Burqa-clad women walking near an Afghan National Army patrol near Kabul (file photo) (epa)
July 15, 2006 -- Afghan clerics have proposed reviving the Taliban-era Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Government spokesman Mohammad Asif Nang said today the proposal will be referred to parliament for consideration.
The department was disbanded after the Taliban were toppled in 2001. Previously, its officers patrolled the streets, punishing anyone caught listening to music, men not wearing beards, and women not wearing burqas.
Saving Afghanistan's Heritage
A UNESCO team working to stabilize Herat minarets in 2003 (UNESCO)
THE MINARETS OF HERAT: In Afghanistan's leafy western city of Herat, a two-lane road slices between the city's five remaining 15th-century minarets. Every truck, car, bus, motorcycle, and horse-drawn carriage that passes by sends vibrations coursing through the delicate structures. In particular, the Fifth Minaret -- all 55 meters of it -- seems ready to collapse into a dusty heap of bricks and colored tiles at any moment. A large crack near its base makes drivers speed up just a little as they pass by....(more)
Click on the image to view an audio slideshow of this story by RFE/RL correspondent Grant Podelco.