Kosovo authorities are telling teachers and students to ignore a paragraph in a high school textbook that labels rock music as criminal.
The citizenship textbook states that “rock music, pornography, violence on television — all not good acts– have been proven to be totally criminal.” The Ministry of Education on Wednesday ordered teachers to disregard that part and said the paragraph will be deleted in future editions.
The textbook has been in circulation for at least eight years, but sparked outrage when the news of the contentious paragraph emerged on Kosovo’s public television last week.
“Rock and roll is not a crime”, said Bujar Berisha, the front man of leading Kosovo rock band Troja. “It is rebellious but it is a positive rebellion. It has always been the voice of the people against injustice, from Vietnam to Kosovo.”
The author said the entire embarrassing episode is a technical mistake.
“It should say ‘commercial,’ not ‘criminal,'” Bajram Shatri, who wrote the book alongside an author from Albania, told The Associated Press. Shatri apologized to Kosovo rockers, but insisted not all music is good for body and soul.
“Some musical content can negatively affect the children,” Shatri said, acknowledging that his children listen to rock music.
Kosovo authorities say the paragraph must go although no one can put an estimate on how many generations of teenagers may have been turned away from electric guitars and long hair.
“The publishers are asked, when they republish the book, to immediately eliminate this shortcoming,” said Ramush Lekaj, an official in Kosovo’s Ministry of Education that oversees the content of textbooks.
Kosovo is a majority ethnic Albanian former province of Serbia that seceded in 2008.