Taliban's new 'religious guideline': TV channels shouldn't air dramas, soap operas featuring women actors

In addition to this, a mandated requirement for women television journalists to wear Islamic hijabs while presenting their reports had also been issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice under the Talib. "These are not rules but a religious guideline," ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told news agency AFP.  

Taliban authorities on Sunday issued a new religious guideline which ordered television channels in Afghanistan to stop airing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors.

In addition to this, a mandated requirement for women television journalists to wear Islamic hijabs while presenting their reports had also been issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice under the Taliban.

"These are not rules but a religious guideline," ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told news agency AFP.  

The ministry has also given orders not to air films or programmes showing the Prophet Mohammed or other revered figures. Moreover, films or programmes that were against Islamic and Afghan values were also banned.

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The new directive given to the Afghan media was broadly circulated late Sunday on social media networks.

Despite the promises it had made regarding ruling the nation more moderately this time and upholding press freedom, they have introduced rules which dictate what women are allowed to wear at university and have also brutally assaulted several Afghan journalists.

The new guidelines for TV networks came after the country managed extensive growth for independent Afghan media for two decades under the Western-backed governments which Afghanistan had until August 15.

In 2001, the Afghan media had witnessed numerous television channels and radio stations being set up with Western assistance and private investment following the overthrow of the Taliban govt that year.

Since then the media had experienced massive growth for around 20 years. The Afghan television channels were offered popular running programmes including singing competitions like American Idol and several other Turkish and Indian soap operas.

The same media was suppressed when the Islamists previously ruled from 1996 to 2001. During that period, television, movies and most other forms of entertainment were banned and termed as immoral.

Severe punishment followed if people were caught watching television and even ownership of a video player could lead to a public lashing in that era.

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The media was restricted to only having one radio station, Voice of Sharia, that broadcasted propaganda and Islamic programming.  .