Pamphlets were distributed across Hojai and Nagaon districts of Assam on Tuesday, asking people to avoid attending aspiring singer Nahid Afrin’s upcoming programme. The leaflets were signed by 46 people, some of whom are Muslim clerics.
Afrin is scheduled to perform at Udali Sonai Bibi College in Lanka, Assam, on March 25. The 16-year-old singer, who was the first runner-up in the 2015 season of a TV reality show, is among an number of performers invited to the event.
However, earlier in the day, pamphlet were dubbed as a “fatwa” against Afrin. “If anti-Sharia acts like musical nights are held on grounds surrounded by masjids, idgahs, madrasas and graveyards, our future generations will attract the wrath of Allah,” read the pamphlets. However, the secretary of the Assam State Jamiat Ulama, Maulvi Fazlul Karim Qasimi, blamed the media for spreading misinformation. “Is this how a fatwa is issued? On a piece of paper?”
Qasimi said that the venue in question was in close proximity with religious and educational institutes and there have been instances of people creating a ruckus during similar shows in the past. “The appeal simply states that people might as well avoid the event since there have been instances of people getting drunk and vitiating the atmosphere in the past,” he claimed.
Afrin, on the other hand, told Scroll.in that a few local clerics had objected to her participating in the reality show where she finished second. “They had dissuaded people from voting for me, saying it was a gunah [a crime] to do so as it was against the Sharia,” she said. After her success at the reality show, Afrin went on to make her Bollywood debut by singing for Sonakshi Sinha-starrer Akira in 2016.
Clarification: An earlier version of the story had said that a fatwa had been issued against Afrin. However, there was no fatwa, only a pamphlet campaign, and the story has been updated accordingly.