Monday, February 9, 2009

UK band releases Islamophobic music video; riots across the Muslim world, 54 dead

What if The Clash's "Rock the Casbah" had been released in 2009?

KARACHI- The streets of Pakistan's largest city overflowed with enraged protesters today as what has been billed as the "Great Music Video Riots" reached a crescendo across the Muslim world. At least 20 people died when angry protesters set fire to a Karachi McDonalds during the busy lunch hour. Another 4 were killed and dozens injured by errant projectiles outside of the UK embassy in Damascus, as tightly-packed protesters hurled molotov cocktails and rocks indiscriminately towards the compound. These disturbances are in reaction to the controversial video "Rock the Casbah" by British punk rockers The Clash.

Ahmed al-Zabada, spokesman for the Islamic Brotherhood Society of America, deplored the violence but said it was an unavoidable reaction to Islamophobic sacrilege. "This video is an abomination," al-Zabada said. "Do you realize that the bassist is wearing the uniform of an Israeli soldier? Those fascist Zionist pigs just slaughtered our brothers in Gaza, and he parades around with his guitar like it's a big joke? Of course there are riots!"

Islamic clerics and activists across the world have denounced other aspects of the video they say defame their religion and culture. At 1:03 the lead singer shouts irreverently about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), highlighting the insensitivity with which Westerners treat the hallowed religious figure even after the disasterous "Cartoon Riots" of 2006.

At 1:18 a Muslim man is depicted drinking alcohol, which is forbidden under Islamic Sharia Law (Quran 5:90-91). Perhaps most disturbingly, the same Muslim man is repeatedly depicted fraternizing with a Nazi-imperialist son of pigs and monkeys (i.e. Jew).

The ACLU chimed in yesterday claiming that the Arab-Muslim man shown gallavanting around oil wells and gas stations was a harmful stereotype that threatened community cohesion and racial harmony.

In response to these provocations, the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference has renewed efforts to ban critical and disrespectful portrayals of Islam in media and art. The UN General Assembly is expected to vote on a measure this week. Those who enjoy peace and quiet would do well to support the measure.


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