Taliban, Kabul

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, vast changes have taken place, particularly in the political and cultural landscape as the designated terrorist organization gets comfortable in their new government positions. The Taliban has expressed its interest in gaining international recognition. However, the global community, particularly Western countries, remain wary of the Taliban’s willingness to adhere to the demands put forward by concerned states.

Most of the concerns are focused on Afghanistan’s current human rights situation, freedom of speech, and the rights of women, particularly their right to receive an education and their right to work in various key sectors.

Subsequently, the Taliban has disbanded the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and reinstated the controversial Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, in charge of implementing Islamic rules, otherwise known as Hanafi principles, determined by the Taliban.

During the Taliban’s rule between 1996 to 2001, the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice introduced the “morality police,” which sought to enforce the strict implementation of Taliban principles into the daily lives of Afghans. The Ministry is infamously known for its unfair treatment of the Afghani people, specifically women. It also deployed enforcers that aimed to force men to pray, monitored beard length, destroyed televisions, and radios, and incarcerated women who tried to work or went outside without a male guardian or weren’t dressed modestly according to them.

Now, with the Taliban back in power, a report from the Jurist stated that the Minister for Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is planning to enforce a stranglehold on Afghanistan’s media and telecommunications sector. The report also stated that the Taliban-led government plans to segregate men and women from sitting with one another, in conjunction with Islamic law. 

As the Afghan people come to terms with the Taliban’s resurgence, a recent directive from the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice seeks to prohibit the programming of films that the Ministry can regard as a movement against the Taliban ruling Islamic or Afghan values.

The new measure also states that women are no longer allowed to be featured in soap operas and entertainment programs, while female journalists are now strictly required to wear a hijab. 

Journalists and local media outlets wary of the Taliban’s oppressive treatment have closed their offices and opted to release their reports online under pseudonyms to hide their identities from Taliban officials. Indeed, local journalists have reported that the Taliban are beating, issuing death threats, and imprisoning reporters who publish news deemed not in favor of the Taliban.

In an effort to silence dissent, Taliban intelligence are forcing journalists to have their reports reviewed by local officials before publishing and not use the word “Taliban” in their write-ups, instead referring to the officials as the “Islamic Emirate” whenever they write about the government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.