Afghan President, Hamid Karzai. —File Photo

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered a crackdown on “un-Islamic and obscene” televisions shows in response to lobbying by the country's religious council, an official said Wednesday.

Karzai told the culture ministry to block programmes “which are vulgar, un-Islamic, obscene and violate social morality, and Islamic morality”, according to a statement from his Council of Ministers.

It said the move follows a request from the religious council to ban televised films seen as promoting vice and prostitution.

Afghan society has liberalised since the fall in 2001 of the Taliban, who banned music and female education and prescribed punishments such as amputation and floggings.

But it remains a conservative Islamic nation.

Rafi Ferdous, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers, said Karzai's decree should not be seen as limiting freedom of speech or of the media.

“The experience of the past 10 years shows that there are people, media outlets that have been exaggerating or misinterpreting the constitutional freedom of media and the media law,” Ferdous told AFP.

“They have been acting in a way which hurts rather than helps media freedom in the country.”

He gave no examples of the type of programmes or films which might be banned in future.

Afghanistan's media sector has boomed in the last decade, largely with financial support from the West, but the industry, especially television stations, has been under mounting pressure from conservative Islamic circles.

Last September, the Afghan government called for legal action against two TV channels for allegedly broadcasting scantily dressed women and disseminating immorality.

More From This Section

Fashion week: Lucky number seven

The latest Fashion Week manages to sift between designers who know their job and those who are a waste of time.

World leaders, writers pay tribute to Garcia Marquez

Presidents, writers and celebrities paid tribute to Marquez whose work inspired generations of story-tellers.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

Widely considered the most popular Spanish writer since de Cervantes in 17th century, he died at home in Mexico City.

Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes

Organizers of the famed Riviera festival announced the much-heralded lineup for the May 14-25 event.

Comments are closed.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper