Wednesday, September 13, 2006

"It is useless to air music"

On Sunday, the Islamist regime in Somalia shut down a radio station for the horrific crime of playing love songs. The AP provides the details and some context:

Islamic militants controlling much of southern Somalia shut down a radio station Sunday for playing love songs and other music, the latest step to impose strict religious rule which has sparked fears of an emerging, Taliban-style regime.

Since sweeping to power over much of southern Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu, in June, the Islamists have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together.

The group closed Radio Jowhar because the programs were un-Islamic, Islamic official Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman said. It was the only radio station in Jowhar, some 55 miles from Mogadishu.

"It is useless to air music and love songs for the people," Abdirahman said.

The next day, the Islamists allowed the station to go back on the air, provided that it no longer played any music:

Radio Jowhar can only broadcast news bulletins and readings from the Quran and other Islamic lectures, according to Said Hagaa Ahmed, director of Jowhar's only radio station.

Unfortunately, the case of Radio Jowhar is not unique. Islamists possess an almost pathological hatred of any form of expression that doesn't fit within their totalitarian vision of Islam. Here, courtesy of Norm Geras, is what the godfather of Salafist-Jihadism, Sayyid Qutb, thought of jazz:

... a type of music invented by Blacks to please their primitive tendencies - their desire for noise and their appetite for sexual arousal...

Harry's Place points out the disturbing similarity between Qutb's attitude towards jazz and that of some other 20th Century totalitarian ideologues. This is worth keeping in mind whenever someone tries to argue that radical Islamists merely hate our policies.


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