No Taliban, but there are are still bans

Television and radio are banned in Kabul. Is paranja coming back?

Afghanistan is slowly returning to the gloomy times of Taliban rule. This was a time when women wore paranjas; there is neither television, nor radio. Everything that does not match the norms of Islam is banned.

One could recall the CNN reports from Kabul: smiling women, men in line to the barber shopes, and schools and cinemas open. Everyone had a sense of freedom. There was even the first soccer game between the local residents and peacemakers. Did anyone think that all of this would disappear and go up like smoke? It seems that this is exactly what is currently happening in Afghanistan.

The broadcast of Indian movies is banned on Kabul television. The newspaper Hindustan Times wrote that is forbidden for women to sing songs in public.

Experts believe that these are the vestiges of the fight between radical and moderate members of the new Afghan government. The new bans gave a good shake to the positions of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Minister of Information Said Rahim. Both Karzai and Rahim stick to the liberal course.

It seems ironic, but Indian movies and songs performed by women are broadcast by the state television in Kandahar, which used to be the stronghold the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. Nothing has been banned either in the north of the country or in Mazar-i-Sharif. Yet, Kabul television is under the control of more conservative elements, the followers of the Northern Alliance, as the mentioned newspaper reports.

The struggle between conservatives and liberals is an eternal issue. Similar things are currently happening in Iran. Iranian President Mohammad Khatami declared war on conservatives. Well, let’s see what happens in these countries. Maybe the pessimistic tone of the article was in vain. Who knows?

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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