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Libya: Islamic State Burns ‘Non-Islamic’ Musical Instruments

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The Islamic State in Libya has released a series of pictures showing them burning musical instruments. They released the pictures over Twitter.

The burning is thought to have taken place near the eastern city of Derna, the group's stronghold in Libya.

This is in keeping with the group’s strict Islamist ideology, which regards music as haram. Other Islamist terrorist groups have enforced similar bans in the past.

In 2010, Somalia’s Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab forced 14 private radio stations in territory controlled by the group to cease playing music, based on the same idea that music is forbidden. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and has long been engaged in a protracted war against Al-Shabaab.

In 2005, Muslim Brotherhood affiliate and internationally recognized terrorist group Hamas banned music and dance as part of a one day cultural festival in the town of Qalqiliyah in the disputed territories. Noted local poet Mahmoud Darwish decried the ban at the time, saying “We see signs of Talibanism and dangerous indications against which everyone should be protesting, particularly the educated classes and the artists.”

Hamas Mufti Akrameh Sabri issued a fatwa confirming the decision, in addition to the ban on music at the Qalqiliyah zoo.

Hamas has also banned hip-hop in the Gaza Strip.

The Taliban banned music in Afghanistan from 1992, when a partial ban was implemented over music in Kabul radio and television. After the Taliban took over the country in 1994, music was banned from all radio, television and also from restaurants and shops.  

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David Harris

David Harris is the editor in chief of Clarion Project.