This is a lesson with Rachid Abou Houdeyfa, imam of a Sunni mosque in Brest, northwest France. The young imam – energetic, articulate and charismatic, dressed in conteporary gear – calls his lesson ‘music, as explained to children’.
He asks first which of the children like music. A host of little hands shoot up. The imam tells them: ‘that is a grave sin… Allah does not like music because that’s what the devil likes.’
He continues: ‘People who sing, the prophet said they will be swallowed up by the earth. They will be transformed into monkeys and pigs. Who of you still loves music?’
He goes on to forbid parents from letting their children learn to play instruments.
This is what France is fighting in 2015, all too ineffectually it seems.
Watch the imam’s lesson here, in perfect French.
In a subsequent press interview, the imam says he does not indoctrinate children. He just teaches.