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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Somali Islamists lift radio ban- so long as playlist meets their approval

Freedom of expression Somali Union of Islamic Courts style:
A Somali radio station has resumed broadcasting after it was closed down by Islamist leaders for playing local love songs.

However, Radio Jowhar is no longer playing any music, even jingles.

The Union of Islamic Courts, which controls much of the south, is split between hardliners, who want Taleban-style rule, and moderates.

Some cinemas in Mogadishu have also been closed for showing foreign films but others are allowed to operate.
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"It is useless to air music and love songs for the people," said Jowhar Islamic official Sheik Mohamed Mohamoud Abdirahman.

Some residents were upset by the radio ban.

Demonstration in Mogadishu
In Mogadishu people demonstrated against foreign intervention
"This directive is like the Taliban," Ali Musse told the AP news agency.

"It is censorship against independent media and freedom of expression."

But others point out that different Islamic Courts have different ideas about what is acceptable.

In some parts of Mogadishu, cinemas showing Bollywood films or international football have been closed down but these still operate in other areas of the city.

Our correspondent says the capital's radio stations are still broadcasting normally, playing all kinds of music, including western hip-hop and R 'n' B.
I guess it comes down to location, location, location.

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