Just when you thought it was safe to watch cable TV again in Afghanistan, the country’s top judge has issued a Taliban-style ban on the medium.
“I don’t want such TV in this country,” chief justice Mawlavi Fazl Hadi Shinwari was quoted as saying, feeling programs featuring prostitution and nudity violate the teachings of Islam.
”People who filed complaints to the Supreme Court said they were airing half-naked singers and obscene scenes from movies,” he told Reuters.
Cable operators were ordered to stop service on Sunday, though satellite transmissions, which Kabul can’t control, were still said to be broadcasting.
Shinwari says he’s unhappy with “smut” being shown on foreign channels, adding that any programs depicting men and women together were tolerable only if they were informing and entertaining.
“We are Afghans, we are Muslims, we have Islamic laws and values in our country,” he told Agence France-Presse. “I have therefore sent official letters to the security officials and governor of Kabul asking for these cable channels to be banned.”
The ban is reminiscent of edicts passed under the Taliban regime, which outlawed movie theaters, music, and the sale of TV sets during its five-year rule which ended with U.S. military action in Operation Enduring Freedom.
According to reports, the cleric is also looking to bring an end to men and women being instructed together.
“In my view coeducation of adults is not allowed in Islam, it is rather haram (forbidden),” he told the Afghan Islamic Press. “I want education for women, but we want men and women not to sit together,” he said.
Hundreds of thousands of girls were back in class since the Taliban’s ouster, and the chief justice says it’s now up to the new government to take action on his recommendation.