Archive for the Arts Category

Pakistani Poetess Celebrated in Documentary

Poster for the film SalmaPieces of paper tucked between the layers of folded piles of jewel-coloured saris flowed with poems describing her forced marriage and life behind locked doors. It was only when her mother smuggled the poems out in the laundry basket and sent them off to a publisher in Chennai that Salma’s voice was heard.

Salma was trapped by her family and then, after agreeing to an arranged marriage, by her husband, locked away behind barred windows, unable to continue her education and forced to write her heartfelt words in secret.

This sounds like a brutal and ancient tradition but the practice continues to this day and the poet, 46, who is known all over India by just her first name, now devotes her time to campaigning for women’s rights and education for young girls.

Her story is an incredible turn of events that saw her released from her home and elected village leader, going on to become the voice for other women imprisoned by the same fate.

Read the rest: Pakistani Poetess Locked Away by Family

More about the film Salma.

Hip Hop Star Akon Says One Woman Can’t Satisfy a Man’s Needs

Akon has sparked controversy after declaring that legalising polygamy in the US would decrease domestic disputes in relationships.

Speaking to TMZ, the hip hop star, who is a said to have five wives, claimed that the idea of a man staying faithful to one woman all his life was unrealistic as no woman could satisfy a man’s every need.

According to the 40-year-old Muslim, men need to be with multiple woman while women were not made to mate with more than one partner.

“The average guy in the world has a main girl and they got a side chick. And then they got a jumpoff. At the end of the day as a male we are natural breeders by nature. We can’t even escape it if we wanted to,” he said.

“Men are put on this earth to breed and the reason why God put multiple women on this earth is for that.”

Read the rest: Muslim hip hop rapper Akron says a man needs more than one woman to satisfy his needs.

If Akon wants to be a good Believer according to Islamic doctrine, he needs to divorce one of his wives so he only has four, the number Muslim men can have at one time. Of course, to make up for the lost wife, according to the Sunna, he can always have infidel sex slaves for his pleasure.

Muslim Women: Fatwa Against Photography is Medieval Mindset

Burqa-clad-woman-taking-photoA group of six women are seated in a spacious hall, their sights trained at a bunch of photographs adorning a wall. The photographs were shot during various field trips these women undertook over the last few years. “They tell stories of women’s emancipation, their struggle to find their space in society,” explains Ayesha Shaikh.

Shaikh is part of 16 women whom Kurla-based Aawaaz-e-Niswaan, a women’s advocacy group, helped train as photographers. Though Darul Uloom Deoband’s recent fatwa calling photography unIslamic rattled rationalists, it has pained these women photographers more. “The fatwa reeks of the medieval mindset. Just as writing brings catharsis to writers, photography is a way of feeling liberated,” says Aawaaz-e-Niswaan’s founder Haseena Khan.

Women are surprised that the seminary’s fatwa department, replying to an engineering student’s query on whether he should choose photography as a career, said: “Photography is unIslamic. Do not do this. You should search any suitable job based on your engineering course.” The women collectively ask a question: “What do they tell some of India’s leading clerics who attend sessions of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and happily get captured on videos and cameras?”

Read the rest here.  (h/t to Jihad Watch)

No Dancing in Public, Women. It Fuels Men’s Desire

Indonesian Women DancingAnother norm based on Sharia is destined to provoke heated debate in the province of Aceh, the only one in Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim nation – in which there is Islamic law. The authorities of the district of North Aceh have in fact issued an edict forbidding women to “dance in public.”

 The incident has sparked protests by human rights activists and ordinary citizens, who describe the regulation as “bizarre.”

Moreover, the authority of the special territory, in the most western part of the Indonesian archipelago, are no strangers to promulgating laws and regulations (often exclusively directed at women) that are highly unusual and serious source of social unrest: a ban on women straddling motorcycles, police clamp downs on jeans and tight skirts, sectarian tensions that sometimes escalate into Islamist fringe violence against the Christian minority.

Read the rest: No Dancing for Women in Indonesia.

Art and Islam Cannot Co-exist. Ask Artist Sooraya Graham

Sooraya-Graham-PhotoSooraya’s photographic work is exquisite.  The choice of subject is pitched perfectly.  And the color is muted as the lives of those who never experience the world in all its wondrous displays.  The composition is too cluttered by the lampshade in the background.  The muslimina is the focal point of the story and she should be clear.

I would love to see the photograph up close.  I think it is an artistic achievement, somewhat flawed but still highly effective.  Sooraya is a talented woman.  We must see more from her. 
Her story is here: University Muslim Woman Persecuted for her Art

It is a shame that Art and Islam cannot co-exist.  (h/t Jihad Watch)

All Girl Rock Band Violates Sharia Law

BandOne of the members of an all-girl rock group [called Pragaash]  in Indian-administered Kashmir has queried why they have been described as “un-Islamic” when male bands are allowed to perform.

She told the BBC that their intention was not to disrespect Islam, as alleged by the region’s most senior cleric. The teenager confirmed reports that the group, Pragaash, had disbanded.

Meanwhile, police are investigating allegedly intimidating comments posted on Facebook against the group. “We will identify them through their IP addresses,” a police official told the BBC.

The girls say they have received abuse and hate mail on Facebook since they made their first live appearance at the Battle of the Bands music festival in Srinagar in December.

