Afghan actor criticizes new Taliban rules

“It is appalling that the Taliban are removing women from television [dramas]”Kazemi told SBS News.

“First they removed women from school, then they removed them from work, and now they remove them from one of the main media that helped shape femininity in the country,” Kazemi said.

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A number of other strict rules regarding the media have also been introduced.

According to the new guidelines, films that go against sharia values ​​or Islamic law are banned along with footage of inadequately dressed men.

Light-hearted entertainment programs that may offend Afghan culture have also been put to death, and the broadcasting of foreign films promoting foreign culture has been restricted.

“‘These are not rules, but a religious guideline,” ministry spokesman Hakif Mohajir told AFP.

The new guidelines come just three months after the Taliban took control of the war-torn country and promise to rule more moderately this time.

“The Taliban, which promises the world that it will safeguard women’s rights, is simply a public relations mechanism,” Sydney-based lawyer and human rights activist Arezo Zoe Safi told SBS News.

“The new rules are what we identify as sexual discrimination. Since the fall of Kabul, there has been a steady stream of bad news for women and girls.

“It is outright hypocrisy to promise one and deliver the other, but this is very much in line with the deviant behavior of the Taliban,” Safi said.

Sydney-based lawyer and human rights activist of Afghan origin Arezo Zoe Safi.

Source: Delivered


The Taliban’s guidelines for television networks follow two decades of explosive growth for independent Afghan media under Western-backed governments that ruled the country until August 15, when Islamists regained power.

“The consequence of [these rules] is going to make what was already a very conservative culture and a very difficult culture for women even harder, ”Kazemi said.

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Kazemi was born in Afghanistan and migrated to the United States with her parents when she was only four.

She returned to Afghanistan in the 2010s to work as an actress and director.

In 2013, she starred in The Icy Sun – a groundbreaking Afghan film about a woman who was raped and then demonized by society, who held her responsible for the crime instead of going after the perpetrator.

Even in Afghanistan’s heyday under Western-backed governments, according to Kazemi, it was risky to be a female actress in the country.

“Even when I was there during a kind of democracy, there were security issues. It was dangerous. I felt like I was walking a very thin line. Often I had to hide that I was an actor.”

With the new rules and under the new regime, Kazemi feels that things must go from bad to worse for the creative industry in Afghanistan.

“Radical extremists often feel offended and furious [creative people] and that is a concern.

“Maybe they want to look at some of the projects all these actresses and actors have done in the past and feel like they want to hurt them.”

With further reporting from AFP.

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