• Iraq: Boy beheaded for listening to Western music

    According to ARA News, Islamic State militants publicly executed a 15-year-old boy in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on 16 February 2016 for listening to “Western music”. A spokesman for the Ninevah media centre told the new outlet that the boy, Ayham Hussein, was caught listening to pop music in his father’s grocery store […]
  • Iraq: Kurdish singer receives death threats over music video

    Kurdish singer Helly Luv, 25, allegedly received death threats from ISIS Islamist militants since release of her first music video in February 2014. Helly Luv’s music video combines traditional Middle Eastern pop imagery with materials of the Kurdish nationalist and revolutionary movement. The music video was viewed over three million times in its first five months. […]
  • Iraq’s artists strive for freedom

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq’s artists strive for freedom Saddam Hussein manipulated artistic expression so completely that many musicians, writers and artists now wonder if they can ever again find their own voices. Story from New York Times Related reading and more on minorities
  • Iraq: Black Metal’s anti-religious message meets Islam

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Black Metal’s anti-religious message meets Islam In July 2012 Kim Kelly from the newspaper the Atlantic finally got in touch with somebody he had tried to reach for over a year: 28-year-old Anahita who is the voice behind the black metal solo project Janaza as well as its sister project Seeds of […]
  • Iraq: Bomb explosion at a music store kills 32

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Bomb explosion at a music store kills 32 Two bomb attacks at a music store in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad killed 32 people on 27 October 2011. The two blasts, which took place at a music store in the evening on 27 October 2011, killed 32 people and wounded 71 others, […]
  • Iraq: Musician shot dead in 2007, remembered on Day to End Impunity

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Musician shot dead in 2007, remembered on Day to End Impunity Each day from 1 until 23 November 2011, IFEX highlighted a story of a journalist, writer, musician, artist or free expression advocate who was killed on that day, and whose murderers have gone free. One of them was the Iraqi musician […]
  • Iraq: Documentary film about a musician’s struggle to keep music alive

    FILM ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Documentary film about a musician’s struggle to keep music alive Produced in Iraq in 2011, the 15-minutes documentary ‘Sing your song’ details the obstacles and constraints a musician and his band face as a result of the actions of extremist Islamist groups and the unappreciative attitude of local officials. Majid is a […]
  • Iraq: Operations targeting ‘Emo’ teenagers hit heavy metal fans

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Operations targeting ‘Emo’ teenagers  hit fans of heavy metal as well Brutal persecution and killing of ‘Emo’ teenagers has put musicians and fans of heavy metal music under critical danger in Iraq. ‘Emos’ are fools and experts must finish them, said the conservative cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the Iraq-based Al Sumaria News […]
  • Iraq: Radio station closed for playing music “contrary to local morality”

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Radio station closed for playing music “contrary to local morality” The radio station Al-Sada, the only independent broadcaster in the province of Al-Qadisiya, has come under severe pressure. On 26 October 2011, a provincial council decided to close the station on the grounds that its programmes contained music which was “contrary to local […]
  • Iraq: First rap concerts in Baghdad

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: First rap concerts in Baghdad “They say that this is something that is banned by religion. But I do what I want to do — nobody can tell me what to do,” the Iraqi rapper Mr Passion is quoted as saying in an AFP report from one of Baghdad’s first rap concerts […]
  • Iraq: Conductor in delicate negotiations with religious leaders

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Conductor in delicate negotiations with religious leaders The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra’s director and chief conductor Karim Wasfi has negotiated performances in 2010 in the holy Shiite cities of Karbala and Najaf, where conservative religious values dominate. Explaining his delicate negotiations with religious leaders there, he told reporter Steven Lee Myers: “There’s […]
  • Iraq: Violence against singers continues

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Violence against singers continues In Iraq, the clerics have conflicting opinions about music prohibition, writes Wisam Tahir from Nasiriya in Iraq in an article published in The Herald Scotland on courtesy of the Institute for War and Peace reporting The article gives an excellent insight in the situation for musicians in Nasiriya, […]
  • Human Rights for Musicians – Impressions & Descriptions: Stephan Said

    PUBLICATIONS TEN YEARS WITH FREEMUSE IMPRESSIONS & DESCRIPTIONS Stephan Said Musician and singer, Iraq / USA Music brings us together in times of joy as well as in times of urgent need. Since the beginning of civilization, it has been a central mechanism for expressing ideas imperative to human survival while reaching across age groups, […]
  • Iraq: Musicians take up their instruments again

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Musicians take up their instruments again 50 musicians have been killed in 2004-2006 in Iraq, according to a national artists union. But as the civil war appears to be fading, so does the pressure on musicians and the ban on music by the Mehdi Army’s and Al-Qaeda’s militiamen, reported Sammy Ketz from Agence France Presse […]
  • Iraq / USA: Interview with exiled oud player

    ARTICLES ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq / USA:Interview with exiled oud player Rahim AlHaj is a former political prisoner of Saddam Hussein who escaped Iraq, relocated to the US in 2000, and made a new home in New Mexico. “How does Iraqi music change when the musician doesn’t live in Iraq anymore?” asks Tom Chandler in his article […]
  • Iraq: Religious restrictions cause singers to flee

