After Grand Mufti's fatwa, Kashmir's all-girls band 'Pragash' calls it quits

Kashmir girls rock band

The first all-girl band of Kashmir on Monday decided to call it quits in the wake of a 'fatwa' issued by Grand Mufti terming singing as un-islamic, a remark that came under all round attack.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among a large number of political leaders who gave their unflinching support to the girls, urging them not to quit singing because of a "bunch of morons". The hardline Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani also criticised the Grand Mufti.

Within days after their performance in Srinagar, the band started receiving online threats and absurd comments which was followed up with a 'fatwa' (religious decree) issued by Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad yesterday.

Sources close to the band said the girls have decided not to sing in the wake of Mufti's controversial decree.

The 10th-class students -- vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and guitarist Aneeka Khalid -- had formed a band 'Pragash' and performed in December last year with a scintillating performance at the annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition in Srinagar and won the best performance award in their first public appearance.

Sensing the mounting support for the girls, hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Geelani distanced itself from the 'fatwa' and said, "There is no threat to the girls. Nobody has issued any threats. It is a mere propaganda by the media and they are making a big bomb out of a normal issue to defame Kashmiris."

The spokesman of the Hurriyat faction Ayaz Akbar said some youngsters posting abuses on social networking sites cannot be termed as threat and added that Hurriyat does not support such abuse or coercion and force in any way.

Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the abusive threats to the rock band and blamed the media for negative portrayal of the issue.

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