Kabul Bans Women Singers, Indian Films

The Supreme Court of Afghanistan upheld a ban by the state-run Kabul TV and Radio on radio airplay of women in the capital of Afghanistan, as well as the broadcast of Indian films. Deputy Head of the Supreme Court, Fazl Ahmad Manawi, told Reuters that “films that consist of melodrama and romance should be censoredÉ[We] totally oppose the idea of half-naked scenes or romantic films being broadcast and women’s songs being aired.” Other cities in Afghanistan, such as Kandahar, allow women singers and Indian films to be broadcast. Manawi feels that media programming in some cities is too “liberal” and believes that they should follow Kabul’s lead in banning certain television and radio programs, according to Reuters.

The president of Kabul TV and Radio, Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, was fired last month by Culture and Information Minister Sayed Raheen Makhdoom for banning women’s songs from television. Mansoor claimed that Islamic law prompted his censorship. Mansoor refused to leave his post, reportedly ripping up his order to leave. Reuters reports that the Supreme Court decision is evidence of a clash between the more conservative leaders of the Northern Alliance, who helped defeat the Taliban last year, and the more moderate president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai.


Reuters 8/31/02; Feminist Daily News Wire 7/2/02

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