Taliban murder of singer restores ban on traditional music in Afghanistan – 08/31/21 – World

The killing of an Afghan folk singer by members of the Taliban on Friday (27) heightened fears that the fundamentalist group would reproduce in the country the same practices that it implemented by force when it came to power in 1996. to 2001 – including the prohibition of Songs traditions.

Afghan Fawad Andarabi, a well-known musician from the Andarabi Valley, located in the mountainous Panjshir region, where a core of resistance against the Taliban resides, was dragged out of his home by fighters and shot dead. The information was first confirmed by the Associated Press agency.

The musician’s family said the group shot Fawad a few days after they searched his house and drank tea with him. “He was an innocent, singer who only entertained people,” his son, Jawad, told The Associated Press. “They shot him in the head.”

Former Afghan Interior Minister Masud Andarabi, from the same region as the musician, also confirmed the case on a social network. “Taliban brutality continues in Andarabi. They killed Fawad Andarabi, who only brought joy to this valley and its people,” he wrote. “As he sang, ‘our beautiful valley, the land of our ancestors’ will not submit to the brutality of the Taliban.”

In a video, it is possible to see Fawad playing and singing surrounded by other inhabitants of the region surrounded by mountains. The Afghan played the gishhak, a kind of lute, and sang traditional songs about his place and its people. Folklore is one of the main types of regional music in Afghanistan.

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesperson for the Taliban, said the group would investigate the murder, but gave no further details. The violent episode, however, amplified signs of the kind of rules the fundamentalist group can impose and the disbelief in attempts to impose supposed moderation.

Last week, in an interview with The New York Times, Mujahid denied that the faction is pursuing opponents, women and Afghans who collaborated with US troops during the two decades they have remained in the country. But he set a goal: music will not be allowed in public.

“Music is prohibited in Islam,” he said. “But we hope we can persuade people not to do these things, rather than pressure them.” In the 1990s, the Taliban allowed religious chants but banned other types of music because they were considered distractions for Islamic studies and could encourage unclean behavior. Taliban officials even destroyed instruments and smashed tapes.

The UN special rapporteur on cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, said she was deeply concerned about Fawad’s murder. Even before the episode, she warned of what she calls a possible “cultural disaster” in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power on the 15th.

“It is deplorable that the world has left Afghanistan with a fundamentalist group like the Taliban whose dire human rights record, including the practice of sexist apartheid, the use of cruel punishment and systematic destruction cultural heritage, is well documented. he said.

The first period in which the group was in power, more than 20 years ago, is remembered, among other things, for the destruction of Afghan cultural heritage, something that is feared to repeat today. Persecuted, many artisans took refuge in countries such as Pakistan and Iran.

As part of an uncredited attempt to show tolerance, the Taliban also announced on Sunday that it would allow women to attend universities – provided they are separated from men. The change in attitude is viewed with skepticism and contradicted by reports from Afghan students.

The fundamentalist group returned to power after the start of the withdrawal of American troops from the country, a process which ended on Monday (30). In addition to fears of Taliban violence, Afghans also fear possible attacks by the Islamic State, which has an Afghan branch, IS-K. The terrorist group, opposed to the Taliban, carried out an attack that killed more than 180 people last week.

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