Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star

The other night I watched HBO's "Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star", the 2011 followup program to the well received 2009 "Afghan Star" documentary on the Afghan show, "Afghan Star", an American Idol kind of show that is very popular and seems to be pulling together an entire nation. The documentary follows the woman who has been called the most hated woman in Afghan,  Setara Hussainzada.
Setara Hussainzada at the point her hair as shown on stage

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Illume's article by Bushra Burney Jan 26, 2011

"In a follow up to the award-winning documentary Afghan Star, which followed four finalists to Afghanistan’s answer to American Idol, Director Havana Marking returns with Silencing the Song: An Afghan Fallen Star, airing tonight on HBO2 at 8pm.

"Ms. Marking follows up with one of the female finalists in her film, Setara Hussainzada. In her final singing performance moments on the TV show Afghan Star, after Setara found out she didn’t garner enough votes to continue, she danced on the stage with her scarf slipping off her head. Controversy ensued, resulting in many people, including clergy from her province making statements condemning her actions." - Illume

I was struck with the bravery of this woman, Setara. Her singing on the show was pushing the Taliban and their ilk's limits. Indeed she has received many death threats and found she could not return to her home town out of fear for her life. She pushed the limits on the show further by actually dancing, smiling and at the end, during her finale song after she was voted off the show, she allowed her scarf to drop from her head, no longer covering her hair, which lead to even more death threats, but also, becoming hero to more Afghan women than they would want people to generally know about.

Illume's  Bushra Burney continues:

"Silencing the Song strikes a different chord. Although this documentary is more tragic than its predecessor, the viewer is given the rare opportunity to find out what happened to the person who didn’t win, the one who said they would still make a name for themselves despite the loss. That fact in and of itself makes this documentary significant. I highly recommend watching this documentary if you can."

Setara, is a hero. No question about it. She is one of many cracks in the facade of the Muslim world that is going to allow them to truly enjoy the benefits of what being Human is about. Religion is supposed to enhance life, when it doesn't, when it becomes a cancer like so many religious groups have turned it into, then it needs to be dissected and removed like a cancer.That isn't to say, that religion, or Islam, per se, is a cancer, but that those who interpret it by way of the harshest possible definitions, have tried to make it so. 

When you have the disenfranchised, organizing, arming themselves and going under ground as has happened in the Muslim world, then you will find these types of criminal religious groups grow like a fungus on their religion of choice. The only thing to do then, is for the people, to rise up as a group and start to see this cancer for what it is, a blight upon what was originally intended to be a beautiful thing to enhance life and offer a direction for all to live better in a harsh world, but not kill to enforce it, not to use that religion to become an even more harsh environment for the people it was seeking to lift the burden of life from.

And when a group starts doing that, they need to be put down like a rabid dog whenever possible. The Muslim world needs to, and is, rising and saying the same thing the slaves of the American slave population said in that notable song: "Let my people go", to become happier, and to be allowed to enjoy those things their God gave to them.

One way you can always tell a bad religion is when they say you shouldn't dance. Dancing is bad, evil. To enjoy music is evil. To smile is evil, to be happy, to love another is evil. When you hear those things, you know then, you need to fight back and take back the God given rights you were born with in order to truly be one of God's people.

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