Welcome to the website of the Campaign to Protect Afghanistan’s Musicians. The musicians of Afghanistan and their extraordinarily rich musical heritage face an unprecedented time of crisis right now. The Taliban are ideologically opposed to all music, and to all those who perform and teach music. On 26th August 2021 they announced their intention to ban music again, as they did in 1996–2001, and to prevent musicians from pursuing their professions.
We are a group of academics, musicians, lawyers, and human rights professionals who believe passionately that “music is food for the soul”, as the Chishti Sufis of South Asia say — موسیقی غذا روح است — and that in accordance with Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the musicians and listeners of Afghanistan should be free to draw upon this precious spiritual and cultural resource without fear.
The aim of the Campaign is to support and to secure humanitarian protection for all of Afghanistan’s endangered musicians, from master rabab players to the latest pop stars, with a particular focus on hereditary and professional musicians, music professors and master-teachers (ustāds), women and girls, and those who have been exposed in the media.