TOLOnews.com, March 27, 2013
Ghazni Concert Cancelled as “Haram”
The district council and the religious Ulema said in a statement said that music is prohibited in Islam, calling it "haram" - forbidden
By Haseeb Maudoodi
Religious and government leaders in eastern Ghazni province cancelled a music concert yesterday saying it was "haram" under Islam, a sign of the growing influence of Taliban extremists, Ghazni lawmakers said Wednesday.
Two Afghan singers, Mohammad Anwar Azad and Abass Neshat, were to perform at the concert in Ghazni's Jaghori district to celebrate the Persian new year, but the district government and Ulema council forbade it, forcing it to be cancelled.
The district council and the religious Ulema said in a statement said that music is prohibited in Islam, calling it "haram" - forbidden.
A number of Ghazni lawmakers in parliament on Wednesday criticised the statement, warning that it was a sign of the Taliban's influence.
Under the Taliban regime all music and musical instruments were banned, unless it was a form of chanting the Koran.
The local Ghazni Ulema Council said in its statement: "We condemn any gathering, under any name which is against Islam regulations or values. Such a gathering creates disagreements and insecurity as well. We prevent any such gathering."
Lawmaker Mohammad Ali Akhlaqi rejected the statement.
"The religious groups should not stand against holding some parties which are for the occasion of Nowroz and shows our culture," he said.
"Holding concerts are part of the freedom of speech," MP Assadullah Saadati said. "These people want to take away our freedom. In fact, they violate [Afghanistan's] sovereignty -- each village or each district should not give separate orders on these issues."
Islamic scholar Nazir Ahmad Hanafi said music was not haram but there are some conditions.
"Music is not forbidden in Islam but it there are some conditions. Today's music is not [always] acceptable," he told TOLOnews.
It is said that extremism is on the rise in the Jaghori district where the Ulema has previously cancelled similar events and were also behind the recent whipping of a girl as punishment.
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