Afghanistan: Taliban burn musical instruments

The Taliban burned musical instruments they said could misguide the youth and destroy society

The militant group banned music when they were last in power, in the late 1990s (Photo: DW)
The militant group banned music when they were last in power, in the late 1990s (Photo: DW)


Taliban's religious police reportedly burned a number of musical instruments in the western province of Herat, according to a Sunday report by the state-run news agency Bakhtar.

Sheikh Aziz al-Rahman al-Muhajir, the provincial head of the Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, said music led to "misguidance of the youth and the destruction of society," according to the report.

People could be corrupted, according to the official. The Taliban banned nonreligious music the last time it ruled the country in the 1990s.

Pictures show officials gathered around a fire with musical instruments, including guitars, harmoniums and speakers.

Afghanistan has a strong musical tradition, influenced by Iranian and Indian classical music.

It also has a thriving pop music scene, adding electronic instruments and dance beats to more traditional rhythms.

Both flourished in the past 20 years before the Taliban stormed to powerin 2021.

But the Taliban has imposed harsh measures since seizing control of Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces withdrew.

Students and teachers of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, which was once famous for its inclusiveness, have not returned to classes since the Taliban takeover. Many musicians have also fled the country.

Taliban's crackdown on women's rights

The Taliban promised a more moderate rule than that of their previous time in power in the 1990s. They had promised to allow for women's and minority rights. But instead, they reintroduced harsh measures in line with their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia.

Thye have carried out public executions, banned education for girls beyong the sixth grade and also banned women from most forms of employment.

Earlier this week, the Taliban announced that all beauty salons ought to be closed because they offered services forbidden by Islam and caused economic hardship for the familes of grooms during wedding festivities.

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