I’ve reported on hundreds of terror stories over the years. It’s nice to report an “anti”-terror story for a change.
A Pakistan-born British man and his two sons have done what a lot of people have long been demanding: They are Muslims declaring that those who use terror in the name of Islam are wrong.
The lyrics say it all: “This story that is being spread in our names is a lie. … The name by which you know us we are not.”
Taking a page right out of the hugely successful all-star relief song “We are the World,” the song is performed by top young singers in Pakistan.
Juxtaposed among the shots of the singers are ugly scenes and headlines about terrorism as well as heart-warming scenes of Pakistanis singing along … with passion.
Waseem Mahmood is a TV and media producer who used his contacts in the business to pull the project together. But it was really his sons who pushed to make this happen.
They told their father they were tired of being targeted by extremist Muslims in Britain who thought they were too secular. And they were sick of seeing terrorists cloak their activity in religion.
The reaction has been huge. The song shot to No. 1 in Pakistan. And thanks to the Web, it's gone global. There have been 65,000 downloads thus far.
The video has now been released in the U.K. with subtitles. The U.K., like Pakistan, is no stranger to terrorism. Officials in the two countries think the song is great.
Others aren’t as thrilled. According to video creator Waseem, extremists here have criticized the song, saying it should target governments they claim are responsible for the terror … not the terrorists.
But that's the very twisted logic the song is trying to knock down.
We played the video to some young people in one British neighborhood and the reaction was uniformly positive. It seems that the Mahmoods have really struck a note, tapping into feelings held by a lot of Muslims.
And to hear them, they have only just begun their mission. The next priority is an Arabic version of the song. Then an English version. Then a “Live Aid”-style concert. And a few other interesting projects they don’t want to talk about yet.
It might just be that the drumbeat of the War on Terror could benefit from a little backbeat from songs like “This is Not Us.” Play on!