Three films about music and Islam hit Scandinavia

Sweden and Denmark:
Three films about music and Islam hit ScandinaviaPakistani rock star and filmmaker Salman Ahmad, and editor of the UK world music magazine Songlines Simon Broughton will make a quick visit to Denmark and Sweden in February to show three documentari films highlighting essential discussions concerning music and Islam.
Salman Ahmad will show ‘The Rock Star and the Mullahs’ and take part in discussions at two film festivals in Copenhagen and Malmö – the twin cities in two countries connected by a bridge.


In Malmö

In the Swedish town Malmö, Salman and Simon will take part in the Music Doc Festival on 9 February. It is a new independent film festival focusing on high quality music documentaries from all over the world.

In a unique showcase the festival will present three remarkable music documentaries on music & Islam: ‘The Rock Star and the Mullahs’ and two documentaries by Simon Broughton: ‘Sufi Soul’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’. The screening of these three unique films is a result of a collaboration between Freemuse and the Music Doc Festival.

One of the themes of the festival is “music and religion”, and Simon Broughton and Salman Ahmad will take part in a discussion following the showing of ‘Rock Star…’ and ‘Sufi Soul’. The discussion will be conducted by Jonas Otterbäck, PhD Islamic Studies.

As Muslim extremists dominate the headlines, Salman Ahmad in ‘Rock Star…’ and historian William Dalrymple in ‘Sufi Soul’, explore an altogether different side of Islam – the mystical and musical side of the religion.

Where Salman Ahmad in ‘Rock Star…’ confronts conservative Mullahs in Pakistan’s North West Frontier and their ban on music, Simon Broughton’s ‘Breaking the Silence’ was filmed in 2002 just a few weeks after the fall of the Taliban in Kabul in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s prohibition of music was the most severe ever imposed, and this documentary charts the return of music and the way music has been caught in the crossfire of 25 years of fighting in Afghanistan.

• ‘Sufi Soul’ + ‘The Rock Star & The Mullahs’ + Seminar
Location: Malmö, Victoria Teatern – 9 February at 19:00

• ‘Sufi Soul’ + short presentation + questions and discussion with the audience
Location: Lund, Kino – 10 February at 17.00 In Copenhagen

Salman Ahmad will attend and and meet the audience when Copenhagen’s most prestigious movie theatre, The Grand, will make a special showcase of ‘Rock Star and the Mullahs’ on Saturday 10 February.

The showcase will also mark the beginning of Denmark’s acclaimed film festival, which focus on quality films from all over the world. The film will be shown again on 1 March in connection with a Freemuse debate event about how Danish-Muslim musicians relate to the music prohibtion issues in Islam.

• ‘The Rock Star & The Mullahs’ + discussion with Salman Ahmad
Location: Copenhagen, Grand Teatret – 10 February at 22.30. Tickets: DKK 70.00.
Tickets on-line

• ‘The Rock Star & The Mullahs’ + Seminar
Location: Copenhagen, Gloria Biograf – 1 March at 21.15. Tickets: DKK 70.00.


See video interview

with Salman Ahmad about music prohibition among Islamists, and about music censorship in Pakistan.



Official site of the Malmö film festival Music Doc:

Official site of the Copenhagen film festival


Articles in Danish languageArticle in the Danish magazine Djembe, February 2007:
‘Music is not a curse’

CLick to read article (in Danish)Click to read article (in Danish language)    Click to read editorial       Click to read article

Editorial in Djembe no 59, February 2007:
Smokescreen of the respect’

Continued debate (in Danish language) about the subject, the film and about the evening event on
‘Kommentar til: Debat Med Salman Ahmad’ – 20 March 2007:
‘Fucking koldt i Vesten’ (‘Fucking cold in the West’)

Kristeligt Dagblad – 14 February 2007:
‘Magt og musik’ (‘Power and music’)
‘Hjerterne taler samme sprog’ (‘The hearts speak the same language’)

Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR2 tv channel, ‘Deadline’ (2:09 + 8:41 minutes) – 10 February 2007: ‘M’

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