The Straits Times
Published on Feb 04, 2013

Kashmir cleric says all-girl rock group is 'un-Islamic'


SRINAGAR, India (AFP) - Indian Kashmir's most senior Muslim cleric has called for the plug to be pulled on an all-girl rock group, calling the band "un-Islamic" and accusing them of "indecent" behaviour.

Pragaash (First Light) sprang to prominence last December when the high school trio, all of whom are Muslim, won an annual "Battle of Bands" competition held in Srinagar, the state capital.

But the three-piece, whose members are all aged around 16, has since been the target of a cultural backlash in the Muslim majority state, including hate mail on their Facebook page, and have held back from playing any more concerts.

While artists, numerous others and even the state's chief minister have sprung to their defence, the Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, Bashiruddin Ahmad, has now weighed into the debate by calling for them to quit.