Is "Call to Prayer" sample offensive?

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brightonalex
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Is "Call to Prayer" sample offensive?

Post by brightonalex » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:37 pm

Is it religously offensive to use an Islamic "Call to Prayer" sample in a tune? My friend challenged me to and I'm quite pleased with the result, but I don't want to be honour killed. :?

sweetjesus
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Re: Is "Call to Prayer" sample offensive?

Post by sweetjesus » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:38 pm

brightonalex wrote:Is it religously offensive to use an Islamic "Call to Prayer" sample in a tune? My friend challenged me to and I'm quite pleased with the result, but I don't want to be honour killed. :?
keep that one one for the HDD mate.

dave_house
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Post by dave_house » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:31 pm

Interesting question.

I've used a call to prayer sample in a tune, very much in the background and in a project made from field recordings taken in Indonesia, but there nonetheless (http://www.carbonbaseddesign.co.uk/dhou ... Aheart.mp3)

I think taht technically it is sacrilige to Muslims to use such recordings. I remember reading that the 25th anniversary re-release of David Byrne and Brian Eno's seminal My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (http://bush-of-ghosts.com/) excludes the track 'Qu'ran', which features Islamic chanting. Which is a shame, as its a bloody good tune and handles the sample with keen artistic thought.

My personal view is that I am not Muslim so the rules don't apply to me. The concept of my field sample project mentioned above is one of documentation and recontextualisation of ordinary sounds. All over Muslim Indonesia one hears calls to prayer and my use of the sound isn't religious, it's purely artistic. I used it in the same way I used tribespeople singing, buskers strumming guitars, waves lapping on the shore, the wind in the trees, etc.

If someone approached me claiming offense about anything in my tunes, I'd consider their comments and act accordingly. I don't buy into the automatic, undisputed, unfaltering pandering to religious taboo. That's not to say I'm not respectful, but respect is not mutually exclusive to holding a different opinion, especially about something as universal and un-ownable as sound waves. The call to prayer is just a sound to me and the vast majority of people who hear my music. Thats not to say its not a very evocative and beautiful one, however.

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Post by b0unce » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:43 pm

if you're recording a genuine call for prayer, without permission, I dont think you can be so blase about ownership/intention/offense. And you can hardly claim ignorance on this issue either, you know its a sensitive topic.

ultimately, you can do what you like. But you cant expect to do what you like and not be offensive, just because you're not muslim. The arguments people use to justify things like the repetitive re/printing of the cartoon of muhammed, and now sampling the call to prayer - are shoddy to say the least.

its for good reason brian eno/david byrne removed that track in the remaster.
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robbmasters
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Post by robbmasters » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:52 pm

There's no definitive answer. Every religion has its fringe elements who seem to show no limits in what they can get offended by, and how much they can overreact.

I was brought up as a Christian, but I didn't find The Last Temptation of Christ (let alone Life Of Brian) offensive. I thought they were great, thought-provoking (and, in one case, funny) movies. On the other hand, while I'd hesitate to describe myself as Christian now, I still find Piss Christ distasteful. But I digress...

My point is that someone somewhere is bound to object. Exactly how you used it, and what you do with the track, will affect how many such people there are, whether or not their objections are reasonable, and what action they take because of it...

My advice? Be "sensitive" in your use of such things (as it sounds like Dave House was) but don't give in to self censorship too easily.
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simpleton
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Post by simpleton » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:06 pm

Don't you think this selective sensitivity by Islamists is a bit ridiculous? They go into a global frenzy over some cartoons yet they enjoy blowing up each other's mosques on a daily basis- what a crock!
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b0unce
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Post by b0unce » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:21 pm

simpleton wrote:Don't you think this selective sensitivity by Islamists is a bit ridiculous?
Nope. it makes perfect sense to me.
Of course, I like to keep up-to-date on who's killing who with what weapons from what supplier for what reasons for how long....

when your army is killing muslims without relent, mocking islam in your media will obviously go down like a lead balloon.


its not rocket science, or esoteric psychology...

if you can say your taxes are not being spent towards oppressing & murdering muslims on their own soil, then, feel free to abuse your democratic right to mock whom ever you please. at least your pseudo-intellectual justifications wont be totally without merit.
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Post by Meef Chaloin » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:36 pm

how many people will actually hear the song?

