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Islam for beginners

Anti-Taliban song dissected

Roll up for the Regovisionsong contest

The following lengthy email from Rick Gungadoo came in response to our article on a song questioning the merits of the Taliban.

Dear Sir,

I was dismayed that The Register judged it appropriate to publish such inaccurate, stereotypical and hurtful material in the following article and accept it a `nice one'.

Yes, I am a muslim but I am not here to defend the Taliban's policies. In fact I have strong fundamental problems with the Taliban. However, the writings contained in the above mentioned article go further than attack the Taliban. It attempts to attack, mock and vilify many fundamental principles of Islam. Islam, being a religion practised by more than 1 billion human beings on this planet. I shall attempt to reply to these `lyrics' and even though my message may be put up for derision, if at least it helps someone understand Islam better then my email will not
be in vain.

'Who can ban a necktie,
wrapped around a man'
This is based on an Islamic principle that it is not allowed for the muslim to adopt symbols that are clearly from the non-muslim. A necktie is clearly something imported from the west. Should not the muslims be proud to wear their own style of garments instead of uniformising on what the west thinks the muslims should wear? Also, by adopting the clothes of the non-muslims, muslims perpetuate a sense of inferiority complex towards the non-muslim people who for most part are seen as the ex-colonisers.

'having colored lips and nail polish on his hand,'
I'm not sure what the above means but if it means that it is ok for a man to wear lipstick and nail polish, then again, Islam emphatically rejects this. In Islam, men are men and women are women. There is no room for depravation.

'The Taliban can!
The Taliban can,
cause he mixes it with love
and says they're orders from above.'
Yes, these are `orders from above' whether ones like it or not. They are `orders from above' in the sense that they can be directly inferred from revelation contained in the Book called Qur'an and in the statements of the Prophet Muhammad(peace be upon him) collectively called the 'Sunnah' (literally meaning `Way')

'Who can swipe a chessboard?'
As for the chessboard, I recall seeing some debate among scholars as to whether it is chess or backgammon which is banned. Backgammon clearly because of the gambling involved (Islam forbids gambling). As for chess, it has been argued that it requires so much concentration and time that people can get distracted and fail to carry out obligatory religious uties, some of which have to be performed at specific times or within short time frames.

'Blast all Buddhas from the land?'
Ah, those pieces of stone! How amazing that there is such uproar at blasting away signs of polytheism but how deafening is the silence of the `civilised' nations at the deaths of nearly a million Iraqi children, all in the name of sanctions to remove a dictator. I guess we'll just put it as 'collateral damage'!

One of the basic tenets of Islam is that `there is no true deity worthy of worship except Allah' and that Islam came to remove mankind from the subjugation of the worship of created beings/things to the worship of the One True God, the One who Creates, Sustains, Manages the affairs of the universe, causes life and death, etc. Once, one understands this basic principle it becomes clear how hated idol worshipping is. Therefore, the Taliban are in full right to blast away these stones which are, lest we forget, on their land. And yes, you can say that `they're orders from above' as it is recorded that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sent his cousin on a mission to level all graves and deface statues and therefore this establishes that demolition of objects of idolatry is part of the religion.

When Islam came to the Arabian peninsula, the pagan arabs had an idol for nearly everything. It was such that one of them would worship a date and when he got hungry he would eat it! Another reported that once when he was still a pagan, he saw a fox urinate on one statue that he was devoted to in worship. Then the man realised that this piece of stone which he used to worship could not even prevent a fox from urinating on its head so it was certainly not worthy of being an object of worship.

'Ban all movies, human hair and T.V. everywhere,'
Surveys after surveys in the west show the negative influence of movies and TV on society. What is so bad in trying to take measures to combat depravation? Movies are mainly either about violence or fornication. It seems strange that `morality' and `virtue' have now become dirty words. I should at this point make it clear that TV in itself is not prohibited but until the infrastructure is there to put proper programmes on the TV, then the carrier of the disease i.e. TV will have to be banned. Islam has no concern for 'political correctness'. What was evil is still evil and will remain evil until the Last Day, even though the number of depraved individuals increase and try to make evil become good and good become evil. As for `human hair', I cannot comment since I do not have a clue what is being referred to.

'The Taliban can!
The Taliban can,
cause he mixes it with love
and says they're orders from above.
Who can shoot a Christian?
Explode a Jew or two?'
Now this is pure FUD! Where is the justification for the above two sentences? As far as I know the Taliban is involved in a war with other muslims and communists. As for Islam, then the Qur'an in Chapter 2, Verse 256 says ``There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût (false deities) and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower."

'"Pray" eight times a day with a rifle and grenade,'
Again, another incorrect statement just intended to denigrate muslims. Islam prescribes *five* daily prayers at their specified time. And why is pray in quotes? It almost suggests that the author is sarcastic and doubts our act of worship. May I point out that the prayer is the second pillar of Islam and is not taken lightly.

'The Taliban can!
The Taliban can,
cause he mixes it with love
and says they're orders from above.
Who knows how to dress a lady,
so she never gets a tan?'
Yet another attempt to denigrate Islam. The way the muslim woman dresses is dictated by the religion not by the whims of some individuals. Islam came to liberate the woman from being an object to a human being with dignity deserving of respect. When the western world can sell a car without a naked woman or have a best selling newspaper without a naked woman, then the western world can start giving lessons on how to treat a woman. The muslim woman is not some cheap piece of meat, to be put on display and to be lusted after by all. The muslim woman is a liberated woman who believes her body is her own business and that she does not need to live up to some man's ideal. A muslim woman is a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister, not a tart! Isn't is strange that this religion which `oppresses' women finds more reverts among women than men! Isn't it strange that a nun with a scarf on her head is a `pure, respectable' woman but the muslim woman who dresses modestly with a scarf on her head is an `oppressed woman'!
For more information of the role of women in Islam please see

'Mutilate a woman-who-accident'ly touched a man?'
This is so far-fetched that it does not need commenting.

'The Taliban can!
The Taliban can,
cause he mixes it with love
and says they're orders from above.'

The whole theme of these `lyrics' seems to be the apparent `oppression' of the Taliban and by direct extension Islam. A visit to might be quite informative on the treatment of muslims in the `Land of the Free'.

So, to conclude, in my humble opinion this article is not a 'nice one' and it should not have found its place on The Register. Promoting racial and religious bigotry and hurtful stereotypes ought not be the aims of The Register.

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