Taliban Bans Playing Cards, Chess, and Much More

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, JULY 19, 2001 (Zenit.org).- In 1998 it was televisions. Earlier this year is was ancient Buddha statues.

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Now, Afghanistan´s ruling Taliban has banned playing cards, chess and musical instruments after declaring them un-Islamic. Lipstick is out, too.

The radical Islamic movement placed bans on the import of 30 products that also include computer discs, movies, satellite TV dishes and cassettes.

The Taliban´s supreme leader Mullar Mohammad Omar ordered the ban, according to the movement´s Voice of Shariat radio, monitored in Pakistan.

Other items listed as banned for being «against the Shariah,» or Islamic law, include fireworks, statues, fashion catalogues, greeting cards featuring pictures of people, nail polish and neckties.

The radio quoted the leader´s order as telling border guards and security agencies to seize the banned items and hand them over to the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The order follows one last month banning the printing of pictures of animals or verses from the Koran on any products.

The Taliban gained power in 1996 and controls 95% of the war- and famine-ravaged country. It triggered international outrage this year by ordering the destruction of millennium-old Buddhist statues and asking the country´s small non-Muslim population to wear distinguishing badges.

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