Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Kabul cafe is a front line in a war over culture and social mores in Afghanistan

AAN < 1 min

Washington Post, 15 August 2014

Pam Constable about the strange, almost Taleban-style police raid against Kabul’s Art Cafe and Restaurant, a famous hangout for Kabul’s youth, during which young women and men were harassed and abused – and local protests against it. She points to social tensions as result of modernisation and quotes an Islamic scholar who reiterates the conservatives’ equation between “foreign culture” and “immoral and corrupt behavior”. She concludes that “in several recent high-profile cases, strong local support for honor killings, and other punishments against girls who elope or are raped, suggests that rigid traditional mores are reasserting themselves as Western troops, civilians and influence start to withdraw.” That might be only one part of the explanation, though.

One of the quoted protesters, by the way, was initially a presidential candidate but disqualified early on. One wonders whether there is a connection…