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On Tuesday, Islamic militants who are in de facto control of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu ordered all radio stations to cease playing music, claiming that all music is against the principles of Islam. So far, more than a dozen radio stations have complied immediately with the orders of the militant group Hizbul Islam. Although many Somali civilians have greeted the news with dismay, the militants threaten anyone who does not abide by the new edict with beheading and stoning. Radio music is still being provided by one station controlled by the United Nations and one controlled by the official Somali government. However, the Somali government relies on UN support to survive and does not authority over the entire country, much of which is under the rule of Islamic militants. The new order is very similar to the rules imposed by the Taliban during their reign over Afghanistan, which outlawed virtually all forms of popular culture, especially foreign culture. The music ban affects even talk radio, since anything containing music must be substituted with other sounds.

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Derek Sun

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