Locals protest against spread of ‘fundamentalism’ and cancellation of a music concert

22 Aug 2012

Locals protest against spread of ‘fundamentalism’ and cancellation of a music concert

HERAT - Hundreds of locals, including intellectuals and civil society activists, staged a demonstration yesterday against what they called “the cancellation of Shafiq Morid concert” in the western Afghan city of Herat.

The protesters were not happy about abrupt cancellation of a concert by the famous Afghan singer following a call by a local cleric to boycott the concert claiming that it was “morally unacceptable”.

The protesters issued a declaration and condemned what they called “spread of fundamentalism”.

The protesters said they were not just worried about the cancellation of the concert of Mr Morid, but they were more concerned about violation of the rights of the youth. They said they were also worried about “spread of fundamentalism”.

Mr Morid was scheduled to sing on the third day of the Eid in the Herat sports stadium. However, according to civil society activists, the concert was cancelled after Mr. Mojiborrahman, one of the famous mullahs, called such a concert as “spread of debauchery” and asked people to avoid it and prevent it from being held.

According to civil activists, local authorities cancelled the concert after a number of people protested in support of this mullah. Reporters on the scene said security officials were concerned about physical confrontation; therefore, strong security measures were put in place.

Protesters in support of the singer played his songs aired by loud speakers.

Tens of protesters held placards that read “stop fundamentalism”.

A part of the declaration, which was read by Khalil Parsa, the coordinator of the civil society network in Herat, said: “The noble people of Herat, it is a shame that for Herat, which used to be known as the cradle of knowledge and learning has turned to a place where the caravan of learning and knowledge is disturbed by some people."

By UNAMA Herat