Magazine
Latest Issue

Musical notes

If you think that secularism is the only antidote to Islamic fundamentalism, you should hear the Sufi music of Abida Parveen, Pakistan's Nina Simone

By Kamila Shamsie   June 2005

Karachi, 3am, winter 1999. I am sitting in a garden where the temperature is several degrees higher than in the adjoining driveway. It could be because of all the people packed into the garden, but it seems more plausible that the heat is generated by the woman on stage. With her hands raised above her head, she is belting out songs in a voice that can veer from heartbreak to ecstasy as though they are adjacent emotions. Someone sitting next to me asks, “Do you think the neighbours mind?” Another responds: “Mind? Are you crazy? This is Abida Parveen!”

It…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect