Music: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan & Amjad Sabri — ‘Rang’

 

Last June, The Guardian reported: One of Pakistan’s most famous and respected musicians, celebrated for devotional songs from a centuries-old mystic tradition, has been shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Karachi.

Amjad Sabri [seen performing in the video above, wearing a red shawl], 39, was shot by two men on a motorbike as he drove through a congested area of the port city on Wednesday, Allah Dino Khawaja, the regional police chief, told Reuters. A relative travelling with the musician was injured but survived.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Qari Saifullah Mehsud, claimed responsibility for the killing and said Sabri was targeted because the group considered his music blasphemous, local media reported.

The attack happened a day after a homeopathic doctor from the Ahmadi minority was killed in the same city, and two days after masked men seized the son of a top provincial judge, fuelling concerns about violence and extremism in Pakistan’s economic capital.

The songs Sabri performed are part of a Sufi tradition dating back to the 13th century. Known as Qawwalis, steeped in mysticism and sometimes based on mystic poetry, they are a key part of the spiritual life of millions of Muslims across south Asia and enjoyed by wider audiences of many faiths. [Continue reading…]

Amjad Sabri’s murder illustrates how grotesquely misconceived is the concept of a clash of civilizations.

The jihadists contrive a form of religious purity that is nothing more than nihilism; they cling to violence because they are creatively bankrupt and bereft of any form of civilization.

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