Afghan MPs may ban jeans and makeup

The Afghan parliament is considering a law to ban makeup, men's jeans, long hair and couples talking in public, amid fears that the country is sliding back to Taliban-style rules and conservative power.

The proposal is seen as part of a wider push for Islamic values by Afghanistan's ruling religious elite. It follows government attempts to ban hugely popular Indian soap operas and a recent decision by the high court to confirm the death sentences of nearly 100 people.

Haji Ahmad Shah Khan Achakzai, an MP in Kandahar province, said the law would boost moral and religious values for Afghan people. "Kabul has seen a wave of liberal, unwelcome influences of late," he said. "There are women dressed immodestly, prostitution can be found openly and even alcohol is available on the market. Our job is to protect the Afghan people from being exposed to this un-Islamic way of life and poor morals."

But more liberal MPs fear the loss of hard-fought freedoms. "I am worried there will be another Taliban era ahead of us. We have fought for many years to gain some freedom here and it is our responsibility not to let this happen again," said Najiba Sharif, deputy minister for women's affairs
Continues here

So while we fight to remove Taliban influences.......

The Indian Soap opera issue is interesting too. From my own experience modern well scripted soaps with high production values can and do cause local populations to aspire to greater things. They are far more influential in promoting thoughts on modernisation than any number of government 'decrees'.

More on the soaps ban here

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