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Post by dave_house » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:37 pm

i recommend Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion ( http://tinyurl.com/2usjna ) for a fascinating argument about the automatic (and in his opinion, unjustified) respect that religion demands.

He also highlights the ludicrousness of the Profit Mohammed cartoon fiasco. Eg, the adding of additional, more offensive images not originally published in the Danish paper to those proliferated over the muslim world in order to generate anti-Western hype. The $1million bounties placed on the cartoonists heads. The churches and consulates that were burned and the people who were killed who had nothing to do with any of it. All for some ink on a page in a non-muslim country with a free press. Utter insanity. And remember, many Muslim countries regularly publish anti-semitic views and cartoons themselves.

Re. my musical productions, to quote Dawkins, 'i shall not go out of my way to offend, but nor shall i don kid gloves to handle religion more gently than i would handle anything else'.

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Post by Meef Chaloin » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:46 pm

Dawkins should have stuck with writing science books, his views on this are as intolerant as the people he criticizes.

dave_house
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Post by dave_house » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:48 pm

yeah he can be a bit arrogant and forceful. But, again in his words, at least he wont be flying planes into towers or starting wars over his views!!

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Post by compositeone » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:14 pm

Is it actually a sacrilige to use it?

All this babble above really only means something if it is actually established that it is. Most of what is being said in the previous posts is coming from the angle that it 100% is, and the debate is around "should it be used anyway?". Maybe it would be use of only the actual prayers themselves that would be offensive, maybe they are part of the prayers, I have no idea. :S

Any Muslims on the board that would care to enlighten the rest of us before the possibly pointless debate rages on?
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Post by Bassic Dave » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:15 pm

Anything you do will offend somebody somewhere. The prayer call is a thing of beauty, and including it in a song is giving homage to it and helping to show people the beauty of the religion, a different version from the fanatical destructive one they see in the news every day. If some fundamentalist cant appreciate that then probably youre very existence would offend him, so dont let that censor you. Music has been used to enhance religious experience in the mystical islamic tradition of sufism for hundreds of years. There is a story of a muslim mystic that comes to mind. His name was Rumi and he was in his home with his disciples making music and dancing in meditation, and a literalist muslim broke in and yelled, "TIME FOR PRAYER! PRAYERS!" Rumi said, " We ARE praying."
So go ahead I say. Youre an artist and as one you are in harmony with god every time you create, as god is the supreme creator and artist. Anyway ive heard dozens of songs with the prayer call in them, many done by muslim producers.
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brightonalex
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Post by brightonalex » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:15 pm

I just downloaded the sample from Limewire. I can just take it out, but I was wondering if it counted as blasphemy or not. Of course, moderate Muslims wouldn't give a hoot but I thought I'd check!
As someone above commented, barely anyone is going to listen to it anyway.

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Post by noisetonepause » Thu Jan 18, 2007 3:19 pm

dave_house wrote:i recommend Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion ( http://tinyurl.com/2usjna ) for a fascinating argument about the automatic (and in his opinion, unjustified) respect that religion demands.
Fascinating? He is a fascinating person... d'you think he was molested by a priest, or was he just born a complete cunt?
He also highlights the ludicrousness of the Profit Mohammed cartoon fiasco. Eg, the adding of additional, more offensive images not originally published in the Danish paper to those proliferated over the muslim world in order to generate anti-Western hype. The $1million bounties placed on the cartoonists heads. The churches and consulates that were burned and the people who were killed who had nothing to do with any of it. All for some ink on a page in a non-muslim country with a free press. Utter insanity. And remember, many Muslim countries regularly publish anti-semitic views and cartoons themselves.
It is a fact that the demonstrations in Iran, Lebanon, and Libya had nothing in to do with the cartoons themselves. In Iran they were organised by the government to show that they do allow demonstrations (and carefully controlled - any damage to Danish property, and the Iranian government would have had to pay), in Lebanon they were started mostly by Syrians out to destabilise Lebanon, and in Libya they spent five minutes shouting "Down with Denmark" and quickly moved on to "Down with Qadhafi".... And that's just three examples I remember off the top of my head.
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