“Music was our passion. We did not know it was haraam [un-Islamic],” the girl band member told BBC Hindi by telephone on Tuesday.

Read the rest here. Read more here.

Music violates Islamic sharia law.  And music made by females?  Double haram.  From the Reliance of the Traveler:

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

(1) “Allah Mighty and Majestic sent me as a guidance and mercy to believers and commanded me to do away with musical instruments, flutes, strings, crucifixes, and the affair of the pre-Islamic period of ignorance.”

(2) “On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will pour molten lead into the ears of whoever sits listening to a songstress.”

(3) “Song makes hypocrisy grow in the heart as water does herbage.”

(4) “This Community will experience the swallowing up of some people by the earth, metamorphosis of some into animals, and being rained upon with stones.” Someone asked, “When will this be, O Messenger of Allah?” and he said, “When songstresses and musical instruments appear and wine is held to be lawful.”

(5) “There will be peoples of my Community who will hold fornication, silk, wine, and musical instruments to be lawful ….”

All of this is explicit and compelling textual evidence that musical instruments of all types are unlawful (Kaff al-ra’a’ ‘an muharramat al-lahw wa al-sama’ (y49), 2.269-70).

Moving Photo: Disappearing Women

Photo by Yemeni photographer Boushra al-Moutawakel

“Disappearing Females”
Photo by Yemeni photographer Boushra al-Moutawakel

Originally found via Elder of Ziyon.

Indonesia and Its Transition to Sharia Law

Dance in BaliIndonesia, long touted to be a moderate Islamic country, has been slowly increasing adherence to Islamic doctrine due to the rise of a more fundamentalist Islamic government, influenced by Islamic clerics.  So far, the list of things that are not or should not be permitted (haram) in Indonesia include:


These no-no’s echo the prohibitions of Islamic sharia law.

In Aceh, Indonesia, morality police (Wilayatul Hisbah) enforce obedience  to sharia law that includes no gambling, no drinking alcohol, no pubic displays of affection, no dancing, and certainly no unmarried couples running around together, no homosexuality or adultery, as well as the no-no list in the above paragraph.

Conservatives across Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, eye Aceh with envy.
No other province in the otherwise secular nation has been allowed to set up a Shariah police force. Still,more than 50 local governments have followed Aceh in installing Shariah-based laws.

Is the cancellation of the Lady Gaga concert an indication of what the future holds for the Indonesian young people?  If the Islamic clerics continue to have the power of the government behind them, then the answer is yes.  Strict sharia law as it is practiced in Aceh will ultimately spread throughout Indonesia.

So even though its Constitution states that Indonesia is a secular country, it seems to be secular in name only.  Sharia law is becoming the law of the land.  This doesn’t bode well for Western rock/pop stars or for the Hindus in Bali.

Updates on the Cancelled Lady Gaga Concert in Indonesia

Lady Gaga Concert Schedule for Asia

After 52,000 tickets are sold, police has officially vetoed Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball in Jakarta, Indonesia
Big Daddy, the organizer of Lady Gaga’s The Born This Way Ball in Indonesia, revealed that they were shocked about the cancellation news, for they have not received any written documents from the National Indonesian Police. Big Daddy claims that the concert has been granted official permission from the Indonesian Tourism Ministry.
[ . . . ]
What was supposed to be Lady Gaga’s biggest show on the Asian leg of The Born This Way Ball will now have to be cancelled. Earlier today, the local police confirmed the strong rumours: the show scheduled on June 3 will have to be cancelled. Skimpy costumes, erotic dance moves, as well as pressure from the local Islamic hardline group are reported to be the cancellation causes.

Dashed are hopes of Malaysians who were considering, of have bought tickets to watch the extravagant performer in the neighbouring country. The news raises brows because the world’s most populous country is known to be liberal about art expressions, including musical concerts, especially after the national reformation in 1998.

“We will not issue a permit for the Lady Gaga concert in Jakarta,” stated Saud Usman Nasution, Indonesian national police spokesman.
[ . . . ]
“She is very dangerous for our young generation. She has even said herself that she’s the devil’s messenger,” said Jakarta FPI [Islamic Defenders Front] chairman Habib Salim Alatas who declared the organization was relieved to know that the police is banning the concert.

Read the rest: Indonesian Police Cancel Lady Gaga Concert.

Lady Gaga Concert Canceled by Indonesian Muslims

Lady Gaga Lady Gaga will have to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt the youth.

National police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar, responding to the pressure, said Tuesday that the permit for her June 3 “Born This Way Ball” concert had been denied.

Indonesia, a nation of 240 million people, has more Muslims than any other. Although it is secular and has a long history of religious tolerance, a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.

Hard-liners have loudly criticized Lady Gaga, saying the suggestive nature of her show threatened to undermine the country’s moral fiber. Some threatened to use physical force to prevent her from stepping off the plane.

Read more: Lady Gaga Show Canceled After Pressure from Islamic Hard-liners.
I was not surprised by the cancellation.  First of all, Indonesia is not secular.  Sharia law has been adopted in some parts of the country. See also here.  Recently I posted an article  about a fight between women’s groups and the Islamic hardline groups over a gender equality bill and an article  about Irshad Manji being attacked by Islamic fanatatics at her book signing.

The population of kafirs in Indonesia: the Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and others, should be wary and on their guard, for if history teaches any lessons about Islamic supremacy, it is that in the future they will be persecuted.