Abdul Sattar Khawasi has already declared Jihads against just about everything else he could think of, so sooner or later he was bound to look at the long list of things that exist and pick Reality TV.
During the Koran riots, he declared, “Americans are invaders, and jihad against Americans is an obligation.”
Standing with about 20 other members of Parliament, Mr. Khawasi called on mullahs and religious leaders “to urge the people from the pulpit to wage jihad against Americans.”
The programmes – modelled on Western favourites such as The Voice and Pop Idol – are hugely popular in a country with a young population and where television ownership has rocketed since the Taliban were ousted from Kabul in 2001.
Abdul Sattar Khawasi, a parliamentarian, is leading the campaign.
“I have already made it clear in the lower house that I am going to start a jihad against these kind of shows and programmes on our television channels,” he said.
But Afghan kids like their MTV or pseudo-MTV
And with that has come an almost insatiable demand for talent and reality shows.
Among them are a programme to find the next football star and last year, for Ramadan, Tolo TV developed a Koran Idol-style contest to appease more traditional tastes. Islamic scholars judged contestants on their ability to recite Islamic verses.
Such is the demand that Simon Cowell is planning to launch a local version of Britain’s Got Talent.
But wait. Competition in a country where women are killed for minor reasons can get ugly.
During the first season of Afghan Star – a local copy of Pop Idol – one woman was forced into hiding when her headscarf slipped as she danced.