Our colleagues at the National Music Council of the United States recently released the following statement. It follows BBC news reports of the Taliban burning musical instruments after claiming music “causes moral corruption”.
We believe that the freedom to create is a fundamental human right and our thoughts go out to those music creators affected by these actions.
The NMC statement follows.
The National Music Council of the United States is both saddened and appalled by the actions of any group, whether on religious, political or other grounds, that seeks to destroy the ability of musicians, composers and songwriters to learn and practice their art.
More specifically, the symbolic act of burning and destroying instruments is a gigantic red flag indicating that evil on a monstrous scale is about to occur, or is already taking place within that society. We therefore protest such acts on behalf of all American music creators and their supporters, and will act as best we can in defense of the musical arts and those who create it around the world. In that pursuit, we join with our colleagues at the International Music Council in support of the man who is the leader and conscience of the Afghan music education community, our friend Dr. Ahmad Sarmast, the founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music currently exiled in Lisbon.
In the astonishingly prescient words of the great 19th century writer/philosopher Heinrich Heine in 1823, “where they burn books, they will ultimately burn people.” Our goal is to make sure such things never happen again, anywhere to anyone.