Ministry slams Afghan men, women TV dancing
KABUL (AFP) — The Kabul government "strongly condemned" Saturday a
television programme that showed Afghan men and women dancing together,
saying it threatened to erode the moral standards of youngsters.
the most popular television channel in conservative Afghanistan, aired
Friday scenes of men and women dancing during an Afghan movie award
ceremony in Kabul.
The show also triggered an angry reaction within the parliament, with several conservative MPs denouncing the station.
Ministry of Information and Culture strongly condemns the broadcasting
of the dance scenes on Tolo television during the movie award-giving
ceremony," a ministry statement said.
It "deems the show which
contained scenes of dance performed jointly by men and women against
beliefs and traditions of the Islamic society of Afghanistan," it said.
which hosts the nation's most popular shows such as Afghan Star -- a
version of American Idol, has often been criticised by conservative
Islamic clerics for its modern and relatively liberal content.
Rab-Rasoul Sayyaf, a legislator and former commander in the 1980s war
that drove out the Soviet occupiers, demanded in parliament that Tolo
"Tolo TV is not just a broadcaster. It's a (entry point) for foreign conspiracies," he said.
information ministry -- itself controversial for its conservative
attitudes -- said the dancing at the awards show "was undermining the
morals of young Afghans."
The show would be referred to a
government media-monitoring committee to determine if it had violated
the country's media law, it said.
The committee has in the past
fined private broadcasters -- which have to tread a fine line between
conservative religious circles and young, trendy Afghans -- for showing
female dancers and singers.
In January the Council of Islamic
Clerics, a powerful and influential body called on President Hamid
Karzai, to rein in Tolo and other TV stations it accused of spreading
More than a dozen privately run television
stations have sprung up following the fall of the Taliban, who banned
TV as un-Islamic during their strict 1996-2001 rule. They were toppled
in a US-led invasion for harbouring Al-Qaeda.