The Afghan government gave the West another example how it is struggling to defeat the Taliban by joining it. The government has arrested the manager of a popular Afghan television network for refusing to censor images of women dancing in short skirts and plunging necklines. Fahim Khodamani of Emrose TV was arrested on the crime of broadcasting un-Islamic images.
The government says that the Taliban uses such images to rally supporters. Yet, that is saying that the best way to protect rights is to suppress them so that their exercise cannot be used by the opposition. If the Afghan government wants to win this war, it has to do so in the preservation of free speech and free press rights. The arrest seems responsive to a call from Afghanistan’s top Muslim clerics for a crackdown on the “airing prohibited and hypocritical anti-Islam programs and immoral scenes and movies.”
As the government slides further into the medieval traditions of Taliban-like Islam, many in this country will begin to question why American men and women are dying or risking their lives in that country. American women are serving in a country where women and girls are increasingly viewed as chattel and subject to tremendous abuse. If the country is going to strip rights from women, reporters, and dissidents, it may become increasing difficult to justify our tremendous loss of lives and treasure.
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