Tuesday, April 13, 2010


"Somali radio stations stopped playing music on Tuesday after hardline militants called it un-Islamic and ordered stations to take songs off the air.

The edict is the latest unpopular order from Islamists, who also have banned bras, musical ringtones and movies. The order to stop the music echoes the Taliban's strict social rules imposed on Afghans beginning in the late 1990s.

Somalia has a tradition of music and most residents greeted the ban with dismay.

''Now I think we are going to be forced to hear only the horrific sounds of the gunfire and the explosions,'' said Khadiya Omar, a 22-year-old Mogadishu resident who called music a ''tranquilizer'' to help him forget life's troubles." ...

Associated Press "Somali Islamic Militants Ban Music on Airwaves" New York Times April 13, 2010


"It is widely thought that music is forbidden in Islam. Scholars cite hadith, or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, that certain types of music distract from worship, and that music is a source of temptation that leads to committing other excesses and sins. Others cite hadith showing that the Prophet Muhammad did permit singing, as long as the purpose of the song itself is beneficial, and the words used in the song fall within the range of permitted speech.

For example, songs that are neither defamatory nor incite to sin, that are sung to accompany work or stir the audience to remembrance and unity are permitted. According to this interpretation, Islamic practice recognizes the elemental human affinity for rhythmic speech and melody. There is also wide agreement that use of the drum to enhance and lead the rhythm of song is permitted."


Photo credit: Rapper K'Naan by Megan Cole (via Creative Commons) and Inside Islam: Challenges and Debates.


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