Another singer eliminated

Another woman is reminded that she is not allowed to do anything, and so are all the other women in her part of the world.

The murder of Ayman Udas, who was in her early thirties and newly married, has shocked the city’s artistic community because it symbolises a backlash against women and cultural freedom in an area that is increasingly dominated by Islamic fundamentalists. As a singer and song writer in her native Pashto, the language of the tribal areas and the NorthWest Frontier province, Udas frequently performed on PTV, the state-run channel. She won considerable acclaim for her songs but had become a musician in the face of bitter opposition from her family, who believed it was sinful for a woman to perform on television. Ashamed of her growing popularity her two brothers are reported to have entered her flat last week while her husband was out and fired three bullets into her chest.

She’s not popular any more, so they’re not ashamed any more, and that’s what counts.

Fellow performers, many of whom have received death threats from hardline Islamist groups, were stunned by the killing. In recent months several popular artists have been forced to stop performing as singers and comedians. Others have fled the country or moved to other cities.

As some people try to hang onto a somewhat normal happy life with some room for art and pleasure, and others try to grind such a life into powder.

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