Afghans face death if they do not have mobile phones playing defiant Taliban ringtones and messages, it emerged today.The Wall Street Journal notes:
They are being forced to show their loyalty to the insurgents at clandestine checkpoints by producing the chants romantising the war with the West.
Taliban ringtones include the titles 'Teenager', 'Doomsday' and 'Suicide Bomber'. Lyrics for Doomsday include, 'Its Judgment Day for the Satan of the West ... the evening is blazing, blazing ...'
The prevalence of checkpoints... has forced many Afghans to cleanse their mobiles of all apparent Western songs and influence.
The have reported how offenders have been forced to eat SIM cards and have had phones broken on their heads..
Travelers often pop out their real SIM cards and replace them with ones containing insurgent-produced jingles...
Shopkeepers are doing a roaring trade in rebel ringtones at $2 an upload...
Kabul grocer Haji Mohammad Khan said: 'If they [the Taliban] search your phone and see their videos and songs, they will think you are their sympathiser.
'On occasion, it can save your life...
Today, the Taliban is mass texting gruesome videos to Afghans’ cellphones to spread the same message.
The insurgency’s media committee produces video glorifying suicide bombers and posts them on Taliban websites.
After watching one of them, a Paktia resident told Radio Free Europe: 'I could not even sleep because I was just thinking of this scary video in which Taliban were slaying young men.'
The growing popularity of Taliban-safe phones highlights the increasing sense of insecurity across Afghanistan—and in particular in Kabul—as the U.S. is withdrawing one-third of its forces by September.Hopefully, as part of the ongoing peace negotiations with the Taliban, the White House will strike a profit sharing deal with the local shopkeepers and the Taliban: For every Taliban ringtone that is downloaded, the Obama administration would receive a percentage of the profits and use it to help pay off the President's current, and future, spending initiatives....
United Nations officials, private security analysts and veteran aid workers in Afghanistan have all warned that it is becoming more dangerous to travel outside the Afghan capital. The U.S.-led coalition acknowledges increasing insurgent activity in provinces bordering Kabul.