Ottowa’s choir welcomes muslim ‘refugees’ to the city in a most unusual way…by singing an arabic song praising Muhammad’s jihad against Xtians
Students from De La Salle secondary school, 11 Ottawa-area elementary schools and a Kingston elementary school, recently performed the Islamic historical song “Oh the white moon rose over us” (طلع اليدر علينا).
Soon after being posted on YouTube under the title “Welcome to Canada Syrian Refugees”, the song has become a symbol of the Canadian spirit, generosity and hospitality for bringing in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, predominantly Muslims.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, tweeted: “WATCH: Ottawa high school students sing a traditional Arabic welcome song. Well done De La Salle.”
Choral director Robert Filion, from De La Salle High School, told the Global News that he is happy to see people interpreting the song as a welcoming gesture towards the Syrian refugees even though the original purpose of including the song in the choir’s repertoire was different.
Filion added, “We asked around to different Imams in the Muslim community in Ottawa to make sure that we weren’t frustrating anybody or doing something wrong or using something that shouldn’t be used in such a context, and everybody said ‘No, no, no, this is perfect.’”
Amira Elghawaby, a member of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), commended the choir for performing the song. Talking to the Global News she said: “I think the song really exemplifies everything that Canada and Canadians hope to stand for, and that is a country that is welcoming of diversity, that celebrates that as a strength, that finds all these beautiful differences and actually amplifies them and makes them stronger as we find different ways and new Canadian ways of expressing them. I think the outpouring of support and admiration from around the world really is testament to what Canada’s always stood for and is standing for now.”
Amira Elghawaby did not explain what are the historical events referred in the Islamic song that “really exemplifies everything that Canada and Canadians hope to stand for.”
The Canadian media either has not provided much background information on the Islamic song. The Globe & Mailreported: “According to the YouTube post, it was a historical song that was sung to the ProphetMuhammad when he sought refuge from Mecca to Medina.”
According to Global News “the song is a traditional Islamic song which welcomed the Prophet Muhammad when he sought refuge in Madinah.” The Ottawa Citizen noted that it is “an historical song that was apparently sung when the Prophet Mohammed sought refuge in Medina.”
The Toronto Star described it just as “a traditional Arabic welcome song” with no further explanation.
Prominent Islamic scholars dismissed the popular belief that the poem was sung in A.D. 622 by the women and children of Madinah welcoming Muhammad who left Meccah to escape persecution in what is known as the hijra (migration, departure) that resembles the beginning of the Muslim Era.
They ruled that the lyrics of poem clearly indicate that it was composed on the occasion of the return of Muhammad victorious from the Battle of Tabouk against the Christian Romans and their Arab allies.
The Battle of Tabouk was a military expedition, which, according to Muslim biographies, was initiated by Muhammad in October, AD 630. Muhammad led a force of as many as 30,000 north to Tabouk in present-day northwestern Saudi Arabia, with the intention of engaging the Byzantine army.
The website Islamic Thinkers summarizes the historical event and “The Lessons from the Battle of Tabuk” as follows:
“The Kuffar after being defeated in the Battle of Mutah planned to attack the Islamic state… The Messenger (saw) called all the Muslims “Haya alal jihad” “O Muslim come to jihad”. 30,000 Mujahideen responded to the call…
“The Romans heard the Muslims were coming. The Messenger (saw) kept sending the message out to the Roman army that he was coming and pledge to kill them all.
“This terrified the Romans who said “who is this that
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