlled by the Taliban.

“Walking through what’s left of these American bases, you have to ask yourself, ‘What was it all for?'” Ward said as she walked through the base in extremely modest dark clothing.

The Taliban is now flying their flag over many former American bases in Afghanistan. They are also using U.S. vehicles and plan on selling whatever they do not need from the bases.

When Ward asked the Taliban about women’s rights, a spokesman told Ward, “We assure this to people all over the world, especially the people of Afghanistan. Islam has given rights to everyone equally. Women have their own rights. As much as Islam has given rights to women, we will give them that much.”

Ward said that claim is, “open to interpretation.”

As women’s rights activist Taslima Nasreen posted on Twitter Monday, “Taliban said they would respect women’s and minorities’ rights and freedom of expression within Sharia law. But the problem is there is no women’s and minorities’ rights and freedom of expression within Sharia law.”


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