Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big Planet

October 22, 2008 -

The Islamic musician whose Qur'anic references in a Little Big Planet soundtrack tune caused a delay in the game's release has defended his lyrics to MTV Multiplayer. Singer Toumani Diabate (left) explains:

It is quite normal to play music and be inspired by the words of the Prophet Mohammed... in my country in Mali. You can see this on television all the time.

MTV Multiplayer also has a more in-depth explanantion of the "offending" lyrics, provided by Diabate's record label. In this context they sound entirely inoffensive:

Moussa Diabate, adapts a traditional Malian song about the death of a much-loved hippopotamus who has been shot by a white hunter. In the original song... the griots of the village sing about how difficult it is to be separated from your loved one in death.

The singer adapts this song... to lament the death of his brother Mustapha, who died very young as a child. Moussa draws on the excerpts from the Koran to console him & help him overcome his bereavement. In this way, his intention... is a good one. He is not blaspheming or taking the Koran out of context. He is trying to draw strength from the words of the Prophet.

...‘Every soul shall have the taste of death...
...All that is on earth will perish...

Meanwhile, Reuters wonders whether, in the wake of its second faith-based controversy in as many years, Sony needs to hire a religious advisor. Perhaps more to the point, Reuters asks:

Should companies simply avoid any reference to Islam at all?

GP: Is that really what the Islamic world wants, to become a zone of avoidance for pop culture?


Comments

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

I didn't say it did.

Flags represent Country, generally. (National flags, at least, which is what's being reffered to here)
Country is a representation of its people, and it stands as a symbol, selected by the people (generally through their government) to represent themselves on a world stage

The United States is a representional Democracy, meaning that people are elected in to represent the interests of its people in governmental matters. Your elected officials are supposed to be a sampling of your people.

Since the controling power of the country is with its government, the Flag is representation of the government as much as it is the rest of the citizenry. When there is a disconnect between the elected officials and the people who elected them, then the government is no longer a proper representational democracy. (The people are not being represented) Burning the flag in this case is a symbolic gesture to show that the whole has been tarnished and that this disconnect exists. It is a way of showing non-violent disapproval.

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

Very true. I guess burning a flag in protest is only disrespectful to people who still support the government.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

Well... I'd say offensive rather than disrespectful, but yeah, I think we're on the same page there.

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

May I just remind everybody that no Muslim pressure group actually issued a demand for LBP to be recalled? It was an act of self-censorship by Sony Computer Entertainment.

Given the 'Hot Topic' status that Islam currently carries, quite frankly I'd be flabberghasted if it becaome a cross-cultural no-go area. I mean, here we are discussing the matter right now!

-- teh moominz --

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

I think the problem is that Muslim groups range from the perfectly sane (ie the vast majority) to the downright dangerous (unfortunately the media seems to have a habit of presenting Muslim standpoints as the equivalent of asking Fred Phelps about christian matters). Neither seem to appreciate the other, so one group can say it's fine or respectfully request a change, the others may not take it so well.

It would be a huge shame if Islam became a cross cultaral no-no in any form but unfortunately past events have at times shown it to be a bit of a hornets nest

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

"Should companies simply avoid any reference to Islam at all?"

Yes.

Ignore it and hope it just goes away.

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

I concur wholeheartedly. Religious references of any kind should be removed from pop culture; especially media. 

 

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"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

I disagree.  I think that great fun can be had by referencing religion in pop culture.  Look at what happened when Dutch (I think) cartoonists printed pictures of Muhammed!  FUN!

"HEY! LISTEN!"

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

You go do that.

Re: Islamic Musician Defends Lyrics That Delayed Little Big

But I have tickets for Spamalot in November! D:

Tongue not entirely in cheek there: removing religious references from culture would require either a mass scouring of hundreds of thousands of creative works or the total obliteration of religious information from the collective consciousness, neither of which is a particularly viable solution.  But on the plus side, I'd never have to hear Brian Adams on the radio again.  ("Baby you're all that I want / when I'm lying here in your arms / findin' it hard to believe / we're in heavennnn")

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