The Taliban Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has called on Afghan televisions to stop broadcasting series showing women, as part of news « Religious directives » aired Sunday, November 21.
« Televisions must avoid showing soap operas and series in which women have played rose water », specifies a document of the ministry for the attention of the media. He also asks that women journalists wear « The Islamic veil » on the screen, without specifying whether it is a simple scarf, already usually worn on Afghan televisions, or a more covering veil. Afghan televisions are also called upon to avoid programs « Opposed to Islamic and Afghan values » as well as those who insult religion or « Show the prophet and his companions ».
« It is not a question of rules, but of religious directives », specified the spokesperson of the ministry, Hakif Mohajir. This is the first time that this ministry has attempted to regulate Afghan television since the Taliban took power in mid-August.
From 1996 to 2001, television and cinema were banned
During their first reign, from 1996 to 2001, the ministry for the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice, responsible for ensuring the daily respect of « Islamic values » of the population, was feared for its fundamentalism and the punishments it entailed.
The Taliban had banned television, movies and all forms of entertainment deemed immoral. People caught watching television were punished and their equipment destroyed, being in possession of a VCR was punishable by public flogging. For a while, it was even possible to see televisions hanging from streetlights.
Undesirable girls in school and in public services
Overthrown in 2001, the Taliban returned to power last August in a country with a media landscape transformed after twenty years of government supported by the West. During these two decades, the media sector exploded, dozens of private radio and television stations appeared, offering new opportunities to women, who were not allowed to work or study under the law. Taliban of the 90s.
Today, although showing a more moderate face, the Taliban have still not allowed many women to return to work in the public service. Girls’ classes in middle and high schools, as well as public universities, have yet to reopen in most of the country.
At private universities, the Taliban demanded that female students be veiled. Their fighters also repeatedly beat journalists accused of covering demonstrations by women. « Unauthorized ».
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