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The Silence In Afghanistan

Music is forbidden!

Okay, this is probably small potatoes given all the other awful things the Taliban are doing in Afghanistan, but here’s a story that’s peeved me no end. After the Taliban took over that unfortunate country, they banned music.

That’s right. Music. Certain elements within some Islamic communities regard music as illicit. As a result, music and singing have been, in some places, and from time to time, banned in some Islamic countries.(1) The Taliban follow in this tradition.

And, in fact, the Talibani have followed up their victory in Afghanistan by banning music, beating up musicians, and burning precious musical instruments, some of them decades old and utterly irreplaceable.(2)

Personally, I find this appalling. Maybe not as appalling as the fact that the Taliban is allowing children to starve (3), but appalling all the same.

But it does say a lot about certain kinds of humorless, joyless, and bloody-minded, theocratic regimes. I mean, think of the marvel of it. These people happily accept and even promote murder, killing, oppression, suicide (for military purposes), and the abuse of women and minorities…

But music? Which simply brings a little happiness into our lives?

That is utterly forbidden, and subject to destruction via fire and sword…



1. “Scholars and musicians hotly debate whether music is permissible or not,” Irish Times,

2. See “‘I Feel Like A Dead Fish’: Silenced By The Taliban, Afghanistan's Musicians Despair,” Ron Synovitz, Gandhara, Oct 13, Nov 2021, and “Outrage Stoked By Video Of Taliban Humiliating Musicians, Burning Instruments,” by Ron Synovitz and Haroon Bacha, Gandhara, Jan 18, 2022,

3. “Afghan Children Starving To Death As Hunger ‘Rapidly Spreading’,” Abubakar Siddique, Gandhara, Jan 28, 2022,


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Copyright©2022 Michael Jay Tucker

Special note: This piece also appears on my political blog, "Crisis and Cure." However, that publication is currently being merged with explosive-cargo.

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