Pop Culture in the Name of Islam
YVONNE RIDLEY Monday, April 24, 2006
I FEEL very uncomfortable about the pop culture which is growing around some so-called Nasheed artists. Of course I use the term ‘Nasheed artists' very lightly. Islamic ‘boy bands' and Muslim ‘popsters' would probably be more appropriate.
Eminent scholars throughout history have often opined that
music is haram, and I don't recall reading anything about the Sahaba whooping it
up to the sound of music. Don't get me wrong. I'm all for people letting off
steam, but in a dignified manner and one which is appropriate to their
The reason I am expressing concern is that just a few days
ago at a venue in Central London, sisters went wild in the aisles as some form
of pop-mania swept through the concert venue. And I'm not just talking about
silly, little girls who don't know any better; I am talking about sisters in
their 20's, 30's and 40's, who squealed, shouted, swayed and danced. Even the
security guys who looked more like pipe cleaners than bulldozers were left
looking dazed and confused as they tried to stop hijabi sisters from standing on
their chairs. Of course the stage groupies did not help at all as they waved and
encouraged the largely female Muslim crowd to "get up and sing along." (They're
called ‘Fluffers' in lap-dancing circles!)
The source of all this adulation was British-born Sami
Yusuf, who is so proud of his claret-colored passport that he wants us all to
wave the Union Jacks. I'm amazed he didn't encourage his fans to sing "Land of
Hope and Glory." Brother Sami asked his audience to cheer if they were proud to
be British ,and when they responded loudly, he said he couldn't hear them and
asked them to cheer again.
How can anyone be proud to be British? Britain is the third
most hated country in the world. The Union Jack is drenched in the blood of our
brothers and sisters across Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine. Our history is
steeped in the blood of colonialism, rooted in slavery, brutality, torture, and
oppression. And we haven't had a decent game of soccer since we lifted the World
Cup in 1966.
Apparently Sami also said one of the selling points of
Brand UK was having Muslims in the Metropolitan Police Force! Astaghfir'Allah!
Dude, these are the same cops who have a shoot-to-kill policy and would have
gunned down a Muslim last year if they could tell the difference between a
Bangladeshi and a Brazilian. This is the same police force that has raided more
than 3000 Muslim homes in Britain since 9/11. What sort of life is there on
Planet Sami, I wonder? If he is so proud to be British, why is he living in the
great Middle Eastern democracy of Egypt?
Apparently the sort of hysteria Sami helped encourage is
also in America, and if it is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, then it
must be creeping around the globe and poisoning the masses. Islamic boy bands
like 786 and Mecca 2 Medina are also the subject of the sort of female adulation
you expect to see on American Pop Idol or the X-Factor. Surely Islamic events
should be promoting restrained and more sedate behavior.
Do we blame the out-of-control sisters? Or do we blame the
organizers for allowing this sort of excessive behavior which demeans Islam? Or
do we blame the artists themselves?
If those Nasheeds had sisters running in the streets
whooping and dancing, however, the Nasheeds may be encouraged because of haram
activity surrounding them.
Oh, Muslims, wake up! The Ummah is not bleeding; it is hemorrhaging. Listen not to what is haram. Listen to the pain of your global family.
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