- Title: Indonesia's hijab-wearing Muslim metal group challenges stereotypes
- Date: 29th May 2017
- Summary: GARUT, WEST JAVA PROVINCE, INDONESIA (RECENT) (REUTERS) BAND MEMBER, FIRDDA KURNIA, SINGING IN STUDIO VARIOUS OF BAND MEMBERS PLAYING GUITAR BAND MEMBER, AISYAH, PLAYING DRUMS BAND PLAYING IN STUDIO KURNIA PLAYING GUITAR
- Embargoed: 12th June 2017 13:04
- Keywords: HIJAB MUSIC IN INDONESIA GIRL BAND VOICE OF BACEPROT
- Location: GARUT, WEST JAVA PROVINCE AND JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- City: GARUT, WEST JAVA PROVINCE AND JAKARTA, INDONESIA
- Country: Indonesia
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Living / Lifestyle,Music,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA0016IW39SL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With their heads covered with Islamic headscarves, the three members of the Indonesian band VoB ("Voice of Baceprot" or "Noisy Voice") do not look like a typical heavy metal group.
Formed in 2014, the band of teenagers met at school in Indonesia's most populous province of West Java, and use their music to combat the stereotype of Muslim women as submissive or voiceless.
Wearing a hijab, or Islamic head scarf, should not be a barrier to the group's pursuit of its dream of being heavy metal stars, said Firdda Kurnia, 16, who plays guitar and sings.
"I think gender equality should be supported, because I feel I am still exploring my creativity, while at the same time, not diminishing my obligations as a Muslim woman," she said.
Invited to perform at a recent graduation ceremony at another school, the trio quickly had fans dancing and head-banging at the front of the stage.
"I don't see anything wrong with it. There's no law that regulates hijab women to not play hardcore music. This also relates to human rights, if a Muslim girl is talented in playing the drums or guitars, is she not allowed to play them? In my opinion, it just goes down to one's talents and passions,'' said Teti Putriwulandari Sari, a fan who attended the show.
Besides covering classics by groups such as Metallica and Slipknot, the band perform their own songs on issues such as the state of education in Indonesia.
Muslims make up nearly 90 percent of a population of 250 million, the vast majority practising a moderate form of Islam, although there are some conservative strongholds.
Not everyone in the town of Garut, where the band was formed, and which is home to several Islamic schools, feels the community is ready for them, or that their music is appropriate for performance by young Muslim women.
"The common thing with young Muslims today is pop music, religious pop music, but we're talking about metal here, which is loud. With women, it's not just with singing; they even have limits when reading the Koran. With metal, it's even louder, so it shouldn't be allowed,'' said Muhammad Sholeh, a teacher at the town's Cipari Islamic boarding school
Maudya Mulyawati, a student at the school, felt the band should focus on singing "Salawat", an invocation to Prophet Mohammad.
An official of a top clerical body said although the group might trigger a culture clash in a conservative area, he did not feel it broke with Islamic values instead saying it's part of teenage 'creativity.'
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