Taliban: "Film and music leads to moral corruption"

KABUL, July 8,1998 (AFP) - Residents of war-torn Afghanistan have been ordered to throw out their televisions, videos and satellite dishes in a fresh crackdown by religious police, Taliban radio declared Wednesday.

Citing a militia assertion that "film and music leads to moral corruption," radio Shariat said residents have just two weeks to comply with the order to turf out the un-Islamic items.

It said the order had been issued by the militia's powerful ministry for the fostering of virtue and suppression of vice, who will set about destroying captured televisions when the two-week amnesty ends.

Hundreds of residents in Kabul -- which the Taliban captured nearly two years ago -- still secretly watch television through makeshift satellite dishes made from bicycle wheels, electrical fans or copper cooking pots.

Hindi musicals on video tape are also a popular diversion from the militia's puritanical Islamic state and are exchanged between trusted neighbours.

However the Taliban's tight rulings over the possession of a television do not appear to extend to hundreds of traders here, who fly in thousands of sets every month from the Gulf states and smuggle them to Pakistan.

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