NEW YORK - Death threats by the Taliban have forced Haroon Bacha, a popular Pashto singer from Pakistan, to flee from Peshawar and take refuge here, a media report said Monday. "There were letters, there were phone calls, there were text messages,"  Bacha, 36, told The New York Times. "They used to come very frequently back home, just telling me to stop music, or else I would be killed and my family would be ..., he trailed off with tears welling in his eyes. Bacha, who has produced dozens of albums, videos and makes regular television appearances, says he has endeared himself to his war-weary Pashtun fans, but made him a target of the local Taliban, which has been waging an escalating campaign against music and popular culture, calling it un-Islamic. He escaped from his home near Peshawar two months ago and came to New York, leaving behind his wife, two young children and an extended family. If he goes back, he said, he will be killed. With a sharply reduced audience in the United States, Bacha faces an uncertain career, but on Saturday he sang at a small but lively benefit concert in Queens, organized by the Pashtun immigrants who have adopted him and held at an unlikely place: the Forest Hills Jewish Center. "Anybody who is hated by the Taliban is starting out with a check in my column," Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, the leader of the center, was quoted as saying by The Times. "These people (the Taliban) are bringing Pashtuns a very bad name,"  Bacha said. "The reason I didn't succumb to these threats is that I should work for my people, for Pashto as a language and rich tradition. I need to promote it and show to the world that we are not like these people." Before the concert in Queens, The Times said Bacha led evening prayers in a lobby of the Jewish centre. And once the audience of 300 or so had taken its seats " the event was far from sold out " Bacha began performing, accompanied by two musicians. "If it continues like this, and these fanatics get power, our social fabric, our institutions " everything will be destroyed," Bacha said. "I don't know what these elements want to have in their lives, what their world would be like."