The day the music died: Mali Muslims ban radio songs

Al-Qaida-linked Islamists occupying northern Mali say only Koranic verses may be broadcast.

August 23, 2012 04:34
1 minute read.
Malains listen to radio

Malains listen to radio 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Antony Njuguna)


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Al-Qaida-linked Islamists occupying northern Mali on Wednesday banned "Satan's music" from the airwaves, leaving radio stations to broadcast only the singing of Koranic verses, AFP reported.

"We have already spoken to people who own the radio stations," said Oussama Ould Abdel Kader, a spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). "We no longer want Satan's music. Instead there must be verses of the Koran. Western music is Satanic music."

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"We, the mujahideen of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal from now on refuse the broadcasting of all Western music on radios on Islamic land," said Oussama Ould Abdel Kader, a spokesman for the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO). According to AFP, the radio ban included non-Western music.

Once considered a democratic success story in a long-troubled region, Mali has been split in two since a March 22 coup paved the way for a military advance by northern Islamist separatists. The conflict in Mali has displaced more than 400,000 people and compounded a food crisis affecting millions across the Sahel region, according to the United Nations.

Malian youths have clashed with the ruling Islamists in growing resistance to the imposition of sharia (Islamic law) by Islamist gunmen.

Reuters contributed to this report

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