USA: Banned musician invited to speak at Clinton Global Initiative
Pakistani guitarist Salman Ahmad is invited to speak at former US president Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative panel in New York on 21 September 2006
Salman Ahmad will make a presentation on the role of culture in building bridges between Islam and the West. Salman last year spoke at the Freemuse Beirut Conference on Freedom of Expression in Music. The conference showed excerpts of Salman’s music and award winning documentaries ‘The Rockstar And The Mullahs’ and ‘It’s My Country Too’. The films will be on display during the three day Bill Clinton event which looks to find solutions to the growing polarisation between Muslims and the West as well as other global issues.
The event is the hottest ticket in New York and will be attended by Bill Gates, Laura Bush, Queen Rania of Jordan as well as other prominent personalities from around the world. Salmans home country Pakistan has recently experienced several attacks on music shops and musicians, and several yearsago the government banned the music of Junoon, Salman’s group when the members criticised nuclear tests of Pakistan and India.
Junoon played for Freemuse at Scandinavia’s largest music festival in Roskilde Denmark six years ago and the collaboration between Salman and Freemuse has continued during the years in a common advocacy for freedom of expression for musicians and composers.
Photo: Salman Ahmad (right) at the Freemuse conference in Beirut in dialogue with Islamic scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Ramadan Al-Mardini
See also ’All that is Banned is Desired’ – Conference on Freedom of Expression in Music, Beirut 2005