Grand Mufti, Hurriyats join ‘reproving’ chorus

Music Part Of Kashmir’s Spiritual Culture: PDP

ROCK BAND ROW

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Feb 3: Kashmir’s first-ever girls’ rock band has triggered a fresh row between the mainstream and separatist camp with Valley’s Grand Mufti, Mufti Bashir-ud-Din Sunday slamming Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for “expressing unnecessary support to a shameless act”.
 Reacting to reported threats to the Valley’s only All Girls’ Rock Band on social media, Omar had Saturday said “the talented teenagers should not let themselves be silenced by a handful of morons.”
 “Such trivial acts (singing and playing instruments) never develop a society but are a first step to demolish its moral fabric. I am happy that the new generation has attained a pro-development and pro-religion stance but there are some girls treading on the path of destruction,” Mufti Bashir-ud-Din said in a statement. “They should stop from such activities and not to get influenced by the support of political leadership,” he said.
 The head priest has also asked the parents of the band to rope-in their children towards teachings of Islam.
 The band ‘Pragaash (morning light)’ consisting of three school girls, vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and Guitarist Aneeka Khalid, performed their first live performance at Srinagar's music festival, Battle of the Bands in December last year.
 After their performance, some facebook users uploaded a picture of the performance which generated praises from some and abuses from others on the social networking websites.
 The band girls have refused to quit but said that they won’t be performing live for some time.

SURPRISED BY OMAR’S REMARKS: HURRIYAT (G)
 Joining the chorus, the separatists also opposed the girls’ rock band vociferously by calling it a step towards diverting young girls of valley towards westernization. Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani said he is surprised to see the way Chief Minister Omar Abdullah supported the band. “In a civilized society, though there is no place for coercion, but there are some values a citizen has to adopt to safeguard the ethical, moral and religious traditions,” said Hurriyat spokesman, Ayaz Akbar in a statement issued here.
 He said Kashmir being a sacred place given the fact that the place houses scores of revered shrines of saints, “there is no room to nourish western culture and immoral values.”
 “Since ages, J&K has been known for its decency, politeness and noble culture. Women here are treated with great regard, dignity and honour,” Akbar said. “No noble family will allow their girls to choose a profession to become a dancer.”
 About the threats issued to the band, Akbar said parents of the girls, who are part of the rock band should guide their children in a proper way. “We believe that parents should tell them that such acts are un-Islamic,” the Hurriyat (G) spokesman said.

BAND AGAINST MORAL VALUES: MIRWAIZ
 Joining the chorus, Chairman Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told Greater Kashmir over phone from New Delhi, that the rock band of Kashmiri girls is against the moral values. “We belong to the land of Sufi saints, where there is no place for musical concerts. It is irony that our girls are now being diverted towards westernization. There is no place for such acts in Islam,” he said and urged the parents of the girls to persuade their children to stay far from such things and instead follow Islamic teachings.

REFRAIN FROM SINGING: DUKHTARAN TELLS GIRLS
 Chipping-in, Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief, Asiya Andrabi said she feels that Kashmir was being made a safe haven for bollywood by allowing the filmmakers to shoot at ease here. “We appeal the parents of rock band to ask their children refrain from singing as it is against the Islamic principles. If they don’t follow our advice, we would be forced to announce social boycott against them,” she said.
 Head of Karawan-e-Islami, Moulana Ghulam Rasool Hami said women’s voice should only be heard by the women and that too without musical instruments like guitars etc. “There is no room for women or for that matter for the girls to sing in loud voice before the large audience. This is against Islam. We request the parents of girls to play their part as they are the first teachers of their children,” he said.
PDP supports band
 Amid toughening of stance by the separatist leaders, the main opposition, PDP came in support of the band, though guardedly. “Civil society should keep the equilibrium. We should not make it a gender war. Does the fatwa mean that men are allowed to perform and only females are restricted,” said PDP chief spokesman Naeem Akthar. “Music is part of our spiritual culture since decades. There has to be a freedom. Kashmiris have been listening to female singers like Raja Begum, Zoon Begum and others since generations. Does it mean that those who used to listen to them are still doing so are non-Muslims?”
 Referring to the fatwa, Akhtar said does it mean that men are allowed and only females are restricted to sing in Islam. “There has to be a balance in issuing fatwas,” he said.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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