A folked up Middle East
The execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr this week by Saudi Arabia triggered wide international condemnation, the most notable in Iran where protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran, setting the building ablaze. Al-Nimr, a vocal critic of the Saudi ruling royal family, threatened to lead the Shiite minority into succession in 2009 which led to a government crackdown in the Eastern region. Al-Nimr was subsequently arrested for terrorism-related offences and was among 47 men, most of whom were Shiite Muslims, executied last Saturday.
I've always found it amazing how quickly the unwashed masses will take to the streets rioting, despite being outclassed in number and weaponary. I've never seen the logic in bringing stones to a gun fight prefering, instead, situations where the deck's not stacked in favour of the dealer. When outclassed in number and weaponry, there's really only one tactic that will garner any success and influence public sentiment.... folk music. I can't help but wonder how the western world would have developed without good old folk protest songs like Barry McGuire's Eve of Destruction, Joan Baez's Blowin' In The Wind or Bob Dylan's The Times They Are A-Changin'.
Mercifully, I share the sense same of humour as an acquaintance of mine, Dunghana Khanal , who recognizes the value of protest songs and has generously penned one in memory of Nimr Al-Nimr who is undoutedly grieved by his followers. I have, not surprisingly, included the accompanying music so readers may sing along. "Holy shit Jean, you might be on to something here. If we survive the fatwa, lets buy a couple burkas and take it to the road as Farhan & Ashaz: The Islamic Transvestites. With my guitar skill and your crooning, we can bring a new genre of folk music to the middle east!"
THE WILD CLERIC
I left Iran going to Saudi to teach, All the radical fools and the morons I'd reach. But the Sunni did not like the things that I said So they swung a sharp sword and they lopped off my head. And it's no, nay, Nmir. No, nay, Nimr, no more Will I play, the Shia cleric, No Nimr, no more.
Submitted by Barry Umenema, 07 January 2016