- A Muslim rights group has reacted to Falz’s video This Is Nigeria
- The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) group has demanded that Falz withdraw the video or face legal action
- They have given him seven days to respond
Originally performed by American rapper and actor Childish Gambino (This Is America), Falz tackles corruption in government and churches, SARS brutality, yahoo boys and herdsmen killings in his own video.
However, not everyone is happy with Falz’ video. The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) group in a statement made available to NAIJ.com asked Falz to withdraw the video within seven days or face legal action.
Their main grouse is the use of ladies wearing hijab while also dancing shaku shaku in the video. Read excerpts from their statement below:
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Folarin Falana (Falz the Bahd Guy), a Nigerian artist, last week released a new song called ‘This is Nigeria’. The production featured a character that dressed like a Fulani man, who suddenly abandoned his traditional guitar and beh*aded a man. It also portrayed women in hijab as choreographers dancing the ‘shaku-shaku’ (a dance associated with a drug-related song).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly denounces the Shaku Shaku dance video. It is thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative. It is a hate video. It is Islamophobia nulli secundus. This video has the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension. We therefore demand its withdrawal and an apology to Nigerian Muslims within seven days or the authors and their agents will face legal action if they fail to comply.
MURIC rejects Falz’ explanation that the the girls in hijab in his ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance symbolize the Chibok girls because nothing in the video indicates that the girls represent the Chibok girls. At least none of the Chibok girls have been seen dancing like a drunkard. They are always in pensive mood. Do they have any cause to be dancing? Are they happy? This video is the most detestable, odious and insidious Islam-bashing in recent time.
Only the scenes portraying police brutality and the money-swallowing snake in the video are near the truth. Falz’ ‘Shaku Shaku’ video is nothing but a hate-induced production. It is a most unpatriotic handiwork of a Nigerian youth in 2018. Here is the work of a youth working towards turning Nigerians against each other; a youth inciting Nigerian Christians to hate their Muslim neighbours; a youth instigating Muslims to religious violence. This video is in bad taste. It is a hate video. It is an assault on the self-dignity of every Muslim. It is freedom of expression gone haywire.
We call the attention of security agencies to this hate action. The tragedy facing modern societies all over the world is their criminal complicity in Islam-bashing and their hypocritical accusation of Muslims of terrorism and religious violence.
Violent demonstrations broke out in 2005 when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's published acartoon in which Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was depicted as a terrorist wearing a bomb-laden turban. In January 2015, Charlie Ebdo, the French satirical magazine used cartoons that were considered provocative by Muslims. Blood flowed on the streets of Paris.
We condemn violence and all acts of terrorism. But we do not share the opinion that freedom of expression can go to any length. Even Pope Francis has warned people not to insult the faith of others. He said, "It is normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faiths of others. You cannot make fun of the faiths of others. Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental human rights. However, there should be a limit to offending and ridiculing the faiths and beliefs of others."
But has this advice been taken seriously? Nigerian Artistes have consistently proved that they are most willing to ignore the Pope’s advice. They provoke Muslims at the slightest opportunity. They have this habit of giving Muslim names to characters who play devilish, immoral and lowly roles in their films, e.g. Sikiratu Sindodo, Jelili Oniso, Basira Baseje, Osanle Modinat, Aminatu Pa-pa-pa are a few examples. Of recent, Muniru and Ambali play despicable roles of idiocy.
The idea behind this is to make Muslims feel ashamed of the ordinary Muslim name. It is inhuman, despicable and bully-motivated. MURIC will defend the Muslim name with every legitimate tool at its disposal.
There is no gainsaying the fact that a culture of impunity pervades the arts in Nigeria. The National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB), a regulatory agency set up by Act No. 85 of 1993 to regulate films and the video industry has a case to answer. ‘Shaku Shaku’ video was shot and released under its watch. What is its alucutus. What will it say if Muslims elect to go violent over this primitive, irresponsible and reckless production? What will it say if hundreds of lives and properties worth billions of dollars are lost in the ensuing violence due to its negligence?
As we round up, MURIC warns Nigerian artists to stop giving Muslim names to devilish and lowly characters. We appeal to Muslims all over the country to simmer down. Let us adopt a civilized approach to ‘Shaku Shaku’ and teach agents provocateur some lessons in respect for human feelings. Instead of going violent, Nigerian Muslims should take those behind the ‘Shaku Shaku’ video to court in order to serve as a deterrent to others.
We therefore give notice of impending legal action against the artist behind the ‘Shaku Shaku’ video unless the latter is withdrawn and an apology is widely published within seven days.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Falz Exclusive Interview: Falz talks about lover, plans to do new movie in 2018 | Star Chat on NAIJ.com TV.