Sunday, June 1, 2008

A is for Allah - Troublesome Thoughts


I've had this post in draft for a few weeks now because I have very ambiguous feelings about it. There's no instrumentation in this music video, but I didn't want to post it before Lag BaOmer in any case. The video above is a song by Yusuf Islam called "A is for Allah," from a children's album. I know this is not something that you would expect to find here. But I wanted to share it because when I originally saw it, I was struck by two conflicing emotions.

At first, I was struck by how sweet his voice is and how pleasant for Muslim children the words and pictures must be. Also, there isn't anything anti-semetic or extreme in the video or the words (not to say that other things he says or believes would be the same way). I was struck by its contrast to the fact that among the nations of the world, people who really try to stay true to their faith are not so common. So it's a bit comforting, in a certain way, to see non-threatening expressions of a committed religious person in such a secular world (though such a thing is also a kitrug on us.)

On the other hand, this British man has chosen a religion of hate (notwithstanding the Perah Adam P.R. to the contrary) and murder. The songwriter likely hates Israel and feels like virutally all Muslims do, which is that hatred toward Israel and at least moral support for terrorists. So how can such warm and serene music come from such a hateful place? I'm not sure what to make of it, though I'm sure there are probably extreme reactions on both sides. I did just want to put this out there though...

-Dixie Yid

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but how can you be so naive...It was only a generation ago that 'warm and serene music' was played in the death camps...
RE YUSUF ISLAM AND THE JEWS:According to terrorism expert Steven Emerson, who testified before Congress in 1996 about the militant group Islamic Association for Palestine:

IAP is presently headquartered in a nondescript strip shopping mall in Richardson, Texas. IAP has set up an elaborate publications and video operation to promote Hamas, in both Arabic and English. While the Arabic brazenly supports Hamas, IAP’s English-language publications and videos — clearly intended for non-Muslim Western audiences– are relatively tame, refraining, for the most part, from advocating terrorism and hatred against Jews and Christians.

But not entirely. One IAP publication, called “America’s Greatest Enemy: The Jew and an Unholy Alliance,” has been routinely distributed at Islamist conventions. Another IAP brochure, authored by Yusef Islam, formerly known as the singer Cat Stevens before he converted to Islam, contains plain old anti-Semitism: “The Jews seem neither to respect God nor his creation. Their own holy books contain the curse of God brought upon them by their prophets on account of their disobedience to Him and mischief in the earth. We have seen the disrespect for religion displayed by those who consider themselves to be ‘God’s chosen people.’ … There will be no justice until all the land is given back to its rightful owners … Only Islam can bring peace back to the Holy Land…” From his home in Great Britain, Islam/Stevens has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for Hamas, in cooperation with the British fundraising arm of Hamas, known as the Relief Fund for Lebanon and Palestine.

Akiva said...

I have met some very nice muslims, just trying to live their lives and keep a moral lifestyle based on their religious teachings.

Much of the Islamic world has become very radlicalized, and like in 1984 (the book), focusing on an external enemy keeps them from focusing on their horrific internal problems. But there are true, honest, and even good people among muslims also.

I can't speak for this singer. All muslims are not bad, but their bad are really evil.

Akiva said...

btw, isn't Yusaf Islam the former 70's pop singer Cat Stevens?

DixieYid said...

Yep, that's him. I tried to communicate that with the Cat STevens wikipedia link on his name. I'm sure you're right, but I guess so many of them want to kill us that it's hard to know which ones are the nice, normal ones.

-Dixie Yid

Anonymous said...

Whatever I think of this video, IT DOES NOT belong on this heiliger blog- what's next. . . sweet Christmas Carols?

The video interests you?- so send it to a friend but to put in a blog about chasidus and mussar?!

DixieYid said...

The reason it's up is not l'shem sharing the video. It's to bring out and discuss my ambivilant feelings brought out by seeing the contradictory serenety of the video on one hand and seeing the barbarous terrorism of these same people on the other hand.

-Dixie Yid

Anonymous said...

Still, it def. does not fit the holy purpose of this blog.