From the vibrant, colorful, and growing world of K-pop, back to Mali.
Not content to destroy ancient sacred sites and precious artifacts of Islam’s great intellectual past, the Islamist extremist rebels in Mali also banned music. Not just some music – not just music with certain political or moral messages – but all music.
As the New York Times reports today, in a short Op-Ed piece:
It has been almost nine months since Islamic militants in northern Mali announced that they were effectively banning all music. It’s hard to imagine, in a country that produced such internationally renowned music as Ali Farka Touré’s blues, Rokia Traoré’s soulful vocals and the Afro-pop traditions of Salif Keita.
The article goes on to explain the importance of music in Mali as a source of information, in largely illiterate communities, as a storehouse of oral traditions & histories, and as a key part of social traditions.
I have no words for the disgust, rage, and sadness I feel at learning about this additional dimension of the rebels’ thorough efforts to destroy Culture.