The remix of Busta Rhymes’ song Arab Money which contains verses from the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an caused complaints to flood into a radio station.
The song, which features some of the biggest names in Hip Hop – including P Diddy, Lil Wayne and Akon, and produced by hip hop powerhouse Swiss Beats – features vocals which consist of lines from the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an Surah al-Fatiha.
The song caused offence as it had the rappers openly boasting about their girls, gambling, drinking and money. Blogs, forums, and social networks were condemning the spread of the track, with many Muslims calling the song racist, disrespectful and offensive. Further to using the line “Bismillahi r-rahmani r-rahim. Al hamdu lillahi rabbi l-’_lamin” (translated to: “in the name of Allah, most gracious most merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds”) as the chorus, the song contains lyrics such as “dropping bombs like the Taleban”, “sitting in casinos while I’m gambling with Arafat”, “while I make you bow down and make Salaat like a Muslim”, “all the girls love me, yeah pop some bubbly…”
Muslims were angered because the verses in the Quran are seen as sacred which said within the same breath is deemed inflammatory. Award winning DJ Steve Sutherland was temporarily suspended after Galaxy FM received a string of complaints from listeners after he played the song live on his radio.