Kottayam: What's the best way to take on someone who says music is harmful to the human race? Give him something earful, and musically. A young woman in Thrissur knows this very well, it seems.
Seira Salim, who hails from Chettuva, has challenged the preachings of Mujahid Balussery, who is known for propagating regressive views in his speeches. Seira took to Facebook with a video of a song sung by her recently, after Mujahid had stooped to a new low saying music has done more harm to the humankind than anything. He also slammed those who enjoy music saying they have done nothing good for society. He went on to claim that even people from other religions have turned good after listening to his speeches whereas those who spent hours enjoying music have only contributed to the decay of society.
An undated video of his speech has gone viral, prompting Seira to challenge his views. In a Facebook post, Seira sang a popular old Malayalam song and said she wanted to dedicate it to Mujahid. She said she was dumbstruck with his claims. Seira sang the song 'ellarum chollanu' from 1954 film 'Neelakuyil.'
Asked what prompted her to make such a musical protest, Seira told Onmanorama that the preacher's views were not fit for a secular society. “India is a secular country and people from various religions practise and enjoy music here. So, I think he had no right to make such a comment,” she said.
She said she doesn't think that Islam is against music. She said she chose to post a song instead of writing an elaborate note because the absurdity in his speech was very much evident and needed no explanation.
In another post, Seira has also criticised a section of the media for addressing Mujahid as an 'Islamic preacher.' "It's wrong to call Mujahid an Islamic preacher. It's an injustice to the ordinary Muslim. He represents Salafism which has no connection with Islam, according to scholars," she said.
She said the extremist views of those who propagate Salafism and Wahabism were painting Islam in a bad light in front of other religions. Salafism is broadly defined as a revivalist movement which believes in returning to what adherents believe to be true Sunni Islam.
An engineering graduate, Seira has shifted her focus to music and a history-based visual project. Her Facebook wall has videos of several songs she has sung and reactions to contemporary issues. She also had to face trolls for criticising Mujahid.
Mujahid had in an earlier speech slammed women who chose to be in the job front saying they were arrogant. He also reportedly said the couples who were in government services were leading immoral lives. However, later, he came out with a clarification and regretted making the comments apparently after facing threats of being sued.