Starting your own rock band can be a trying endeavor. But it’s safe to say that most of us burgeoning musicians don’t have to deal with having a religious fatwa issued against us just for wanting to rock out. That’s what the band Praagaash had to face, simply because they’re Muslim girls who want to play music. The teenage girls in Praagaash — which means “from darkness to light” — quit playing after they received several threats from religious conservatives who believed they were sinning by playing music. The conservative clerics of Kashmir, the hotly contested region that lies between India and Pakistan, allegedly told the girls that their band was in violation of Muslim law.
After several days in the spotlight, the three young women decided to quit the band, citing the conflicting cultural influences of Kashmir and Islam. “The culture of Kashmir is not like this. Music has been going on from centuries. In Islam though it is not permitted and therefore we quit,” the band said in a statement. “We respect his (grand mufti) decision that music is haraam (forbidden) in Islam and therefore we have quit.”
Click through to check out a performance — one of only two they completed — from the Praagaash. Keep reading »