Libya: Photos of instrument-burning distributed online

23 February 2015


An information office of The Islamic State, Isis, in Libya has published photos of its militants burning musical instruments they said were confiscated in line with the radical group’s interpretation of Sharia law.

Instrumental music is banned according to the extreme form of Salafi Islam practiced by Islamic State.

» Photos:
المكتب الإعلامي لولاية برقة

» Corriere Della Sera – 20 February 2015:
Libia, Califfato contro la musica: strumenti musicali al rogo
Slide show, 12 photos

» The Daily Mail – 19 February 2015:
Now Libya’s ISIS extremist attack music as they burn ‘un-Islamic’ drums in the desert

» The Jerusalem Post – 19 February 2015:
Photos: Islamic State torches musical instruments

» International Business Times – 19 February 2015:
Libya: Isis wages war on music by burning drums, saxophones and other instruments
By Umberto Bacchi

» Twitter

Similar incident in Syria

In Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, which is based in the northern part of the country, has banned folkloric dancing and music at public celebrations such as weddings.

On 19 January 2015, ISIL militants flogged five young men from Aleppo province after catching them playing musical instruments and accusing them of engaging in prohibited practices. The musical instruments they had seized were smashed.

Aleppo media activist Faisal al-Ahmed told Al-Shorfa that Massoud al-Mohamed “got 90 lashes for playing [his instrument] and singing, and is still confined to bed and suffers from inflammation in his vertebrae as a result of the beating, while the others received less than 50 lashes.”

The situation is the same in al-Raqa, where all forms of music have been banned since ISIL elements seized control of the city, reported Al-Shorfa.

» Al Shorfa – 19 February 2015:
ISIL bans music in Syria

» Freemuse – 23 January 2015:
Syria: Music banned in northern province

» Freemuse – 22 January 2015:
Syria: Musicians punished for playing ‘un-Islamic’ instruments

Music ban in northern Iraq

In September 2014, International Business Times reported that Isis imposed a new school curriculum in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, banning art and music as well as all classes on history, literature and Christianity.

» International Business Times – 15 September 2014:
ISIS Medieval School Curriculum: No Music, Art and Literature for Mosul Kids
By Umberto Bacchi

Music and Islam – what’s the fuzz?

For several years Freemuse has stimulated research and documentation on issues of music and Islam.
You can find an introduction to the topic here:

“There is no ban on music in the Qur’an, and those talking about which music is haram (forbidden/bad) and which music is halal (allowed) have very weak evidence,” says a renowned Islamic scholar from The Beirut Studies and Documentation Center

» Freemuse:
Islamic scholar rejects religious prohibition on music

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