Clerics warn budding singer against show

first_imgA leaflet, described as a ‘fatwa’, issued by 46 Muslim clerics in Assam against budding singer Nahid Afrin has triggered a controversy. The 15-year-old girl, a runner-up in a reality television show, was taken aback following the issue of the leaflet which has argued against her performing in a musical show later in the month. However, a member of the Muslim Personal Law Board of Assam said it is not a ‘Fatwa’ but “an appeal” given in the form of a notice.The leaflet, a copy of which is with The Hindu, neither mentioned the name of the girl, nor threatened her as was projected by the media. The girl’s mother Fatima Ansari said they had not seen the ‘fatwa’ or the notice.Ms. Ansari said her daughter Nahid was scheduled to perform in Udali Sonai Bibi College in Nagoan district on March 25. “We heard that such a leaflet was issued asking our daughter not to perform in the college. Nahid is shattered,” Ms. Ansari said.“We had a tough time when she performed well in Indian Idol show in 2015. Many people called us Bangladeshis and another section, the Maulanas, said we are not doing the right thing by engaging with such things as music; ‘it is a sin,’ they said. And now this has occurred —Nahid has been crying since she heard about the incident,” said Ms. Ansari, who hails from Uttar Pradesh. Since Tuesday, the issue has snowballed into a major talking point in Assam, while many of State’s Ministers and MLAs have visited the family. “Even Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal called up to say that the government is with us,” said Ms. Ansari.Mr. Sonowal tweeted twice saying that they “condemn putting restrictions” on Ms. Afrin and that he spoke to the singer to reiterate the “government’s commitment to provide safety and security to artists.” Writer Taslima Nasrin, congratulated the girl on Twitter. “After getting fatwa from 46 mullahs in Assam,16 yrs old Nahid Afrin said she’ll never bow down and will never leave singing,” Ms. Nasrin tweeted. Television channels claimed that it was “an attack on an innocent young girl” and branded the event as a fight between “India and ISIS.”While the leaflet mentioned that the musical show at the Udali Sonai Bibi College in Hojai district is one “against the Sharia,” it does not even mention Ms. Afrin’s name. It is rather a “simple statement, perhaps little naïve,” according to a member of the Muslim Personal law Board, Shams Ahmed. The leaflet has claimed that “magic, dance, song, theatre etc. are all anti-Sharia.”last_img