Fatwa on Kashmir Girls Band Stuns Iran Musical Group

NEW DELHI: Sahar Lotfi finds it strange that an all-girls band in Kashmir has been hounded into silence. Where she comes from, her all-women group called the Ghazal Band has been blasting out Sufi music at public performances for more than a year. Lotfi and her band members live in Tehran, the centre of Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution.

And the six girls rub it in when they tell people in democratic India that not only are musical concerts by women in Iran a regular feature, often there are bigger crowds attending them. "The music culture in Iran has always been vibrant and there are private music schools, though separate for girls," says said Sahar Lotfi, lead vocalist.
And while little help has come in for the girls of Kashmir's Pragash rock band, Lotfi says that her family has always been supportive and it was her husband's idea to form a band.

"My husband has his own band. We met at a concert where he was performing and I had gone there with my mother. After marriage, he convinced me to form a band of my own. That's how I got in touch with Maryam, our Thor instrument player," Lofti said.

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