Tatar singer being investigated because her music video 'insulted the feelings of believers'

Meduza
19:05, 23 september 2016

On September 19, Singer Rezeda Ganiullina post a music video on Youtube for her new song Zhanym (which translates as Beloved). In the video, the singer is seen in a transparent dress singing and dancing against the background of the White Mosque in the Tatar city of Bulgar.

Three days later, Seydzhagfar Lutfullin, the imam of the Republic’s capital Kazan, made a Facebook post in which he called the singer “a disgrace to the Tatar people.” 

Subsequently, Tatarstan’s Investigative Committee initiated an investigation into the video as an act that “insults the feelings of believers.” This is the same accusation that was made against Russian punk band Pussy Riot after their performance in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral.

Rezeda Ganiullina's Zhanym
Rezeda Ganiullina's Youtube Channel

The video, which has caused outraged amongst Tatarstan’s religious leaders, was filmed in the town of Bulgar – a sacred place for Tatar Muslims, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the site of the ancient state of Volga Bulgaria.

Lutfullin wrote that Ganiullina should ask God for an apology for her actions and wrote: “Women at the age of maturity [should] think about their faith, origins and traditions, not thrust her nakedness front of everyone … a mosque is not a place to dance.”

In an interview with a Radio Liberty Ganiullina said that has already apologized for her music video but that she does not regret having made it: “This is my vision. I did not come there to pray. I came to realize an old dream [to] dance and [and record a music video] against the background of this beautiful palace,” she said.