25 Feb 2011

Canadian Muslim extremist trained in Saudi Arabia preaches music is evil, approves child marriage, wife beating and killing apostates

National Post - Canada February 15, 2011

Islamic former guitarist now preaches against music

Stewart Bell | National Post

Bilal Philips was once a guitar god. Now he is trying to convince Muslims that God doesn’t want them listening to guitars.

A Saudi-trained Canadian, Mr. Philips is among a small group of lecturers who preach against most forms of music — a controversial prohibition that surfaced in Manitoba recently, where a dozen Muslim families want to pull their children from music class.

“A heart filled with music will not have room for God’s words,” he writes in his book Contemporary Issues, which also defends child marriages, wife beating, polygamy and killing apostates while calling homosexuality “evil and dangerous.”

While Mr. Philips argues that Islam does not prohibit all music, he says it only allows adult male singers and “folk songs with acceptable content sung by males or females under the age of puberty accompanied by a hand drum.”

“Wind and stringed instruments have been banned because of their captivating power,” he continues. “Their notes and chords evoke strong emotional attachments. For many, music becomes a source of solace and hope instead of God. When they are down, music brings them up temporarily, like a drug. The Koran, the words of God filled with guidance, should play that role.”

In his book, he also says adult women are forbidden from singing “in order to keep the sensual atmosphere of the society at a minimum. Men are much more easily aroused than females as has been thoroughly documented by the clinical studies of Masters and Johnson.”

Music is an integral part of life in the Arab and Muslim world, but Mr. Philips and a band of Saudi-influenced lecturers have been trying to convince Muslims to turn off their radios and iPods and focus on their religion.

Zakir Naik, the president of the Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai, India, who pulled out of a Toronto conference last year following a controversy over his views, claims music puts people into a “trance” and “frenzy.” Yasir Qadhi of Texas, dean of the Al Maghrib Institute, argues that you “can’t love the Koran and music at the same time.”

A video on the Gardens of Paradise blog (whose Canadian administrator left Toronto to fight for the al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabab in Somalia) claims music goes hand in hand with such un-Islamic activities as dancing, inappropriate clothing, mingling of the sexes and alcohol.

But the Islamic Institute of Toronto says on its website that many scholars disagree with that interpretation, and consider music permissible as long as it does not contain “sensual, pagan or unethical themes” or subliminal messages.

“Thus to say that all music is forbidden in Islam does not seem to agree with the balanced approach of Islam to issues of human life and experience,” says a ruling on the “ask the scholar” section of the site.

The debate over the permissibility of music in Islam has stirred controversy in Winnipeg, where several families who recently immigrated to Canada have told the Louis Riel School Division they want their children excused from compulsory music class, as well as co-ed physical education.

Sohail Raza, a spokesman for the Muslim Canadian Congress, said the claim that Islam does not allow music was “totally baseless” and was really an attempt to prevent Muslim immigrants from integrating into Canadian society.

“These are people who have an aversion to joy,” Mr. Raza said. “We have a very sad situation whereby people like Philips are bringing things into Islam which are really not true, and then when somebody objects to them it becomes, you are either a lesser Muslim or it is Islamophobia.”

For Mr. Philips, it is a complete change of tune.

After immigrating to Canada from Jamaica at age 11, he took up the guitar. He played at nightclubs while studying at Simon Fraser University in B.C. When he moved to Malaysia, he was known as the “Jimi Hendrix of Sabah,” the district of Borneo where he lived.

But after converting to Islam in 1972, he put down his guitar for good. In the biography on his website he says, “when I became a Muslim, I felt uncomfortable doing this and gave it up both professionally and privately.”

Mr. Philips, who has degrees from the Islamic University of Medina and the University of Riyadh, and founded the Islamic Online University, lives in Qatar but remains a popular conference speaker in Canada. He gave a lecture about “music and dating” at a Toronto mosque last April.

In his online videos, the former musician calls music an evil addiction. “The point is that if music were beneficial, then the musicians would demonstrate that benefit in their lives,” he says in a YouTube video.

“What you see instead is that some of the most corrupt elements of society are found among the musicians. The drugs, the deviations and homosexuality, these type of things and all the corruption that’s there, people committing suicide,” he says. “The reality is that it in fact does carry an evil, dark side which produces that type of corruption amongst themselves and, in the end, ends up corrupting elements of the society.”

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1 comment:

  1. SAUDI ARABIA: Preacher who raped and tortured daughter freed from jail

    AFP - Agence France Presse February 4, 2013

    A Saudi preacher who raped his five-year-old daughter and tortured her to death has been sentenced to pay "blood money" to the mother after having served a short jail term, activists said on Saturday.

    Lamia al-Ghamdi was admitted to hospital on December 25, 2011 with multiple injuries, including a crushed skull, broken ribs and left arm, extensive bruising and burns, the activists said. She died last October 22.

    Fayhan al-Ghamdi, an Islamic preacher and regular guest on Muslim television networks, confessed to having used cables and a cane to inflict the injuries, the activists from the group "Women to Drive" said in a statement.

    They said the father had doubted Lama's virginity and had her checked up by a medic.

    Randa al-Kaleeb, a social worker from the hospital where Lama was admitted, said the girl's back was broken and that she had been raped "everywhere", according to the group.

    According to the victim's mother, hospital staff told her that her "child's rectum had been torn open and the abuser had attempted to burn it closed."

    The activists said that the judge had ruled the prosecution could only seek "blood money (compensation for the next of kin under Islamic law) and the time the defendant had served in prison since Lama's death suffices as punishment."

    Three Saudi activists, including Manal al-Sharif, have raised objections to the ruling.

    The ruling is based on Islamic laws that a father cannot be executed for murdering his children, nor can husbands be executed for murdering their wives, activists said.