Unnamed 21-year-old follower of Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who wanted to start music lessons program or school, asked highest state official if music is allowed or acceptable according to Islam. No one expected that Iranian leader will responded on this way, more over no one expected that respond will find his place on the list of the most radical ruling since the 1979 Khomeini Revolution. Ayatollah Khamenei said to his follower that even music is allowed or hallal in Islam, music is “not compatible” with high values of Islamic Republic of Iran. According to semi-official media Khamenei said:
“Although music is halal, promoting and teaching it is not compatible with the highest values of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic. It’s better that our dear youth spend their valuable time in learning science and essential and useful skills and fill their time with sport and healthy recreations instead of music.”
Clerical religious rulings or fatwa’s are usually followed only by their on followers, and they don’t have any impact on the regional or state levels, but in this case situation is completely different. Ayatollah Khamenei made his rulings, by his own fatwa, the only clerical whom orders will be considered as administrative orders for whole country. In his last month fatwa Khamenei said that his leadership is directly connected to Prophet Mohammad and obligated all Iranians to obey his rulings. His own practice is to not express his own views so often in public, but many analysts are convinced that Khamenei himself was a person behind crackdown of music in a time of 1979 Revolution.
Reformist Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami wins 1997 presidential elections, and loosened some tights connected to music and other pleasures in Iran. But since his successor Mohammad Ahmadinejad took presidential office radical views against music and musical practice in Iran are parts of state policies. Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, led by Ahamadinejad followers, has refused to issue thousands of permissions for distribution of music contents in country. They also refused to permit several hundred requests for concert or public events in a fear that those activities would be used by opposition against Ahmadinejad’s and Khamenei’s administrations.
“They are afraid of my concerts because of those moments before the concert is begun, when the whole hall is in silence and darkness when someone suddenly shouts ‘death to dictator’ and everybody accompanies and they are unable to identify that person”, said Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Iran’s most prolific and popular classical vocalist.