Two members of the Iranian heavy metal band Confess are being held for blasphemy after they were arrested by the state's religious guard and accused of writing satanic music.
Nikan Siyanor Khosravi and Khosravi Arash Ilkhani are believed to have been arrested and jailed on November 10. Held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison by the Revolutionary Guards until February 5, the pair wrote and released their own heavy metal albums
and ran a record label. Extreme punishments are available for the prosecuting authorities
Their latest album, released in October, included tracks named Teh-Hell-Ran and I'm Your God Now , both of which would likely rankle with the state's hardline Islamic leadership.
Tara Sepehri Far, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, told MailOnline the pair likely faced up to five years in prison. She said it was likely they would be facing insulting sacred beliefs charges, as other musicians had been in the past, rather
than insulting the prophet , which is punishable by death. She added:
Iranian musicians, especially the ones who play non-classical western music, are navigating a minefield. Due to severe censorship, most of these groups are performing underground.
Anything from the content of their lyrics to the style of the music they play might violate unwritten regulations that musicians are expected to adhere to by various authorities.
Social media accounts of those close to the band expressed concern about the pair's plight, and included messages of support and the sharing of the #freeconfess hashtag.
Help Free CONFESS they were arrested by the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and are facing charges of blasphemy, advertising against the system, running an illegal and underground band and record label promoting music considered to be
Satanic writing anti-religious lyrics and granting interviews to forbidden foreign radio stations.
Madonna has been banned from performing the track Holy Water , taken from last year's album Rebel Heart , at
her live show at Singapore's National Stadium on 28 February. The show has also been labelled with an adults only R18 rating.
A spokesperson for the music censors at the Media Development Authority stated:
In determining the rating, MDA had carefully reviewed the proposed setlist and consulted the Arts Consultative Panel. Religiously sensitive content which breached our guidelines, such as the song 'Holy Water', will thus not be performed in Singapore.
Update: Recommended by the Archbishop of Singapore
The Labour MP Chris Bryan is calling for the classic Tom Jones song Delilah to be banned from Six Nations rugby matches claiming that it glorifies domestic violence. The politically correct claims the song is about killing a prostitute .
I know that some people will say, 'Oh, here we go, he's a terrible spoilsport,' but the truth is that that song is about the murder of a prostitute. Chris
It is a simple fact that when there are big international rugby matches on, and sometimes football matches as well, the number of domestic violence incidents rises dramatically.
It goes right to the heart of the issues we are discussing. There are thousands of other songs we could sing.
I have sung 'Delilah' as well - everybody loves doing the 'She stood there laughing' moment- but if we are really going to take this issue seriously in Wales, we have to change how we do things.
The Sixties hit is an unofficial anthem at Cardiff matches, with male voice choirs and even Tom himself singing it before every game. The lyrics read:
I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window
I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind
She was my woman
As she deceived me I watched and went out of my mind
My, my, my, Delilah
Why, why, why, Delilah
I could see that girl was no good for me
But I was lost like a slave that no man could free
At break of day when that man drove away, I was waiting
I crossed the street to her house and she opened the door
She stood there laughing
I felt the knife in my hand and she laughed no more
So before they come to break down the door
Forgive me Delilah I just couldn't take any more
Rajan Zed has criticized Coldplay's music-video featuring Beyoncé titled Hymn For The Weekend , claiming it trivializes Hinduism.
Zed aid that this party-anthem/club-song music-video unnecessarily dragged sacred Hindu concepts and symbols with no linkage to the lyrics/storyline. He wrote:
What was the connection of--depicting one person dressed as Lord Shiva holding a trishul and sitting on the pavement; three persons dressed as Hanumans and standing with gadas leaning against their shoulders; two saffron-clad sadhus (with one on the
ground and another high on a bamboo stick holding a mala) sitting on the roadside, as if meditating, with incense burning in front of them--with the lyrics in the video like drink from me ?
Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus understood that the purpose of Coldplay-Beyoncé in this case apparently was not to denigrate Hinduism, but casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the
Zed said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more . BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were disturbing for the followers.
Dr Jo Cranwell, a psychologist from the University of Nottingham, is calling for tighter measures put in place to
protect children from images depicting smoking an drinking in music videos.
She claims that British teenagers are being exposed to a high level of tobacco and alcohol images in online music videos and research from the University of Nottingham suggests girls aged between 13 and 15 are the most exposed.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , analysed 32 of the most popular music videos during a 12-week period. reserachers estimated, using the census and their own data, that the average percentage of viewing of
those videos was 22% for teenagers and 6% for adults. They worked out the total number of depictions (impressions) of alcohol and tobacco in 10-second slots throughout the music videos seen by viewers. Overall, the videos produced 1,006 million impressions
of alcohol and 203 million of tobacco.
Trumpets by Jason Derulo, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke delivered some of the highest number of tobacco impressions, while Timber by Pitbull, and Drunk In Love by Beyonce, delivered the most alcohol content, the study
Girls are looking at role models beyond their core family unit and their peers. They're looking at wider society and they're looking at celebrities on film, she said. They're very attractive and they lead very aspirational lifestyles and these young
girls are looking to them to learn about how they should look and how they should behave.
The BBFC should include portrayals of alcohol and tobacco smoking in their 'drug misuse' and their 'dangerous behaviours presented as safe age classification' criteria and at the moment they're not.
The BBFC says classification of content online is not required by law but many platforms use BBFC age ratings voluntarily. Its guidelines state that classification decisions also take into account any promotion or glamorisation of activities such
as smoking or drinking. The last review in 2013 public opinion was clear that neither smoking nor alcohol were viewed as areas for concern for film classification .
Presumably Cranwell was too wrapped up in self importance to realise that issuing silly ratings, eg an 18 rating for 1001 Dalmatians, would undermine the credibility of ratings and would lead to parents ignoring them entirely.