• Saturday, Nov 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:24 am

Afghanistan's Karzai backs clerics' demand for media crackdown

  • Published at 07:05 am April 24th, 2013
Afghanistan's Karzai backs clerics' demand for media crackdown

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed with a call from the country's conservative religious council for a crackdown on television stations, calling some of their programmes “immoral and un-Islamic”, officials said on Tuesday.

The decision by Karzai may alarm some of Afghanistan's international backers, who have invested heavily through 12 years of war in promoting liberal values and freedom of expression in Afghanistan's deeply conservative society.

The decision could also imperil advances in the country's media industry, which has enjoyed significant progress since the ouster of the austere Taliban regime 12 years ago.

Karzai issued a decree setting out the crackdown.

“The Ministry of Information and Culture must prevent (television channels) from broadcasting programs which are vulgar, obscene and un-Islamic and are counter to social morality,” Karzai said in a statement issued by the Council of Ministers.

Neither Karzai nor the Council of Ministers specified in the statement what was meant by vulgar, obscene or immoral programmes.

However, Jalal Noorani, an adviser to the minister of culture and Information, told  immoral programmes included Indian television soap operas and Afghan music videos featuring “half-naked” dancing girls.

Afghanistan's Ulema council met Karzai on Friday and demanded the government take action against some television broadcasters, accusing them of promoting prostitution, the Council of Ministers said in the statement.

The Ulema council is an influential group of scholars and religious leaders who debate religious matters and exert significant political influence.

Mollifying The Taliban?

Karzai provoked international outrage last year when he backed recommendations from clerics to segregate the sexes in the workplace.

Another recommendation allowed husbands to beat wives under certain circumstances, a decree which some saw as reminiscent of Taliban regime.

More than 50 private television stations, 150 radio broadcasters and about 1,000 newspapers have emerged in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, according to Noorani.

Some of the stations broadcast Indian soap operas, dancing and songs which have drawn harsh criticism from conservative clerics and some politicians.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail