Afghan folk singer Fawad Andarabi was killed by the Islamic militant group Taliban. According to CNN, the singer was dragged from his home and then executed on Friday, August 27. The Taliban believe music is “un-Islamic,” banning music throughout their reign between 1996 and 2001. With the killing of Andarabi, concerns rise in Afghanistan that the Taliban will once again ban music in the country.
“He was innocent, a singer who only was entertaining people,” said Andarabi’s son, Jawad. He also says that the singer was reportedly “shot in the head” by Taliban members. While CNN explains that they can’t officially say what happened to the singer, the former Minister of Interior of the country, Massoud Andarabi, who also originates from the area took to Twitter to express his anger about the killing, “Taliban’s brutality continues in Andarab. Today they brutally killed folkloric singer, Fawad Andarabi who simply was bringing joy to this valley and its people. As he sang here ‘our beautiful valley … land of our forefathers …’ will not submit to Taliban’s brutality.”
The official spokesman for the Taliban talked to The New York Times, addressing the fears of the Afghan people, stating once again that music is against Islam and is forbidden. He also claims the Taliban was hoping people would give up music without resistance, and they could “persuade people not to do such things, instead of pressuring them.”
CNN also reports that the Taliban’s rise in power once again concerns several human rights activists, also in regard of their strict rules about music, that don’t seem to be based on religion like the militant group claims. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on cultural rights Karima Bennoune and Deeyah Khan the UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador on artistic freedom, shared their “grave concern” about the execution of the folk singer.