"They say sharia forbids it," says Rakiatou Wallet Tannal, [...] referring to Islamic law. "That's their sharia, not the sharia of Muslims."
"I'm a Muslim, but Sharia isn't my thing," says Rokia Traoré, one of Mali's most famous international stars. "If I couldn't go up on stage anymore, I would cease to exist. And without music, Mali will cease to exist."
One day, they broke into [Khaira] Arby’s house and destroyed her instruments. Her voice was a threat to Islam, they said, even though one of her most popular songs praised Allah.
They tell us there are no musicians here. That they all left with the implementation of Sharia. They tell us to go to Lagos. We play with words and rephrase questions, semantically restrained by our use of the word “musician.” Yes, there are no musicians here but, they tell us, of the kumsa guitarists, the one stringed goje players, the kakaki trumpeters, there are hundreds.
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