Unknown to most in MB’s homeland is the fact that in the majority land area of the Middle East, music is forbidden. In the local lingo, it’s haram. Allegedly, according to those of such beliefs, it’s not God’s will that people should sing or play or listen to music.MB had an interesting encounter a number of years back in a hotel lobby in that region, as he sat sipping a coffee and listening to some lively Irish folk music played at low volume on his laptop. A bearded guest who entered the hotel at that moment with his veiled wife complained strongly about the (Irish) guy in the corner playing music that was religiously offensive. MB was immediately instructed to discontinue his listening. He duly discontinued, lest he get chucked in a very unpleasant jail and spend a few weeks there in pretty dire conditions, nor to mention the possibility of receiving multiple lashes across his back for his musical sins.
And so the ‘faithful’ set their ‘No Music’ rules. MB met many with such ideas when he lived in that particular region and he can say they were men (always men) of stern faces and zero humour. Men without souls MB can say. Men who believe that music was the path to hell. God help them
In the majority land area of the Middle East, it is not permitted for hotels or restaurants to advertise Valentine’s Night meals or functions. It is considered that to advertise such events is to undermine religion, and to engage in the promotion of a lesser religion over the prevailing one. And God forbid that there should be music on such a night.
It’s highly likely that the guys who drove the truck through the market in Berlin last night do not listen to music. MB will bet you a pound to a penny they don’t. Pity.
So MB’s hope for 2017 is that music is heard much more in his Middle East abode, and that those who oppose it are heard much less. Here’s hoping.
Let there be music!