It’s hard not to do a double take when a photo in the New York Times shows a girl wearing a hijab and wailing away on an electric guitar.
Performing as a rock musician isn’t something most Muslim girls do, even in Indonesia, where the story is set and Islam is less strict than in certain Middle Eastern countries.
But there is one religious factor that all the reporters, from various publications who’ve covered the story, have missed. See if you can find it in this article.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — The three teenage girls — shy and even seeming slightly embarrassed as they peer out from their Islamic head scarves — do not look much like a heavy metal band.
But a dramatic change occurs when they take the stage. All pretense of shyness or awkwardness evaporates as the group — two 17-year-olds and one 15-year-old — begin hammering away at bass, guitar and drums to create a joyous, youthful racket.
They are Voice of Baceprot, a rising band in Indonesia, a country where heavy metal is popular enough that the president is an avowed fan of bands like Metallica and Megadeth.
But beyond blowing away local audiences with their banging music, the three girls are also challenging entrenched stereotypes about gender and religious norms in the world’s most-populous Muslim-majority nation.
The girls, we learn, wish to prove they can be observant Muslims while playing loud music and wearing hijabs while doing so. In response, they’ve received plenty of death threats for not acting submissive. Also,
Beyond the death threats, they also dealt with a more prosaic form of disapproval: “Our school principal is a conservative Muslim, and he says music is ‘haram,’” or forbidden under Islam.