Today the New York Times reported that most of Somalia’s radio stations have stopped playing music at the behest of an Islamist insurgent group, who declared music was “un-Islamic” (here) and that any radio station who continued to broadcast music would face “serious consequences.” (Honestly, do insurgent groups ever threaten consequences that aren’t serious?)
I’ve heard before that some Muslims consider music to be haram because of its association to sensual, pagan, or rebellious activity, and that whole concept just fucking blows my mind. Sure, I respect everyone’s right to believe what they want to believe, worship how they want to worship, even systematically oppress who they want to systematically oppress, yadda yadda yadda, but no music? Come on. Music is what makes us human. Without music, we’re just a bunch of yammering groundhogs.
So to mourn this latest societal insanity in Somalia, let us not have a moment of silence, but a moment… of music.