A Muslim Funfest: No Women to sing; No Sitars to play; No Mughal miniatures to display...
When you feel things cannot go from bad to worse, and hope that Muslims
would figure out a way not to embarrass themselves, some group or the other
is bound to emerge and prove you wrong.
Now a Toronto Muslim group is organizing a "Muslim Fest" where they say
Muslim song, music, and art will be celebrated, but with one catch; the
festival will be conducted "compliant to the boundaries of Shariah" law.
The entry regulations state that no women will be allowed to sing; no
musical instruments will be permitted; and no art depicting human faces will
be displayed; "no hand drawn faces".
The organizers appear to be youth of Indian-Pakistani ancestry mimicking an
ethnicity and culture that exists only in the mindset of the wahabbi
teachers, not their own heritage.
How could the sons and daughters of Amir Khusrau have contempt for the
sitar? What sort of Muslims are ashamed of Umm Kulsoom, Nur Jehan or Khanum
Gugoosh,? What mindset would it take to de-bar the all-Muslim rock band
Junoon from performing?
Last month the great Muslim musician, Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan died. Born in
1928 in what is now Bangladesh, Ustad Vilayat Khan re-defined the playing of
the sitar. Will the organizers of Muslim Fest honour him? I doubt it. The
New York Times did; all of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh did, but not the
young men and women who feel obliged to re-define their heritage and reject
their own culture.
Thank goodness for the US on-line magazine, MuslimWakeup.Com for bringing
these issues to the forefront and exposing this charade of a festival; a
funfest draped in the flavour of a funeral.
Read and reflect.
April 28, 2004
Muslim Art Festival: No Women Allowed
Organizers of MuslimFest 2004, an arts event planned for August 7 in
Mississauga, Canada, claim that the festival will celebrate "the best in
Muslim art, music and film."
But if you happen to be a woman who wants to perform, don't even think about
applying. As their application guidelines state, "songs performance can be
male voices only." [http://muslimfest.com/CallForTalent.pdf%5d
And if you are an artist, make sure not to have any hand-drawn faces in your
artwork--that's not allowed either.
For everyone else, you have to make certain that your art conforms with the
shari'a, Islamic law. If you're not sure, just go to your bookshelf and
consult the book entitled "Shari'a." You DO have it don't you?
According to the enlightened people behind this Muslim arts festival, much
of Persian and Mughal Islamic art would be disqualified (too many hand-drawn
faces). And of course Umm Kulthum is strictly off limits.