The December / January 2005 edition of The Walrus has a photograph of merchant Zilgai Tajahi in front of his kite stall in a Kabuli bazaar. The Taliban outlawed kites in 1996; during the years they were illegal, Tajahi sold contraband kites to children.
In April 2005, Pakistani Mullahs attempted to ban a kite-flying festival (“Basant”) in Lahore. What tangled strings have these poor Lahori kites: Basant is a Hindu festival; no, it’s a Muslim festival; no, it’s both, but it falls on the same day that, in Medieval times, a Hindu was put to death for insulting the Prophet, causing riot and retaliation. So Basant glorifies an infidel; no, it glorifies the righteous wrath of Islam against infidels; but Basant pre-dates the incident – it has nothing to do with it. “But it might“, say the Mullahs.
Some things have too much symbolism for their own good.
John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace”, from “The Kite, or the Fall of Pride”:
…Were I but free, I’d take a flight,
And pierce the clouds beyond their sight.