Teenage singer remains unfazed by fatwa

Teenage singer remains unfazed by fatwa

A group of Islamic clerics issued a fatwa banning a prominent teenage singer of Assam from performing in any public entertainment event. She remained unfazed and said she will never be cowed.

In the first such case in Assam, the fatwa was issued against musical reality TV show Indian Idol junior finalist Nahid Afrin, 16, demanding that she stay away from a music programme on March 25, claiming that the event was “against the Sharia”

The diktat was circulated through pamphlets, which were widely distributed among the public across Hojai and Nagaon districts in central Assam on Tuesday.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal condemned the fatwa and directed the police to provide security to the singer.

Sonowal had a telephonic conversation with Nahid and assured her of all steps to ensure her security so that she can continue pursuing her vocation fearlessly and bring laurels to the state.

In a statement, Sonowal said, “Such a ruling against practising art and culture is unacceptable and is tantamount to the infringement of one’s freedom of cultural rights. Such a move cannot be tolerated in a civilised society”.

Printed in Assamese and carrying names of 46 clerics, organisations and individuals, the leaflets said entertainment events “corrupt” future generations.

The leaflet said, “Magic, dance, drama, theatre, etc are against Sharia laws. Events like musical shows are against Sharia, law and future generations will be corrupted by it.”
“If anti-Sharia acts like musical nights are held on the grounds surrounded by masjids, idgahs, madrassas and graveyards, our future generations will attract the wrath of Allah,” the pamphlets read.

On hearing of the fatwa, Nahid, a class X student, initially broke down and said “I am speechless.”

She, however, regained her confidence and composure and told the media on Wednesday, “I think my music is God’s gift to me. I will never bow to such warnings and never leave singing”.

“Being a practising Muslim, I do not believe singing is anti-Islam.”

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