Sonic Weapons is a blog about the repression of music that bothers authorities, challenges the status quo and struggles against power in all its forms. Written by Thierry Côté, a PhD candidate at York University, Toronto, Canada and research associate at the York Centre for International and Security Studies.
Ibrahim Qashoush - “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar” [Come on Bashar, Leave]. I recently posted about the music of the Syrian popular uprising here and here, but today’s post provides perhaps an even clearer example of music as a “sonic weapon” - a song that may have cost its author his life. While there are questions about the origins of the song - some say that the late Ibrahim Qashoush was its author, others insist that it was written by a 23-year-old student and part-time electrician known as Abdel-Rahman or Rahmani - it has been embraced by the opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in public protests and on the internet.
In an event reminiscent of the execution of Victor Jara, the Chilean folksinger who was publicly executed by the men of Augusto Pinochet after they cut him at the wrists to stop him from playing his protest songs on the guitar following the military coup, the body of a man purported to be Qashoush was found on July 4 "with his throat cut and, according to residents, his vocal cords ripped out" - perhaps to stop him from singing his protest song. An extremely graphic clip of Qashoush’s body being recovered was posted on youtube and has been viewed nearly 14,000 times.