Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ten Little Muslims is a song sung in an Oslo kindergarten to celebrate Eid.

One and two and three little Muslims,
Four, five and six little Muslims,
Seven and eight and nine little Muslims,
Ten little Muslims.

But hush, there was something whispering
Hush, there was something whispering
See, it was the deceiving Shaytan
Come, let us frighten him away

All children cry: Allahu Akbar!
All children cry: Allahu Akbar!
All children cry: Allahu Akbar!

See, there he's sneaking off.

And there was one and two and three little Muslims,
Four, five and six little Muslims,
Seven and eight and nine little Muslims,
Ten little Muslims.

The story behind this song, here.

Who is the Muslim Satan the kids are singing about?

Here is a partial answer:


"... hard-liners in Iran and elsewhere in the Muslim world have called the United States "
the Great Satan" and Israel "the Lesser Satan."

Here is a more comprehensive attempt:


"The Islamic Satan is different and so is the Jewish one. In Christianity Satan is the Devil. But in Islam Satan can be the Devil (Iblis) or some evil person or a synonym of general evil. In Islam Iblis (Devil) is sometimes used as personification of evil but certainly not always. Islamic Satan is often a synonym of evil. Even today some Muslims call USA the big Satan, would you accuse them for thinking USA is the horned winged “monster”?"

2 Comments:

At 7:20 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know someone who is a teacher in Toronto. Her own kids go to Jewish day school but she teaches in the public system.

She told me that the kids sing songs from eachother's religions - at holidays I think - and she thought it was a good thing.

The non-Muslims sing Muslim songs and the Muslims sing other people's songs.

I can see where someone might not like having his kid sing a song from another religion.

But, in Toronto, at least, it isn't part of an anti-western conspiracy.

 
At 9:05 PM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

"I can see where someone might not like having his kid sing a song from another religion"

That's not the point at all. When my daughter was in a public school, she sang Christmas carols and there was one Dreidl song inserted into the Christmas programme, for her sake, I suspect, since she was the only Jewish kid in that school.

How could anyone object to a Dreidl song?

____________

I have a little dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play!


Oh - dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
I made it out of clay
And when it's dry and ready
Then dreidel I shall play!

It has a lovely body
With legs so short and thin
And when my dreidel’s tired
It drops and then I win!

My dreidel’s always playful
It loves to dance and spin
A happy game of dreidel
Come play now, let’s begin!

____________


No one did, even though the community was mostly made up of devout Christian families.

But the song quoted in my post, what is it about, exactly? And why teach this particular song? Aren't there songs about Muslim holidays which are about good and happy things, that different kids from other cultures can somehow relate to in a positive way? That might create some common sentiment?

 

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