Mudcat Café message #3102562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135732   Message #3102562
Posted By: Mick Woods
25-Feb-11 - 08:34 AM
Thread Name: The Black Cloud of Islam by Roy Harper
Subject: RE: The Black Cloud of Islam by Roy Harper
From Roy's Page

2009 Note. I note with sadness that since the Twin Towers crime in 2001, 'The Black Cloud Of Islam', which of course was written in 1989, has often been used by xenophobes and others in the kind of racial context I warned against originally. I did think about it at the time, and I did say in the original text of these notes (in the original sleeve notes) 'I have asked myself many times whether this song can in any way be construed as racist, as that would be the last thing I should ever want it to be. It isn't.' In 2010, one of our tasks here at this small record company, every day, is to take down the ever-sprouting Youtube and other IT concoctions which use this song's lyric in an inflammatory and racist manner. It will be a permanent job for the foreseeable future to make sure that this song is not used in a racist manner. I also said, in 1989, (in the original sleeve notes), that it was my own belief that if the 'hard-line Islamic states continued to give credence to the same attitudes of fundamentalism, then some kind of a religious war would ensue'. This prediction was correct; which brings me no joy at all. It rather brings me anger, because obviously, if people like me knew at the time, then what the hell were my political contemporaries doing about the problem? In a word, NOTHING.

No attempts were made to reach out, to take context into consideration, and to negotiate at a respectful level with people who were about to become absolutely intractable. In those days, just 20 years ago, the way that religion was allowing itself to be used and abused was becoming dangerous. In the twenty first century, to the obvious delight of its perpetrators, who are seemingly racist themselves, fundamental Islam has become a guerrilla movement. Thousands of 'martyrs' have now been allowed to spawn a movement that's going to be difficult to contain. For lots of convenient little reasons, 'the great and the good' will never agree with this. As I've said before, religion has gone mad, and has been allowed to take most of the gullible, superstitious world population with it. Currently, there is perhaps hope of a little more rapprochement than there has been with Barack Obama as US President, though this is very unlikely to address the underlying feasibility of religion itself.

Though many may turn a blind eye to terrorism because it offers them some kind of platform where once there was none, the great majority of the Muslim people will probably eventually opt for a less tense world. However, I believe that they will only do that from a position of strength and trust that at this moment they neither have nor feel. This will only be achieved with the spread of education, rights and equality. World peace will only ever be achieved with the consensus of the entire population of the world. Leaders can only point and offer advise; in the end it will be purely down to the grass roots to take the necessary steps to own themselves and their own minds. It is only they who can. In my own view, organized religion in its present form has to be almost completely abandoned. Admittedly, it's had its place as a focus for community, but at the same time, it's divisive, oppressive, obstructive, largely dishonest, contentious, manipulative, contemptuous, fictional, locally depraved, a virtual opiate, fallacious, hugely political, often tyrannical and is all too easily abused. Religion used to be the tool of choice for the maintenance of old authority, it's now in danger of being allowed to undermine new authority. The polling booths remain open. Misinform the young at your own future world peril.