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2 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I February 2010
t h e Passion - By Majed Iqbal
Are Pakistani Rock Stars
‘Radicalising’ the Nation?
America’s increased presence in pop musicians are propelling anti- appearances, affecting their revenue
Pakistan as a political and military American messages” and that “Whilst heavily.
force under it’s Af-Pak been an the politicised songs highlight many The New York Times journalist uses
issue of concern for both Pakistanis of Pakistan woes like corruption and this opportunity to ask how musicians
and the American administration. poverty, they also condemn America should respond to people who are
Pakistan is a country which has been for meddling in the region.” damaging their musical lifestyle.
marred by bloodshed and violence “The lyrics reflect widespread views Noori, a popular rock band are
with immediate blame falling on the among their young educated fans questioned if they would sing against
‘militants’. who say Pakistan’s problem is the Taliban.
America has upped its game in the West, not the Taliban” states “First of all it is the West against
recent months to present themselves journalist New York Times journalist the Taliban’s, they are heavily affected
as the saviour for the country against Adam in the video. by it, were not! We are not going to
the devilish forces of the militants. Ali Azmat, one of Pakistan’s get up and talk about the Taliban as
Hillary Clinton’s visit in October last leading Iconic Rock Stars is criticised this is probably the smallest problem
year was aimed at justifying their heavily for his latest Track “Tanha hai this country has” speaks out band
presence in the region in a bid to win Kyoon” from his Album Klashinfolk member Ali Noor.
the hearts and minds of the ordinary which the author claims “emits Shezad Roy, a famous Pop Star
Pakistani to support and endorse a stream of anti-western views”. is next in the line of attack. The
America’s vision for the region. Primarily known for his love songs, video narration rolls stating “As the
However, Clinton’s visit was was met the author states that “like many pop United states bids for the heart and
with protests, anger and frustration stars he (Ali Azmat) has changed his minds in Pakistan, Pop culture is
as Pakistanis voiced objection to tune”. blaming America for everything, from
American plans. She failed miserably Made in a retro style collage torturing Muslims to Drone attacks
to do this but pledged continued of video footage and images, the on Pakistani soil”.
American ‘Support’ for the nation. video draws viewers attention on This is referred to his song “Qismat
In Similar style, America has the miseries of corporate America, apnay Haath mein” on Guantanamo
sought to re-work its image in freedom struggles in troubled where questions on Justice, being
Pakistan by laying the entire blame regions meddled in by America, Muslim, torture and living in the age
on the Taliban for the countries Capitalism and War on Terror. The of America’s War on Terror are all
problems. Allegations have been video continuously displays titles raised.
made that the security services are questioning the viewer like “Glorified Obama’s election was seen
helping Islamists, or factions in the lies?”, “Universal Truth?”, “Slavery as a new turn for America to fix
army are inclined towards Islam or “War-Profit” and displays images of its damaged international image.
that Nuclear Arsenal can fall into the destruction, a world full of Weapons Yet in the first month of Obama’s
hands of militants. and references to last years Gaza administration the numbers of Drone
In the midst of this, a new, fresh, onslaught by Israeli forces. attacks in Pakistan were more than
and un-predicted, allegation has now “Would you sing a song about what former President George Bush
been made that Pakistani Rock stars how 200 girl’s schools were blown used in his two terms in the region.
are radicalising Pakistani Youth. up?” asks the journalist in a video The hailers of Freedom
Adam B Ellick, a journalist for the interview and Democracy are now being
New York Times writes in his article “You can’t blame Taliban for that. challenged by a handful of musicians
“Pakistan Rock Rails Against the Where do you think the funding is who are using their backgrounds
West, Not the Taliban” that “While coming from? It is the agenda of the to voice their opinions on current
Pakistani journalists, playwrights and neo-cons to de-islamise Pakistan” events. But it seems that notions of
even moderate Islamic clerics have replies a confident Azmat Freedom and Democracy are terms
boldly condemned the Taliban, the The last year has seen heavy used synonymously with American
nation’s pop music stars have yet to casualties across the country with interests.
sing out against the group (Taliban)”. attacks taking place in major cities. For In this case, the American
A video available on the New York musicians, their work has suffered as administration will not be pleased
Times website shows interviews with a consequence as security has been as they continue to loose the battle
a range of singers from Pakistan. a major concern. No Live concerts to win the hearts and minds of the
The narrator states that “Pakistani have meant resorting to television Pakistani nation.
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