Iraq: Boy beheaded for listening to Western music

22 February 2016

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 …

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Iraq: Kurdish singer receives death threats over music video

31 July 2014

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 …

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Iraq: Black Metal’s anti-religious message meets Islam

13 August 2012

  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 Iblis. Anahita is …

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Iraq: Operations targeting ‘Emo’ teenagers hit heavy metal fans

20 March 2012

  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 TV. “The ‘Emo phenomenon’ or devil worshiping is …

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Sing your song

19 December 2011

  Sing your song Documentary film about the obstacles and constraints the singer Majid and his band face as a result of the actions of extremist Islamist groups and the unappreciative attitude of local officials. They all consider art and singing a sin and forbidden.Directed by Omar Falah 15 minutes …

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Iraq: Bomb explosion at a music store kills 32

1 November 2011

  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, police and health officials said. …

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7 April 2010

Sorted alphabetical by author’s first name: Somalia: Music ban on radio stations was expected On 3 April 2010, the commander for Hisbul Islam in Mogadishu issued a 10-day ultimatum to radio stations to stop broadcasting music or face Sharia-based penalties By Abdulkadir M. Wa’ays 07 April 2010 Somalia: Music suppressor …

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Iraq: Violence against singers continues

9 December 2009

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, which is …

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Iraq: Conductor in delicate negotiations with religious leaders

23 July 2009

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 no indecent music.” It is …

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Iraq: First rap concerts in Baghdad

20 July 2009

“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 22-year-old Mr Passion …

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Iraq / USA: Interview with exiled oud player

26 November 2008

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 about the Iraqi oudist …

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Iraq: Musicians take up their instruments again

24 November 2008

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 (AFP) on 17 …

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Iraq: Students are still hiding their instruments

5 June 2008

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. By: Kristina …

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Iraq: Religious restrictions cause singers to flee

20 May 2008

 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 the US-led invasion …

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Iraq: Film about the heavy metal band Acrassicauda

18 December 2007

Film about exiled heavy metal band AcrassicaudaThe 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 …

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Iraq: Musicians and music listeners get killed

20 March 2007

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 are forcing stores …

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Iraq: 75 singers killed

29 November 2006

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 …

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Iraq: Religious decree prohibits all kinds of singing

12 October 2006

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 young men of cleric …

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Iraq: Music stores bombed in Baquba

2 April 2006

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 statement about …

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Iraq: Students beaten to death for playing music

24 March 2005

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 were armed with …

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Iraq: Traditional Iraqi music under threat

11 February 2004

Iraq: Shia extremists want music silenced Iraqi musicians have been targeted by some Muslim radicals who want to wipe out many features of secular Iraq, writes Famous across Iraq for their sea shanties, musicians in southern Iraq’s Basra port, who have endured conflict and poverty under the 12 years …

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Iraq’s artists strive for freedom

25 March 2003

  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  

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1970-1989 Middle East, North Africa

1 January 2001

1978 til 2011. Libya. Various artists The 1970s saw two urban trends emerge in Libya, as well as the emergence of the country’s first modern female signers. All this diversity pretty much ended in the late 1970s. Gaddafi’s aggressive ideological dictates began to infiltrate all cultural production in Libya. The …

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