Indian soaps banned while death penalty lives

Radio Free Europe has the story:

TV Stations Ordered To Stop Broadcasting ‘Un-Islamic’ Content

April 22 – The Afghan government has ordered independent television stations in Kabul to stop broadcasting programs deemed “un-Islamic”or that “undermine Afghan culture.”

Indian soap operas, hugely popular among Afghans, are among the shows that have been branded “un-Islamic,” and television stations have been given orders to take them off the air.Abdul-Qadir Mirzai, chief news editor for the private television station Ariana, told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan that Ariana has had to stop airing “Kumkum,” a popular Indian soap opera. …

Mirzai insists the Indian soap opera, based on the love story of a Hindu couple, does not undermine Afghan culture or corrupt young Afghans’ morals. Indian movies and television series do not usually include sex or nude scenes. … (link)

President Karzai has reportedly defended the ban:

Asked about the move, Karzai told a media briefing his government was committed to media freedom.

But, “like the rest of the countries in the world, we want our television broadcasting to be in line with our culture, based on our society moral standards,” Karzai said. … (link)

You can watch a clip of Kumkum, the banned soap, on Youtube here.

President Karzai has also revealed that he dislikes the death penalty, but will not move to abolish it:

Karzai rejects call to end death penalty

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – President Hamid Karzai expressed reservations Monday about imposing the death penalty but rejected calls to abolish capital punishment in his country.

“I am very slow in approving the orders for executions,” Karzai said. “I prefer life sentencing because that would serve as a better lesson.”

The Supreme Court recently upheld rulings by lower courts to sentence about 100 people to death, despite concerns that the fledgling legal system does not ensure fair trials. Karzai must give final approval for executions to take place.

However, in cases such as kidnappings and killings of innocents, Karzai said he would follow Shariah, or Islamic law, which sanctions capital punishment. … (link)

 

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