Photo: Taliban's Ministry of Vice and Virtue

Taliban burns large pile of “corrupting” musical instruments

The Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice has burned a large pile of musical instruments collected over recent months, deeming them against Sharia law.

The Ministry’s tweets on Wednesday showed images of musical instruments destroyed while they were set aflame, stating that these instruments were used to promote “corruption” and “evil” in society.

This is the latest to emerge showing the Taliban’s violent campaign against musicians and artists in Afghanistan.

Earlier, Abdulhaq Hamad, the Taliban’s media monitoring head at the Ministry of Information and Culture, told TOLONews that singing and playing musical instruments as acts that go against Sharia law. He recommended that those who are prohibited by the ban should find another source of income for themselves and their families.

Since their takeover in August 2021, the group has severely imposed restrictions on musicians and artists, prompting hundreds to flee the country to safety.

Others who are left behind remain at risk of intimidation, abuse, torture, and even death. Musicians are also forced to make pledges that they would never sing or play music against.

In late August 2021, Fawad Andarabi, a well-known folk singer, was killed by the Taliban in the village of Andarab, north of Kabul.

Last month, Muslim Nuristani, another popular folk singer, along with his brother, was killed by unknown gunmen in the eastern Nuristan province.

In one instance, a renowned singer, Goodar Zazai, was beaten and humiliated by Taliban men before being forced to watch the burn of his musical instruments. The singer was shown weeping in the video and Taliban fighters laughing, triggering widespread condemnation and outrage.

In another instance, Taliban fighters were seen in a video smashing and destroying various musical instruments, including rubâb, a tabla, and a harmonium, with stones.