The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Judge shuts down Afghan cable TV

Kabul, Jan. 21 (Reuters): Afghanistan’s chief justice said today he had shut down cable television channels in Kabul and also wanted an end to co-education, arguing both were un-Islamic.

Mawlavi Fazl Hadi Shinwari, the Chief Justice and president of the Supreme Court, said he had issued orders yesterday to close down five cable television stations in Kabul following similar action in Jalalabad.

“People who filed complaints to the Supreme Court said they were airing half-naked singers and obscene scenes from movies,” Shinwari said.

“Because of this, I asked the police to stop their activities. What they aired clearly was contrary to Islam and against morality and we had to issue the order.” Shinwari also said he wanted an end of co-education in Afghanistan, arguing that it was forbidden under Islamic law.

“Sharia does not allow mixed education for girls and boys. I can say explicitly that co-education is not permissible in Islam and I want the implementation of the law of Islam,” he said.

Shinwari, an elderly and conservative Islamic cleric, belongs to one of the mujahideen factions that fought the 10-year occupation of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union in the 1980s.

His comments were reminiscent of the sort made by leaders of the fundamentalist Taliban regime which ruled Afghanistan for five years until late 2001 and banned all education of women, television and even photography.

Shinwari said he did not know whether US-backed President Hamid Karzai would enforce segregation of schools.

“It is up to the government and the education ministry whether to take steps to follow the law. I have told them about the issue and fulfilled my responsibility in this regard.”

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