The next logical step up from Christian black metal in terms of sheer oddness, Dirty Kuffar is a controversial music video credited to "Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew," and published by "Digihad," which uses the medium of hip hop to propagate Islamic fundamentalism, "kuffar" or "kaffir" apparently being Arabic for "infidel."

Or, in layman's terms, it's Jihadist gangsta rap.

The video weighs in at four minutes and twenty-eight seconds and consists of two individuals rapping in turn while dressed as mujahideen, one of whom affects a Jamaican accent and some mild patois, the other of which affects the mode of speech of the more traditional gangsta rapper. Basically, imagine a cross between 50 Cent and the Roll Deep Crew but with more Kalashnikovs, and you've a pretty good idea of what it sounds like. In the background, news reports of Western actions in Muslim countries, usually involving the murder of those we are led to believe are civilians (the resolution being too low to really detect whether this is the case) flash up, along with pictures of notable political figures which morph briefly into animals and then back, in a wholly predictable manner; while Paul Wolfowitz briefly turns into a comedy vampire and George Bush turns into an ape, Osama Bin Laden morphs into a roaring lion. That, and images of trucks and tanks and US military personnel exploding while "KILL THE CRUSADERS" flashes up at the bottom, tell the audience exactly where Sheikh Terra's loyalties lie. Even by propagandists' standards this is crude and unsubtle.

In terms of lyrics, they pretty much speak for themselves:

"The National Front man dem a Dirty Kuffar
The Ku Klux Klan man dem a Dirty Kuffar
The BNP man dem a Dirty Kuffar
Ronald Reagan he was a Dirty Kuffar
Prime Minister Tony Blair him a Dirty Kuffar
The one Mr Bush him a Dirty Kuffar
The National Front man dem a Dirty Kuffar
Throw them in de fire."

Yes, they managed to force "fire" to rhyme with "kuffar." Their lyrical genius gets even better at the end:

"From Kandahar to Ramallah we comin, sah,
Peace to the Hamas and the Hezbollah,
OBL cru be like a shinin' star,
Like the way we destroyed them two towers, ha ha!"

It's almost as if they couldn't think of anything else to rhyme with "are" and "star" and "Hezbollah" and realised they hadn't yet worked in a reference to the World Trade Centre so they came up with that mangulation. Indeed, the events of September 11, 2001 form the climax of the video, with a clip of the plane's impact and the tower beginning to collapse. This is then followed by a list of "victims of American violence since 1945" and a fade out to the sound of some back-slapping and giggles.

The video first appeared in February of 2004 on the website of Mohammed al-Massari, a Saudi dissident currently living the the UK. From there, it's been mirrored on various video-hosting websites such as YouTube and Putfile and Google Videos. In hard copy on various home video formats, Dirty Kuffar has been rather popular amongst young Muslims in the UK, or so al-Massari claims. In the Guardian of February 8, 2004 he was quoted as saying, "I do not know of any young Muslim who has not either seen or got this video. It is selling everywhere. Everyone I meet at the mosque is asking for it."

Certain individuals have called for the video to be banned as it glorifies terrorism, which, if it is genuine and not a bunch of students pissing about, it probably does. However, pastiche or no, to me the only harm that Dirty Kuffar has done is to cause discussions on blogs and Internet fora to degrade into slanging matches between one group impersonating Islamic fundamentalists and another group impersonating outraged Daily Mail readers or rednecks. Both groups are pretty much both sides of the same coin; sad little keyboard warriors pretending to be someone they're not just to stir up trouble... which, ironically, also is my choice for who is really responsible for Dirty Kuffar, as it happens.

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