Afghan musicians are burying instruments for fear of the Taliban

Afghan musicians are burying instruments for fear of the Taliban


norman lebrecht

August 20, 2021

From the Times of India:

Composer Arson Fahim: ‘Earlier, we saw them breaking and burning musical instruments. They killed artists. Recently, they killed a comedian. My musician friends have started hiding their musical instruments far away from their house so that when the Taliban conduct raids, they find nothing. It is heartbreaking to see that in the 21st century, when we have so much technology around us, you have to hide something as beautiful as music,’ added Arson, who is also an Ambassador for Peace at the South Asian Symphony Orchestra (SASO).’



  • Y says:

    Western instruments aren’t exactly being played too much lately either, thanks to tyrannical governments and lockdown fetishists. It seems music is under attack from all sides lately — the Taliban on one hand and leftwing extremists on the other. If only more people stood up to evil instead of tacitly accepting it.

    • Tamino says:

      This is such a self centered off comment. To compare the Taliban with western democracy governments. Only someone who has zero first hand knowledge of the world outside of the range of his car could make it.

    • V. Lind says:

      The comparison between what the Taliban brings — has brought already — in its wake — unimaginable suffering — and the inconveniences to your bloody social life is among the most odious I have ever seen on this site (leader in a competitive field).

      You are being urged to get vaccinated, to wear a mask, to socially distance, all in the mission of reducing the possibility of being infected with a disease that has taken so many lives already. The Taliban is, whatever its spokesman tries to put about, going to forbid music, laughter, and any sighting of a woman not completely covered in what Boris Johnson, insensitively but not inaccurately, compared to a pillar box.

      Try thinking about the difference between ALL your freedom being gone and your freedom to attend particular events if you refuse to go along with sensible precautions. You can watch the concert on TV, or if not, pop on a CD of the music, probably played better, while you sip a nice brandy with your feet up. THEY are burying their instruments in order not to be beaten, arrested, tortured or killed.

      Get. Over. Yourself. Protest your view by all means to your elected reps or with a group of the like-minded — that is your right. But stop looking at yourself as a victim REMOTELY comparable to what people in Afghanistan are enduring. Have you even seen those scenes at the airport? People being beaten for no offence whatsoever except being female and being there?

      I though t music was supposed to expand our understanding of the world. I guess you didn’t have classical music played to you in the womb — more likely garage trash or whatever such subsects are called.

  • José Bergher says:

    Only barbarity and savagery can be expected from the Taliban criminals.

  • I Afghanisdon't care says:

    Oh my God, I couldn’t care less.
    You don’t either. Saying you do, makes you a hypocrite.

  • Wannaplayguitar says:

    This is heartbreaking news, as the lifelong skill of learning and playing an instrument brings solace and peace to player (and listeners alike) in times of strife and hardship. We send messages of hope and strength to Afghan musicians….

  • John Deacon says:

    Two things strike me here. Firstly is the support of islam as intellectually low as humans can descend in any normal field of activity when, secondly and especially, it is apparent that the world-wide silence of the whole world of islam clearly and tacitly accepts what is being done ?

    This is surely a silence drowned in shame with a few (like Pakistan) praising the Taliban for the destruction of their country and the suppression of women, the arts and civilized law. And would Mohamed have approved of such barbarism ? Just asking.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    Someone is going to compose the “Taliban Symphony” scored for fork, spoon, phyllo dough brush, and Call to Prayer soloist.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Some of you people are really pathetic. Truly, beyond all belief. Is it any wonder that ‘normal’ people choose to distance themselves from a pact of elitist losers that some of you so proudly display yourselves to be. And before some of you somehow decide that this is the fault of Democrats, let’s have a reality check. A limited war in a land-locked, hostile territory, with a poorly defined endgame strategy, is destined to fail at some point. Didn’t Vietnam prove that? . . . especially when the ‘enemy’ dresses the same as the civilians, and is willing to use those civilians as human shields.

  • Ben G. says:

    Religion divides people, music unites them.

    And yet we all live on the same planet which is nothing more than a speck of dust in our infinite universe….