Please check out my new blog on the upcoming “Muslim radicalization” congressional hearings, originally posted on The Washington Post On Faith and The Huffington Post Religion. Thank you Eboo Patel, Keith Ellison, and Lupe Fiasco for speaking out — now, it’s time for the rest of us to listen:
As I sit here contemplating Representative Peter King’s (R-NY) upcoming “Muslim radicalization” hearings, trying to discern if my stomach ache is the result of the cookies I’m scarfing or the prospect of congressional hearings that specifically target one community, I’m comforted by rapper Lupe Fiasco‘s new single, “Words I Never Said.”
Over a deliciously lush and crunchy beat, Lupe opines: “Jihad is not holy war / Where’s that in the worship? / Murdering is not Islam / And you are not observant / And you are not a Muslim.”
Lupe was one of my favorite musicians while I was in college. I listened to Food & Liquor every day for months after it came out, doing my best to rap along. I regularly drew inspiration from his thoughtful lyrics; but when he addressed his Muslim faith, I mostly tuned out, my awkward attempts at rapping dropping to a low mumble.