In Iraq there is a whole genre of music designed to extol the virtues of fighters for Muqtada al-Sadr. It’s gotten so popular that the Iraqi government has actually banned distributing it or even playing it in public. NPR Radio has run a report on this little fiasco and it’s a fascinating read. The man you see pictured above is the creator of a song called “taste the IED” a ridiculous and awful homage to these militamen.
The fear is that this type of music will obviously fuel hatred and encourage more attacks. One thing is for sure, it’s not helping anyone. There are music videos and everything for these. I’m uncomfortable linking directly to the songs, but if you click on the NPR link above you can look and listen to some of the songs, including “taste the IED” and “I am the IED”.
Some would argue that these songs are merely acts of civil disobedience, a way for people to defy the government and show their opposition without actually being violent. While I kind of support the general principle of non-violent protest, I think that a song that directly glorifies bombings, and a music video that shows tanks and personnel blowing up does not fall under that category. In my opinion it goestoo far.
The NPR article even has lyrics to some of the songs, and I don’t even really feel comfortable reposting those. But here’s a small, small snippet of one of the less violent songs.
Here is the favourite song of one of the Sadr artists:
“Delfi steps into his small, sweltering recording studio, which, due to chronic blackouts, relies on power from a small generator. Here, he sings an a capella version of his favorite song, “Hel el Binna” or “The Strength Within.”
In your name Muqtada, Baghdad is calling for your help
The Tigris has prostrated itself before you, begging for help
The Tigris came to ask for your blessing
And she blessed you with henna
We defy anyone who tries to enter Sadr City
Starting from the canal to the dam
Men confront armored vehicles with their bare chests
The Mahdi Army are heroes
They have become like mountains”