“Protect Nahid Afrin”: Online Support Swells For Teen Singer

Afrin also won praise for her resolve to continue singing.

Teen singing sensation, Nahid Afrin, has found herself at the centre of a controversy after reports began making the rounds that 46 clerics had issued a fatwa against the Assamese singer.

However, the secretary of the Assam State Jamiat Ulama, Maulvi Fazlul Karim Qasimi, has clarified to an online news portal that no fatwa had been issued in the matter. The notice in question is a pamphlet that condemns the 25 March programme at the college, where Afrin was scheduled to perform. However, the leaflet does not mention her.

The news of the alleged fatwa drew severe criticism, with several political figures and celebrities stepping up to defend the 16-year-old Indian Idol runner-up. Afrin also won praise for her resolve to continue singing.

Assam Chief Minister Sabananda Sonowal called the “freedom of artists is the essence of a democracy” and assured the teen of security cover.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that Afrin had “every right to sing”.

Singer Vishal Dadlani said that he had spoken to the teen singing sensation after the incident.

Meanwhile, author Taslima Nasreen lauded Afrin for her courage.

Noted lawyer and human rights activist Vrinda Grover told IANS that the teen must be offered protection. She said:

Steps should be taken against those who issued the fatwas and the girl should be protected. You are not only abridging her freedom of expression but also threatening her right to life and liberty. The message needs to go out that these are completely unconstitutional.

(The Quint had previously reported that a fatwa had been issued against Nahid Afrin. The error is regretted.)