The Black Tulip

Kabul: Afghans proved a tough audience for the world premiere of “The Black Tulip” at the Ariana Cinema on Thursday afternoon (an evening showing was deemed too dangerous). It was meant to be a serious film about Afghanistan, by an Afghan-born director, set in present-day Kabul and even filmed on location here, but many of the Afghans who saw it said they did not recognize the society they knew.

The movie tells the story of an Afghan woman who starts a family-run Bohemian cafe in Kabul, where they serve wine in teapots and have poetry readings, which angers the Taliban. They soon begin kidnapping and assassinating the woman’s family members.
Ms. Cole has drawn some criticism in artistic and political circles here for her assertion that she took over the lead in the movie only at the last minute, when the Taliban cut the feet off her pick for that role, whom she named as Zarifa Jahon.
Just before production began on “The Black Tulip” in August 2009, the actress disappeared, Ms. Cole said. “Finally, she called me and she said, ‘You’ll never guess what happened. The Taliban chopped my feet off.’ ” Ms. Cole said the Taliban were angry about a Pakistani film the actress had appeared in. ndtv.com

Capital punishment in Iran

The founder of the Islamic Republic, Islamic cleric Ruhollah Khomeini, who was a grand Ayatollah, ruled "that the penalty for conversion from Islam, or apostasy, is death."

The sentence of death for the crime of apostasy has been applied in Iran to alleged offenders who have not claimed to have converted to another religion, and whose crime may appear to outsiders to be political rather than religious. Hashem Aghajari, for example was condemned to death for apostasy for a speech urging Iranians to "not blindly follow" Islamic clerics. wikipedia (28/09/10)

Terror plot targeting Europe uncovered

LONDON (AFP) – Western intelligence agencies have uncovered an Al-Qaeda plot to launch attacks in Britain, France and Germany by extremists based in Pakistan, security sources and media reports said Wednesday.

"The threat is very real," a European-based security official told AFP, after British and US media reported that militants were planning simultaneous strikes in London and major cities in France and Germany.