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Robert Spencer

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February 15, 2013 - 8:00 am
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Yet those Muslims who have recently trashed music stores and brutalized musicians in Mali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere would dispute the very idea that such music – and particularly such joyful, exuberant, and strikingly individual, original music – should be or could be an instrument of dawah. And they would do so with good reason. Those who constructed the legends of the prophet of Islam knew what they were about when they depicted him forbidding music. They knew that music would not serve the purposes of their martial, expansionist society, for it would blunt the fighting edge of the mujahedin. They knew, as Lenin would come to know centuries later, that the just society on this earth could only be established by means of a reign of terror: “One must break heads, pitilessly break heads.”

As Muhammad himself put it, “I have been made victorious through terror” (Bukhari 4.52.220). That’s the core reason why Islamic law is hostile to music. Music brings joy, and joy is the opposite of terror. It’s no wonder, then, that the Ayatollah Khomeini said: “There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious.”

He probably wasn’t much of a jazz fan, either.

Updated: See Part 2 of Jazz and Islam:

5 Exhilirating Jazz Improvisations To Unshackle Your Spirit

****

Previously from Robert Spencer at PJ Lifestyle:

Building Bridges Between Christians and Muslims: A Case Study

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Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His next book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In, will be published April 14 by Regnery Publishing.
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But there is such a wealth of music in the Arab and Persian world. Who cares what some cramped, neurotic religious freak has to say? It will never diminish the sheer grandeur of the Persian santur. I listen to modern (and classical) Farsi and Arab music all the time. I think it's a feature of their cultures worth celebrating.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Chairman Mao banned most forms of music. Ayatollah Khomeini banned western music. Plato, the grandfather of totalitarianism, said the Philsopher King would ban musical instruments capable of changing keys. Dogmas that believe in thought control also believe in controlling music.
http://www.jochnowitz.net/Essays/Plato.html
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When do we get to start raining stones down upon the Muslims?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
To answer the question posed in the headline, perhaps Lenin and Muhammad couldn't even play with themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Music brings joy, and joy is the opposite of terror."
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Music not only brings joy. It can bring despondency and grief. It can exhilarate. It can depress. It can make you weep. It can put you to sleep.

Music is a catalyst for emotional feelings. It is a trigger. It is very mysterious how that works. But I think the closest analogue would be narcotics or amphetamines. Music can have the same effect.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually you guys come close, and I suggest you reread 1984.

What you absolutely have is a calling of one person to another, for any reason, because communication brings trust, in time.

Can't have anything you can't control.

I do wonder too what RickMZ's point is: he would be better gone.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
So, Mr. Spencer, anyone yet made an Islamic ruling on whether hip hop is Islamic and hence bannable?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I mean, whether hip hop is music, hence banable
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
One more proof that collectivism in almost all its forms is elementary evil personified.

Teamwork and cooperation for mutual benefit? Hell, yeah! Suppression of individual spirit and creativity? Bah, humbug!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Make a joyful noise to the Lord.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now this is fun.

Truthfully, these ideas are by no means limited to Jazz. As you noted, all music is a form of individual expression – though the classic American traditions of Jazz, Blues & Country are perhaps the most free in doing so. It is one of those historical truisms that during the Cold War it was our Rock & Roll culture that was our strongest weapon against the Commies.

I worked in the music industry for ten years, and for me, nothing was more expressive for me than Blues. In fact, while all genres encourage the learning of ‘the classics’ – you know, those old standards everyone loves – Blues encourages you to avoid mimicking said classics as much as possible.

Jazz always held a special place for me too, though there was never a strong market for it here in the South. Personally, I always preferred Swing – the big orchestras led by Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. I’d be curious to see your opinions of blues and swing, Mr. Spencer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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