'Mullahs' face flak on Twitter after issuing fatwa against singer Nahid Afrin

BJP leaders Shazia Ilmi and Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal have come out in support of Nahid Afrin

There has been an outpour of support on Twitter for the Assamese teenage singer, Nahid Afrin, who has been threatened against performing again by a section of radical Muslim clerics. A group of 50 Muslim clerics have issued a fatwa (religious edict) against Afrin, a teenage sensation who managed a podium finish on the reality singing show Indian Idol Junior two years ago.

Sixteen-year-old Afrin has struck a defiant tone following calls of fatwa against her, remarking that she would “die” if she wasn’t allowed to sing. “Allah has blessed me with this voice for singing, and I’ll die if I am not allowed to sing.”

Afrin revealed that she had received hundreds of calls from sympathisers after the incident was highlighted in media.

Assam’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal condemned the religious edict against Nahid, tweeting out that the state government would provide security to the teenage singer.

(Source: Sarbananda Sonowal/Twitter)

(Source: Sarbananda Sonowal/Twitter)

Sonowal’s colleague in the BJP’s Delhi unit, Shazia Ilmi, expressed solidarity with Nahid too,

(Source: Shazia Ilmi/Twitter)

Clearly, Twitter wasn’t amused by the Muslim clerics,

(Source: Twitter/Shilpi Tewari)

Some Twitter users even questioned why there hadn’t been any such controversy over legendary singers such as Mohammad Rafi and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

(Source: Twitter/ Rakesh Anand Bakshi)

Pakistani-Canadian talk show host Tarek Fatah lauded the girl for her courage.

(Source: Tarek Fatah/Twitter)

A Twitter user even mocked the religious preachers, saying they were their own enemies.

(Source: Nazim Naqvi/Twitter)

There are conflicting reports, however, as to what irked the preachers in the first place. News agency ANI noted that the preachers were objecting to Afrin’s upcoming performance on Thursday, which is scheduled to happen in Udali town of central Assam. It is being reported that the venue of this performance is next to both a graveyard and mosque, which some community leaders found objectionable. According to news agency IANS, the preachers are against singing, which they say is forbidden under the Sharia law.