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Religious restrictions cause singers to flee Singers, musicians and other artists are fleeing Iraq after dozens have been killed by Islamic radicals determined to eradicate all culture associated with the West, reported The Observer on 11 May 2008 In November 2007, Seif Yehia, 23, was beheaded for singing Western songs at weddings. Since […]
  • Iraq: Students are still hiding their instruments

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Students are still hiding their instruments Going to school is a dangerous mission for every child in Baghdad – but for the students of Iraq’s Music and Ballet School, there is an added threat of being attacked because of their love for music. This article summons the latest news from the musical life in […]
  • Iraq: Film about the heavy metal band Acrassicauda

    FILM ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Film about exiled heavy metal band Acrassicauda The documentary film ‘Heavy Metal in Baghdad’ documents how Iraq’s only heavy metal band, Acrassicauda, had to escape the country and is now literally a band on the run The band Acrassicauda was formed in Baghdad in 2001. As the war in Baghdad worsened they […]
  • Iraq: 75 singers killed

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:75 singers killed Nearly 80 percent of all Iraqi singers have fled the country and at least 75 singers had been killed since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, according to the Iraqi Artist’s Association. This was mentioned in an article by the UN news service IRIN about the murder of a […]
  • Iraq: Musicians and music listeners get killed

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Musicians and music listeners get killed Musicians, music shop owners and music fans flee from death squads of Islamic extremists in Baghdad. It is no longer safe to sell music in central and southern Iraq, reported Associated Press on 16 March 2007 Similar to the present development in north-western Pakistan, Islamic extremist militants […]
  • Iraq: Music stores bombed in Baquba

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Music stores bombed in Baquba Three stores selling music CDs in southern Baquba were bombed on Sunday 2 April 2006, according to an Iraqi official Unidentified gunmen also planted explosives around a small Guba Shiite mosque in Baquba and blew it up, according to the Baquba Police Col. Adnan Lafta. CNN recorded the […]
  • Iraq: Religious decree prohibits all kinds of singing

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq:Religious decree prohibits all kinds of singing In Iraq, new personal freedoms has ushered in a fervent fundamentalism. In September 2006, a group of religious enforcers in Baghdad banned “music-filled parties” and all kinds of singing, reports the American newspaper Washington Post In an article in Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan describes how the […]
  • Iraq: Traditional Iraqi music under threat

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Shia extremists want music silencedIraqi musicians have been targeted by some Muslim radicals who want to wipe out many features of secular Iraq, writes Aljazeera.net Famous across Iraq for their sea shanties, musicians in southern Iraq’s Basra port, who have endured conflict and poverty under the 12 years of sanctions, are facing […]
  • Iraq: Students beaten to death for playing music

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Iraq: Students beaten to death for playing music In Basra, Shia Islamic militias apply their own version of Islamic law, writes reporter for The Times of London, Catherine Philp In the southern Iraqi city of Basra, dozens of men from a private militia poured into a local park where a group of students were having a picnic. The men […]
  • Music during wartime

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Music during wartimeThe war on Iraq has in many ways affected freedom of musical expression; from The Dixie Chicks receiving death threats and being boycotted by many radio stations, to a new wave of protest music. Below is an extensive collection of links to articles related to music and the war on Iraq. February […]
  • Jonas Otterbeck: Islamic reactions to the music of today

    WORKING PAPER Battling over the public sphere: Islamic reactions to the music of today A working paper – by Jonas Otterbeck, PhD in history of religions “States and local authorities have taken action against heavy metal musicians, female singers, music videos, and public concerts. Islamist and conservative Islamic organizations or individuals try to disturb and […]
  • Video interviews from the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Speakers | Programme | Photos |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCE ON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP VIDEO INTERVIEWSfrom the conference in Istanbul, 25-26 November 2006 Fadal Dey – singer from Côte d’Ivoire Grup Yorum – music group from Turkey Jason Carter – British guitarist about Saudi Arabia Jeroen de Kloet – Dutch researcher about China Mario Masvidal – professor from […]
  • Speakers of the 3rd Freemuse World Conference

    | Start page | Media coverage | Programme | Photos | Video interviews |  3rd FREEMUSE WORLD CONFERENCEON MUSIC AND CENSORSHIP SPEAKERS AND MODERATORS Andy Fuller (Australia)Andy Fuller was born in 1977 in Melbourne, Australia. He completed his Master of Arts in 2004 at University of Melbourne. His thesis studied the politically subversive literature of […]
  • Veil lifts off once-forbidden Kurdish folklore music

    NEWS Veil lifts off once-forbidden Kurdish folklore musicThe fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime has allowed the once-forbidden Kurdish music to spread throughout the country. Even such unlikely fans as Arab taxi drivers and Turkmen teenagers are singing along with the renaissance of a culture that spent nearly three decades in obscurity.Story from Washington Bureau
  • Kurdish musician plays for freedom

    NEWS ##PagePublishedLong## Kurdish musician plays for freedomKurdish singer, Newroz, explains the impact that censorship has on his career. Newroz is an Iraqi Kurd. Born in the Behedinan province in the north of Iraq, he grew up defying restrictions and sang openly in the Kurdish language. As a result he faced imprisonment, torture and eventually exile. […]
Back to top