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?