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Kashmir girl band labelled un-Islamic, obscene

Feb 04, 2013 11:52 AM IST Politics Politics

Srinagar: Kashmir's first all girls music band facing a fatwa from Muslim clerics has found support in politicians and activists. The valley's Grand Mufti, while issuing the fatwa to the band, called for women in the country to wear a veil at all times. Mufti Maulana Bashir-U-Din went on to say that public performances by women are un-Islamic and obscene.

However, PDP spokesperson Naeem Akhtar said, "The Mufti has made it a norm to issue fatwas. Because of this the religion is getting a bad name." Grand Mufti had condemned the rock band and issued a fatwa against them, saying music is bad for the society and women must be under a veil at all times.

NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma, too, supported the band and said, "If we stop children from following their dreams after so many years of freedom, this shows how narrow-minded we are."

BJP leader Najma Heptuallah said, "Not everyone can sing. So if God has given one such a talent, it is not right to ban them from singing."

The senior cleric has also called for women in the country to wear the veil at all times and said that women performing in public is the reason for increasing number of sexual assaults. Earlier there were threats against the music band Pragaash.

He said, "Girls are responsible for the rape. They should be in their limits. They must wear the veil at all times. They can sing inside their homes. They shouldn't sing in public. They are giving bad signals to men."

The girls band had earlier decided to give up live performances following threats by extremists. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had even ordered an inquiry into the threats.

The girls hit headlines when they first performed at the annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition in December 2012 and won the best performance award. The three girls have also been barred by their parents from speaking to the media. Venting his anger, Omar had tweeted, "I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them."

Meanwhile, the owner of the music academy where the girls have been undergoing training, said, "There has been a wicked campaign against the girls ever since they made their maiden appearance in public on December 26." He said some people who were not happy over the progress of the youth in the valley were behind such campaign. "Whenever a new thing happens in a society especially related to music and fashion, such things happen," he added.