Officials of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan have burned musical equipment worth thousands of dollars. It includes guitar, harmonium and tabla. According to a media report, the Taliban claim that the music “causes moral corruption.”
According to the BBC report, the incident took place on July 29 in Herat province. Pictures on social media showed that amplifiers and speakers were also set ablaze. Reports said that many of these were seized from wedding venues.
Responding to the incident, an official from the Taliban’s Ministry of Virtue said that the music would lead youths astray. Ahmad Sarmast, founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, compared the regime’s actions to “cultural genocide and musical vandalism”.
Sarmast, who lives in Portugal, told the BBC: “The people of Afghanistan have been denied artistic freedom, and the burning of musical instruments in Herat is a small example of the cultural genocide taking place in Afghanistan led by the Taliban.”
Since the fall of Kabul in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed several restrictions, including on playing music in public. The government posted pictures of the fire on X (formerly known as Twitter) at the time but did not specify which part of the country it was in. Significantly, when the Taliban were in power in Afghanistan from the mid-90s to 2001, all kinds of music were banned at social gatherings, TV and radio.