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Islamist ex-crooner releases song about Jesus
Published Friday 20/12/2013 (updated) 21/12/2013 09:52
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Lebanese singer Fadl Shaker (R) performs religious songs during
a rally held in downtown Beirut by the Lebanese Sunni Muslim
Salafist movement on September 21, 2012 (AFP/File Joseph Eid)
BEIRUT (AFP) -- Just a week before Christmas, a former Lebanese pop star and heartthrob turned Islamist fugitive has released a song about Jesus.

Once adored by women across the Arab world for his warm voice and good looks, Fadl Shaker gave up pop music in 2011, when he became a follower of a radical Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir.

He grew his beard and publicly renounced pop music as haram, or forbidden, in Islam.

The duo have been on the run from since the summer, when 18 soldiers died in clashes with Assir's supporters.

From somewhere in the shadows, Shaker released a new audio track Wednesday on his YouTube account:


The song, entitled "Christ is Blessed," has already received more than 50,000 hits.

"Christ is blessed and we are all his beloved. He is the bringer of the true faith," Shaker sings softly, in a style akin to traditional Islamic chant.

Accompanied by a chorus that repeats the refrain throughout the four-and-a-half minute clip, he tells of the conception by Jesus' mother Mary.

"She gave birth to him, she was pregnant from the Creator of the universe, without the sperm of a man."

Unlike Christians, Muslims do not believe Jesus is the son of God. However, they do believe in the virgin birth, after a miraculous conception.

Jesus is highly revered in Islam as a prophet, and Mary is deeply hallowed, with a sura (collection of verses) in the Koran dedicated to her.

In the song, Shaker also makes reference to the belief that Jesus spoke in his cradle.

Accompanying the link to his latest track, Shaker tweeted: "One is not a true Muslim if one doesn't believe in Christ, peace be upon him."

The song was met with mixed reactions, ranging from harsh criticism to praise.

"Christ that you are singing for preached peace and Love not killing ... Whether you are doped up, or you are trying to make a move back to normal society by using a great figure like Jesus. Which is a cheap shot. Go rot in hell," said one YouTube user.

But another said: "God bless you. We are with you."

Described by musicians in his former entourage as an extremely sensitive and gullible person, Shaker was one of the Arab world's best loved pop stars in the 1990s and 2000s.

But after a revolt broke out in Syria in March 2011 against President Bashar Assad, Shaker joined Assir's inner circle in Sidon, southern Lebanon.

He adopted not only Assir's anti-Assad discourse but also his radically sectarian position in opposition both to Assad and the Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah, which backs Damascus.

In his mid-forties, Shaker was born to a Palestinian mother and Lebanese father in the country's biggest Palestinian refugee camp, Ain al-Helweh.
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1 ) Colin Wright / USA
20/12/2013 11:19
We should get a Jewish singer to express the beliefs expressed about Jesus in the Talmud. Preferably in English, with a wide distribution in America. Maybe there could be a back-up chorus of traditionally dressed Haredim.

2 ) Suzan / USA
20/12/2013 12:33
Interesting; I used to be a fan & listened to all his songs, he has a beautiful voice and sings beautiful love songs, but not anymore his reputation ruined his career among his fans... Even though Muslims do believe in Jesus as mentioned in the article but I don't buy it from him... U can't be a religious person Muslim or Christian and you justify killing innocent people.

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
20/12/2013 19:45
' "Christ that you are singing for preached peace and Love not killing ... Whether you are doped up, or you are trying to make a move back to normal society by using a great figure like Jesus. Which is a cheap shot. Go rot in hell," said one YouTube user.' One hopes this poster is not under the delusion that he is a Christian. Regardless of one's position, that is decidedly not a Christian sentiment.

4 ) Rachamim Dwek / Israel
26/12/2013 12:21
Colin: Careful, your racism is nce again leaking. Last week you ask Palestinians to murder Jews, now you repeat falsehoods about the Talmud? What a loser. Stop blaming Jews for your pathetic failures. There is enough hate in the Levant without an ignorant cracker trying to spread Anti Semitic canards.

5 ) Reality Check / World
29/12/2013 06:21
I give it max 2 months, and you will be able to find the beheading video on google.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/12/2013 08:04
To Rachamim Dwek #4: 'Colin: Careful, your racism is nce again leaking. Last week you ask Palestinians to murder Jews, now you repeat falsehoods about the Talmud? ' Which falsehoods? You want me to detail exactly what the Talmud DOES say about Jesus?

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
30/12/2013 21:48
To Reality Check #5: 'I give it max 2 months, and you will be able to find the beheading video on google.' Why? All the lyrics are in accord with Muslim belief.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
30/12/2013 21:50
To Rachamim Dwek: '...Last week you ask Palestinians to murder Jews...' Not Jews -- just Zionists invading Palestine. It's exactly the same distinction as that between murdering Germans and killing Nazi invaders.

9 ) Nur / Tunisia
30/12/2013 21:57
@2 - Susan: Muslims believe that Jesus (aley salem) is one of many prophets sent by God, Muhammed (sws) being the last. Your question as to whether a religious person can justify killing (innocent people) is complex, as are humans. We should maybe ask instead 'Is that person religious in the moment they advocate that view'. Islam has the concept of 'Taubah' (Repentance) to God for sin, as no one is perfect. Repentance must be sincere. We all learn in life. Important is how we try to make ammends

10 ) Ronnie / USA
04/01/2014 15:45
Jesus was a zionist settler living on Palestinian land. Just another occupier.

11 ) Reality Check / World
05/01/2014 01:47
#10 That put a smile on my face :) That just about sums up Palestinian mentality for me. #7 Ya Colin, the high level of tolerance for other religions in the Arab Middle East is legendary, speak to the Christians being killed and kidnapped in Syria, or the Copts in Egypt during the Muslim brotherhoods rule, or perhaps the Christians in Lebanon caught up in a Sunni/Shiite civil war. Do yourself a favor and go talk crazy somewhere else, these forums are filled with enough nonsense.

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/01/2014 12:07
To Ronnie #10: 'Jesus was a zionist settler living on Palestinian land. Just another occupier.' No, he was a Palestinian -- just like the other Palestinians that were there then and are there now. He was also a Jew -- but became a Christian (obviously). Some Palestinians also converted to Christianity and continue to practice that faith to this day. Virtually all of the remainder eventually became Muslims.

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/01/2014 12:11
To Reality Check #11: 'Ya Colin, the high level of tolerance for other religions in the Arab Middle East is legendary, speak to the Christians being killed and kidnapped in Syria, or the Copts in Egypt ' Well, to make a comparison, we'd have to check with the Muslims of Sicily, or the Jews of Spain, or...but wait, we can't, can we? How about the Muslims and Christians of Palestine? The Jews have driven out 60% of them in less than seventy years -- but there's still time to ask. If we hurry.

14 ) Lina / Ukraine
14/01/2014 16:26
I always get the impression that the moment someone mentions ANYTHING about or to a jewish person (unless positive), the all-time-favourite argument is "You are an anti-semite!". Nevermind, that it is ridiculously impossible for semites to be anti-semitic. You will always keep hearing that cheap and easy-to-get-away-with 'argument' when that is the only argument a jewish person is left with in a lost debate.
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