Speaking of Iran

What Happens When a Country Criminalises Music?

May 21, 2022
Speaking of Iran
1 min read
A 16-year-old Maziar Bahari, who secretly collected cassette tapes as a young man in post-revolutionary Iran
A 16-year-old Maziar Bahari, who secretly collected cassette tapes as a young man in post-revolutionary Iran

With the 1979 Islamic Revolution came a sea-change in the way the government regarded music and its enjoyment. Almost overnight, a core component of the human experience became an object of suspicion at best, Satanic at worst. Euronews's Joshua Askew talks underground gigs, black-market cassette tapes and dancing as an act of resistance from those who recall that time, including IranWire's own Maziar Bahari.

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution, music was criminalised in Iran.

Western songs were forbidden, record shops vanished and concert halls fell silent. 

Anyone caught with music deemed 'un-Islamic' could be fined, lashed or imprisoned for 'causing corruption on earth' under Iranian law.

But this did not stop people from listening - far from it.

Read the full story on Euronews.

 

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