Karzai issues decree against 'vulgar and obscene' media

Afghanistan's Ulema council met Karzai and demanded the government take action against some television broadcasters, accusing them of promoting prostitution

Karzai issues decree against 'vulgar and obscene' media

World Bulletin/News Desk

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

Karzai issued a decree setting out the rule.

"The Ministry of Information and Culture must prevent (television channels) from broadcasting programmes 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 Reuters 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.

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 clerics and some politicians.

"There are many TV stations that turn to vulgarisms and broadcast immoral programmes, which are counter to national interests and Islamic values," the Council of Ministers cited the clerics as telling Karzai.

Noorani said broadcasters who failed to abide by the rules could have their licenses cancelled.

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2013, 12:46
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