Somalia: Islamic rulers ban playing 'love songs'

Islamic militants controlling much of southern Somalia shut down a radio station Sunday for airing "music and love songs," the latest example of the region's new fundamentalist rule. The group closed Radio Jowhar because the programs were un-Islamic, Islamic official Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman said. It was the only radio station in Jowhar, some 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the capital, Mogadishu. "It is useless to air music and love songs for the people," Abdirahman said. Since sweeping over much of southern Somalia, including the capital, in June, the Islamic group has brought a semblance of order after years of anarchy. But the imposition of strict religious rule has sparked fears of an emerging, Taliban-style regime. Islamists in the capital have banned movie viewing, publicly lashed drug users and broke up a wedding celebration because a band was playing and women and men were socializing together.