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A rap too far?

Freedom of expression or a step too far? A British MP is set to refer an Islamic rap video to the Home Office after seeing its graphic content.

British Labour MP Andrew Dismore is calling on the Home Office and police to look into the release of a radical Islamic rap video entitled ‘Dirty Kuffar’, the Arabic for dirty non-believers.

The video, which appeared on a web site run by Saudi Arabian dissident and political refugee Mohammed Al Massari, pays homage to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin laden and the 9/11 attacks.

“These extremists are using music and video to prey on young and impressionable Muslim boys in order to attract them to their brand of lunacy and entice them to commit acts of terror,” Dismore told the UK-based Observer newspaper.

The rappers go by the name of Soul Salah (faith) Crew, a take on the already controversial rap group So Solid Crew, with its lead singer calling himself Skeikh Terra.

The four-minute video shows the rapper brandishing a gun and a copy of the Koran, as he launches into a vicious attack against Tony Blair and George Bush calling for them to be “thrown on the fire.”

The lyrics are complemented with a host of brutal images ranging from Russian soldiers being riddled with bullets by Chechen fighters, to the 9/11 hijacked planes crashing into the World Trade Centre, and American soldiers celebrating the death of an Iraqi.

When pressed on whether he thought the video incited violence, Al Massari dismissed the claim, suggesting that the rap was more metaphorical than a fatwa telling Muslims to carry out attacks against the West.

“I thought it was an excellent attempt to use modern methods to get a message across,” said Al Massari. “ I do not know of any young Muslim who has not either seen or got this video. Everyone I meet at the mosque is asking for it.”

Al Massari was originally granted asylum in the UK in 1994 after being imprisoned in Saudi Arabia for opposing the regime. Despite attempts by former Conservative Home Secretary and current opposition leader Michael Howard to deport him, he gained permanent residency to the UK in 2001.

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