Fatwa issued against all-female Indian guitar band Pragaash

The high school group have now split after an online hate campaign

A senior Muslim cleric has issued a fatwa against an all-female high school rock band in India.

The band, called Pragaash – which translates as First Light in Kashmiri – have now split up after Kashmir’s state-appointed cleric Mufti Bashiruddin Ahmad called the band “indecent”.

An online hate campaign, in which the teenagers were referred to as ‘prostitutes’, was also waged against them, reports Sky News. One of the members has now fled to another city.

The band, who were made up of Noma Nazir (vocals/guitar), Aneeqa Khalid (bass) and Farah Deeba (drums), played live for the first time in December in Srinagar, Kashmir. They won third place in a Battle of The Bands competition. The band’s manager Adnan Mattoo said:

First, the girls had decided to quit live performance due to an online hate campaign and concentrate on making an album. But after an edict by the government’s own cleric, these girls are saying goodbye to music.

The region’s top elected official, Omar Abdullah, has said that police will investigate the threats made towards the band and added that “the talented teenagers should not let themselves be silenced by a handful of morons.”