March 15, 2017

India: The ‘fatwa’ against Assam singer Nahid Afreen that never was | Arunabh Saikia

The ‘fatwa’ against Assam singer Nahid Afreen that never was

While there was a pamphlet campaign to shut down the event the 16-year-old was to perform in, a top Assam cleric says there is no fatwa against it. 

Nahid Afreen is an over-achiever by all standards. At 16, she has been a playback singer in a mainstream Bollywood film, finished second in the country’s most high-profile musical reality show and has won so many awards in singing competitions across the country that she doesn’t even bother to count them.
Not that it is very consequential, but she also got promoted to Class 10 this year.
So, when news broke that a fatwa had been issued against her by some 46 Muslim clerics, warning her to stop singing as it was “against the Sharia”, there was, understandably, an outrage. Enough outrage for even national news channels to take notice and Assam’s chief minister to tweet condemning the “fatwa” and assuring the young woman of his government’s commitment to protect her freedom of speech and safety. [. . .]