Reggae artist Shaggy has proposed a solution to the growing problems with the Islamic State in the Middle East: make the terrorists listen to his music and smoke weed. In an interview with the Miami New Times, the genius behind works like “Boombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me” expressed his thoughts on ISIS.
“ISIS can go [expletive] themselves. That’s some crazy [expletive] what they’re doing. It’s horrible, man. I can’t see… I don’t get that much hate. I just don’t get that level of evil. I can’t understand it,” Shaggy said.
When asked what to do about ISIS, Shaggy had a very clear answer.
“If you’re able to cut a man’s head off, you’re sick. But right, music evokes emotion. So if they’re listening to Shaggy music or reggae music, they’re not going to want to cut somebody’s head off.”
He also suggested that if ISIS fighters were given ‘Jamaican weed,’ then there “would be no more wars out there.” “High people don’t want to kill nothing; they just want to love,” Shaggy said.
Unlike many celebrities with no military experience, Shaggy, whose real name is Orville Richard Burell, actually served in the Marine Corps during the Persian Gulf War. He worked as a field artillery cannon crewman.
In certain areas of their territory, including their so-called capital of Raqqa, ISIS has outright banned Western and non-religious music as part of their strict enforcement of Sharia law. It is unlikely they will be playing Shaggy songs on loudspeakers any time soon.
However, not all ISIS fighters hate music. One particular song, “My Ummah, Dawn Has Appeared,” is increasingly popular among the militants as a sort of unofficial national anthem.
The chanting’s English translation may strike Westerners as sufficiently ominous for a group like ISIS.
“The Islamic State has arisen by the blood of the righteous,” the chanter says in Arabic. “The Islamic State has arisen by the jihad of the pious.”
That song is an example of a genre called nasheed—songs made by jihadists or those sympathetic to the jihad.
With lyrics about holy war and the blood of martyrs, nasheeds certainly are not the kind of reggae-comedy Shaggy is advocating making ISIS supporters listen to, however.
Nasheeds are common in ISIS propaganda videos, and are even played on the battlefield by some jihadists.
ISIS even has an entire propaganda wing—the Ajnad Media Foundation—dedicated to making new nasheeds.