Radio stations in Mogadishu begin to observe ban on music.

Posted: 14 Apr 2010   Print   Send a link
"At least 14 radio stations here in the capital stopped airing music Tuesday, heeding an ultimatum by an Islamist insurgent group to stop playing songs or face 'serious consequences.' The threat left radio stations scrambling to scrub even the briefest suggestion of music from their daily programming. 'Bam! Bam! Bam!' — the sound of gunshots that Somalis in Mogadishu have grown accustomed to hearing for decades — was played by Radio Shabelle on its daily news broadcast to replace the music it usually uses to introduce the segment. Similarly odd sounds — like the roar of an engine, a car horn, animal noises and the sound of water flowing — were used to announce programs on some of the other radio stations that stopped playing music. 'We have replaced the music of the early morning program with the sound of the cock, replaced the news music with the sound of the firing bullet and the night program of News Series with the sound of running horses,' said Osman Abdullahi Guure, the director of Radio Shabelle radio and TV, one of the most influential radio stations in Mogadishu. ... Many residents expressed dismay at the new restrictions. “We are really losing of all hope of life,” said Hashi Abdullahi, who listens to music on the radio. The insurgents have 'punished our life with bullets, and today they are punishing us by a ban on all types of music,' he said. ... Still, at least two radio stations remained independent of the ban. The government owned Radio Mogadishu and another station, Radio Bar-Kulan, which is mostly produced in Kenya, continued playing music." Mohammed Ibraham, New York Times, 13 April 2010.
     "Radio Shabelle announcers could be heard speaking on air, backed by the sounds of hooves, ocean waves, gunfire -- even the roars and growls of big cats." CNN, 13 April 2010, with link to audio.
     "'I've listened to three of my regular stations today, and there's no music at all,' said Abdulkadir Khalif, a Mogadishu resident. 'There's not even a jingle.'" Xan Rice, The Guardian, 13 April 2010.
     "Pop music is genuinely popular in Mogadishu and many people resent being told what they can hear on the radio, our reporter says." BBC News, 13 April 2010. This void will be filled by enterprising stations, offshore or trans-border if necessary.
     "[A]l-Shabab has issued a decree banning the BBC from its territory. 'The BBC belongs to the British and carries a voice fulfilling the agenda of the colonizers regarding Muslims,' the decree read. 'The BBC makes war against Muslims and Islam and advocates not having an Islamic state in the country,' the decree continued. 'It is spreading news which is not founded on facts, and exaggerates the ideas of Westerners -- which is confusing to Muslim Somalis.' The decree also accused the BBC of 'making propaganda' on behalf of 'Christian agencies' and the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu that is backed by the U.S., U.N. and African Union. Simultaneous with the decree, al-Shabab officials seized radio transmitters belonging to BBC licensers. The officials also confiscated equipment from stations licensing programming from Voice of America, a news service funded by the U.S. government." David Axe, World Politics Review, 14 Apr 2010. See previous post about same subject.