Stop airing shows featuring female actresses: Taliban to Afghan network

The ministry called for a ban on films or programs that are against Islamic and Afghan values.

Kabul:

Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities on Sunday issued a new “religious guideline”, calling on the country’s television channels to stop showing plays and soap operas featuring female actors.

In the first such directive issued to the Afghan media for the promotion of virtue and the Vice of Prevention, the Taliban also called on female television journalists to wear the Islamic hijab while presenting their reports.

And the ministry asked the channels not to air films or programs that featured the Prophet Muhammad or other revered figures.

It called for a ban on films or programs that were against Islamic and Afghan values.

“These are not rules but religious guidelines,” ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told AFP.

The new directive was widely circulated on social media networks late Sunday.

Despite insisting that they would rule more sparingly this time, the Taliban have already imposed rules on what women can wear to university, and many Afghans have promised to uphold the freedom of the press. Journalists beaten and harassed.

The Taliban’s guideline for TV networks comes after two decades of explosive growth for independent Afghan media under Western-backed governments, which ruled the country until August 15, when Islamists took power.

Dozens of television channels and radio stations were established with Western aid and private investment soon after the Taliban coup in 2001.

During the past 20 years, Afghan television channels offered a range of programs – from ‘American Idol’-style singing contests to music videos, along with several Turkish and Indian soap operas.

When Islamists first ruled from 1996 to 2001, there was no Afghan media to speak of – they banned television, movies and other forms of entertainment, deeming it immoral.

Those caught watching television faced punishment, including breaking their sets. Ownership of a video player may result in public scourge.

There was only one radio station, Voice of Sharia, which broadcast propaganda and Islamic programming.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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