Iran's greatest master of traditional music, Mohammad Reza Shajarian,
always avoided open clashes with his country's ruling hard-line
So it was a bombshell when Mr. Shajarian - so revered that his
audiences pelt him with roses - demanded that state radio and TV stop
broadcasting his music, as a protest against the government. The state
What pushed Mr. Shajarian into action was the government's
brutal crackdown on protests over the June 12 election that Mr.
Shajarian and millions of other Iranians believe fraudulently gave a
second term to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
"After what happened, I said 'no way' and threatened to file a
complaint against them if they continued to use my music," Mr.
Shajarian told the Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Iran's political turmoil has raised a culture clash as hundreds
of musicians, actors, filmmakers, poets and writers have spoken out
against the government for its suppression of dissent and arrest of
thousands. In a particular embarrassment to the government, the
filmmaker daughter of Mr. Ahmadinejad's own culture adviser sought
asylum in Germany in October, citing the crackdown at home.
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