A death in Afghanistan:
Gunmen have shot dead a female television presenter in Kabul who once worked for a music program similar to MTV, which had upset radical Islamic clerics, police said.
City police chief Mohammad Akram Khakrizwal confirmed 24-year-old Shaima Rezayee was killed.
But he said there was no known motive for the murder....
Ms Rezayee was sacked from the private-run Tulo TV in March which hosted her music program after it was heavily criticised by clerics....
Tulo, one of several private TV channels launched after the fall of the hardline Taliban regime in late 2001, has also been the target of criticism by Islamic radicals....
--ABC News (Australia)/AFP
But it's not just clerics and Islamic radicals who didn't like Rezayee's show, which was called Hop. One of the biggest critics of Hop was Afghanistan's chief justice, as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty noted in February:
In addition to the songs of Western pop music stars like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, "Hop's" young Afghan hosts also present music videos by Iranian, Turkish, and Indian pop stars.
After just five months on the air, the format is proving to be extremely popular with young Afghans....
One of the most outspoken critics of "Hop" is Fazl Hadi Shinwari, a conservative Islamist who serves as chief justice on the Afghan Supreme Court.
"It will corrupt our society, culture and most importantly, it will take our people away from Islam and destroy our country," he says. "This will make our people accept another culture, and make our country a laughingstock around the world." ...
The firing of Rezayee -- and the possibility that she was killed because religious conservatives didn't like her TV appearances -- is a bit ironic:
The only female presenter on the show, 22-year-old Shaima Rezayee, stayed in Afghanistan during the five years that the Taliban controlled Kabul. She was forbidden from going to school as a teenager and, in the final years of Taliban rule, was forced to wear an all-encompassing burqa whenever she ventured outside.
But, of course, that sort of thing simply hasn't gone away completely in Afghanistan. Chief Justice Shinwari has denounced coeducation; he's also instituted a ban on cable TV in Afghanistan -- out of fear, it is reported, of the corrupting influence of Bollywood movies. And this is more disturbing:
Even though he has repeatedly distanced himself from the Taliban's interpretation of Islam, Chief Justice Shinwari is an outspoken advocate of orthodoxy. With a background in religious matters only, Shinwari is seen as sympathetic to the pro-Wahhabist views of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, a former mujaheddin commander and onetime associate of Osama bin Laden. Shinwari's tenure as Chief Justice drew particular notice in 2003, when he reinstated the hated Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, renamed as the Ministry for Haj and Religious Affairs.
...So I guess it makes sense that Laura Bush's upcoming Middle East Feminism Tour won't include Afghanistan.