Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has signed a decree banning all Western music that “does not conform to Islamic doctrines and the spirit of the Islamic Revolution”. The ban applies to state-run radio and TV. Television stations will only be allowed to broadcast relaxing and memorable revolutionary music.
The new ban comes just after a period of three months where Iran’s Ministry of Culture has cancelled more than thirty concerts in the country.
The hardliner president thus introduces a cultural policy which reminds of the times of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini — the father of the Islamic Revolution — whose ideological line based on iconoclastic Quranic principles was used to ban Western and traditional culture and products seen as a threat to the moral integrity of younger generations.
Whether the ban includes the music of Yusuf Islam is not known. Last year Iran’s Islamic Propagation Organisation approved for sale the music of Yusuf Islam, the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens.
Then, a year ago, the music director Reza Mahdavi told AFP: “We have chosen to put on the market a selection of songs from Cat Stevens, to show to the Iranian youth that not everything in the West is bad.”
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – his hard line brings back the memory of Ayatollah Khomeini
A view from the other side: “Those talking about which music is forbidden in Quran have very weak evidence” – Shaykh Ibrahim Ramadan Al-Mardini. Read more
SFGate.com – 19 December, 2005:
‘Iran’s President Bans Western Music’
Associated Press – 20 December, 2005:
‘Iranians Unfazed by Ban on Western Music’
AsiaNews.it – 20 December, 2005:
‘Ahmadinejad bans Western music, escapes assassination’
New Kerala – 24 December, 2005:
‘Iran denies Ahmadinejad banned Western music on TV’
Santa Cruz Sentinel – 1 January, 2006:
‘Laina Farhat-Holzman: Roll over Beethoven’