Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Islamist Idol

AFP reports that hundreds of people in the Indian-ruled region of Kashmir recently auditioned to appear on the program "Indian Idol". Normally, this would not be considered newsworthy. However, in this case, the participants defied threats from radical Islamists in order to perform:

Earlier Monday, hardline militant group Al Madina Regiment ordered Kashmiris to boycott the talent show, which draws massive television ratings across India.

"No leniency will be shown to anyone participating in the show," a rebel group spokesman told the local Current News Service.


The participants appeared unfazed by the threat by the rebel outfit, which Indian authorities believe is a splinter of the Lashkar E Toiba militant group.

"I think such talent shows should be held regularly, and the militants should leave us alone and allow us to shape our own careers," said participant Dilafroz Jan.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. As the article notes, "the rebels have shut cinema halls and liquor shops across the Indian zone of Kashmir." Earlier this year, an Islamist women's group celebrated Valentine's Day by burning greeting cards and beating up couples. As they did so, they chanted "(w)e will not allow Western culture to take roots in Muslim Majority Kashmir".

Radical Islamism's war on free expression is truly a global phenomenon.


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