Kashmir on Monday lost its only all-girl rock-band as its three teenage members decided to call it quits, a day after the Grand Mufti issued a fatwa terming singing as un-Islamic and asked them to abandon it.

Although the girls have maintained silence over the issue, sources close to them said, they have decided to quit singing and music.

The girls had defied convention by stepping into the male-dominated field but faced online threats and abuses from conservative sections of the society.

The Grand Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad on Sunday issued a decree terming singing as un-Islamic.

“I have said, singing is not in accordance with Islamic teachings,” Mufti Ahmad told PTI.

Many voice their support for girls

National Commission for Women and some parliamentarians on Monday came out in support of the band.

“This is wrong. Every one has their own perspective, there are traditions. But I believe that if after so many years of independence, we stop girls from any work, it will be our double standards,” said Mamata Sharma, Chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

“On the one hand we say that both genders should be equal but on the other hand we put restrictions on girls, that girls cannot do this…I believe this is very wrong,” she added.

BJD MP Jay Panda also came out in support of the rock band. “I think nobody has the right to stop other people from expressing themselves through their music or other cultural activities,” he said.

Naeem Akhtar, spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party in Jammu and Kashmir, termed the entire incident an “unnecessary controversy.”

“Mufti sahab has made a profession out of issuing fatwas on every issue that is defaming religion,” Mr. Akhtar said.

Supporting the all-girls band, BJP MP Najma Heptullah said, “Saying anything in the name of religion does not do any favour to the religion…If you don’t like songs, don’t listen to them. To stop them (the rock band members) in the name of religion, I don’t think it is the right move.”

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was among large number of people who came out in support of the girls. Mr. Omar even reportedly dismissed the decree on his Twitter page but removed the Tweet later.

The teenage girls who came to limelight in December last year after their scintillating performance at the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition in Srinagar, received online threats and absurd comments, forcing them to keep a low profile.

Though there are dozens of bands currently playing popular music of different genres in the valley, the girls — vocalist-guitarist Noma Nazir, drummer Farah Deeba and guitarist Aneeka Khalid (all students of 10th standard) — formed the first all-girls rock band by the name of “Pragaash” (darkness to light) and won the best performance award in their first public appearance.

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