Why would anyone target a concert by the American singer Ariana Grande? The grim answer may lie in the fact that with her revealing stage outfits, her stockings, pink bunny ears and unabashed sexual confidence, 23-year-old Miss Grande is a symbol of everything Islamists hate.
According to the purist, medieval interpretation of the Koran favoured by Islamic State, almost everything about Western music, and the Western lifestyle that goes with it, is haram, or forbidden — and so merits a death sentence.
Indeed, one claim of responsibility for Monday’s attack stated: ‘The explosive devices were detonated in the shameless concert arena.’
Those unfortunate enough to live in Islamic State’s caliphate have experience of this doctrine.
Three years ago, the then fledgling Islamic State issued a statement that read: ‘Songs and music are forbidden in Islam, as they prevent one from the remembrance of God and the Koran, and are a temptation and corruption of the heart.’ The directive went on to cite Koranic verses and Islamic teaching.