This hijab-wearing metal band is challenging stereotypes about Muslim women

This hijab-wearing metal band is challenging stereotypes about Muslim women

Voice of Baceprot from Indonesia is quickly gaining popularity for being the first all girl metal band who don hijabs
31 May, 2017

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 your 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 added.

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," said one fan who attended, Teti Putriwulandari Sari. "There's no law that bars hijab-wearing women from playing hardcore music.

"This also relates to human rights. If a Muslim girl has a talent to play the drums or a guitar, should she not be allowed?"

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.

"It is unusual to see a group of hijab-wearing girls playing metal music or even women shouting," said Muhammad Sholeh, a teacher at the town's Cipari Islamic boarding school, adding that religious pop music was popular with many young Muslims.

"But we're talking about metal here, which is loud."

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.

"I see this as part of the creativity of teenagers," added Nur Khamim Djuremi, secretary general of the Islamic Art and Culture Division of Indonesia's Ulema Council.


AHA May 31, 2017 08:54pm
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Jawwad Jun 01, 2017 12:45am
Indonesia and Malaysia are the countries very much inspired by Pakistan's Coke Studio and Nescafe Basement. Spread Love and Music!
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Khwarizmi Jun 01, 2017 02:14am
Hijab, chadar and burkha has, is and will be part of Muslim culture, more so now that Europe, US and Australia has decided to demonise it. The more you oppress people's religion the more they stick to their religion - 3000 years of history is there to prove it.
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BRR Jun 01, 2017 02:35am
Just nonsense, just PR, no real achievement. Wearing some piece of cloth and singing does not make them ground breaking.
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Saira Jun 01, 2017 03:02am
Damn, this is good!
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Nuanced Jun 01, 2017 04:08am
more power to them
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khan Jun 01, 2017 04:18am
just covering the head doesn't make you THE GOOD MUSLIM. The nuns cover their heads with hijab too, and so was M. Teresa.
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jabbar husayn Jun 01, 2017 05:26am
I hope someone tells them they must smash up their guitars and wreck the stage to qualify as legend! Rock on girls....!
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Gulfraz suleman Jun 01, 2017 06:12am
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HANK RAYMOND Jun 01, 2017 07:51am
Bold step.
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Nasiroski Jun 01, 2017 07:56am
Rock On!!!
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Ranjit Haripur Jun 01, 2017 09:19am
rock n roll
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Raj Jun 01, 2017 10:05am
Indonesia is one of the most liberal muslim countries. Hope it remains the same.
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