Iran: Prohibition of music in holy city

15 March 2007
In a speech in the official Friday prayer on 11 May 2007 the Imam of Mashhad banned practicing of music and ordered a closure of all music institutes in the city

The Imam of Mashhad, Seyed Ahmad Alamolhoda, emphasised that he will not participate in ceremonies where music is performed and that he “will do his best for fighting music”. He is a man who has stated that the sin of being a socalled “bad Hijab” is much worse than being a murderer or to do a robbery. (“Bad Hijab” is a phrase that has been coined after the Islamic revolution in Iran for women who don’t cover themselves properly).

According to Islamic Republic News the Imam of Bojnoord, Habibollah Mehman Navaz, was quoted as saying: “Live music and dance is haram (not allowed according to the religion) in Islamic countries. (…) Where instrumental music is playing and dancing, this place is Satan’s place and you are not allowed to go this area. Playing music with instruments is forbidden. We have to follow the Qu’ran ran and our religion.”

The socalled “music institutes” which are affected by the prohibition are music schools which have a permission from the Iranian Ministry of Culture. Even traditional Persian music school are now closed, and the apprentice of Shajarian, a Iranian famous singer, is reported to have sent his students home.

Mashhad is a holy city in Iran with more than two million inhabitants, placed in the centre of the north-eastern corner of Iran that borders Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.




In Persian (Farsi) language:

Reading material on the internet

Tehelka – 19 May 2007:
‘Under the chador of the new radicals’

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