No to the warriors of jihad!
Yes to the warriors of love!

A constant theme in our planning is how to promote a popular culture of liberty and tolerance in the Muslim world, so as to influence the general public, and not just an intellectual elite.

   

 

LibForAll's CEO (C. Holland Taylor, left) at an award ceremony with Abdul Munir Mulkhan of the Muhammadiyah (the world's second-largest Muslim organization), Abdurrahman Wahid of the Nahdlatul Ulama (the world's largest Muslim organization) and Ahmad Dhani (celebrity singer, songwriter and leader of a band called Dewa—Indonesia’s best-selling rock group for more than a decade). Munir, Abdurrahman Wahid and Dhani are all Sufi Muslims, as is Dhani's spiritual mentor, Faiz.

 

Contemporary mystics, Dhani and Faiz deftly employ their knowledge of human psychology to discredit religious extremism in the eyes of the public, in a form of ideological jiu-jitsu. (Ahmad Dhani on the cover of the Indonesian magazine, Syir'ah.  The story is entitled: "The Sufi Understanding Behind Dhani.")

 

 

 

 

Some of the music awards won by
Dewa over the past 12 years.

 

The words “Laskar Jihad” mean “The Warriors of Jihad.” It’s also the name of a radical group responsible for slaughtering thousands of Christians in the Indonesian provinces of Maluku and Sulawesi in recent years, and for having driven nearly half a million others from their homes.

 

 

Ahmad Dhani in his studio (left) in August of 2004, discussing the lyrics of Dewa’s latest album (then being recorded) with LibForAll CEO Holland Taylor. The album was called Laskar Cinta, which means, “Warriors of Love.”

Asked on national TV about the difference between Laskar Jihad and Laskar Cinta, Dhani replied, "The first group spreads hatred for one's fellow man, while the second spreads love for all humanity. Any Indonesian who thinks healthily will agree that what I'm saying is true."

Asked by a reporter why he had called his new album Laskar Cinta, Dhani replied, “To fill the emptiness of Laskar Jihad, and spread the virus of [spiritual] love among the young generation.”

Since the album’s launch in November of 2004, the slogan has spread throughout Indonesia: “No to the Warriors of Jihad, Yes to the Warriors of Love!” 

Laskar Cinta quickly rose to the top of the charts, as millions of young Indonesians eagerly embraced its message of love, peace and tolerance.

Not surprisingly, religious extremists—horrified to see their indoctrination of young Muslims into the culture of jihad undermined so effectively—have condemned Ahmad Dhani and publicly accused him of heresy. 

You may read coverage of these events in the Washington Post.

 

Inspired by Faiz—who conceived the original idea of Laskar Cinta—the members of Dewa have deftly employed popular culture to disseminate a spiritual and progressive interpretation of Islam in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Their songs continue the venerable Sufi tradition of worshipping God through profound love poetry, set to contemporary music.  Like the Diwan of Hafez, their lyrics are open to multiple interpretations—either as praise of the earthly beloved, or a call of longing to the Divine.

 

 

The unique effectiveness of LibForAll’s "Musical Jihad" program has been validated by renowned security experts and international organizations, including the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and has been featured in numerous blue-chip international media outlets including CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Time, the Washington Post, the Sydney Morning Herald and Serviam magazine.

 

The Prince of Love
Song: Ahmad Dhani
Lyrics: Ahmad Dhani, Faiz M.

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Second after second, each following the next… as the minutes fly past.
The days keep slipping by… month after month as well.
The constant cycle of age after age… This life, too, is bound to end in death.

Time will annihilate everything on earth… but not my love for You,
Because I'm the Divine Prince of Love.

Night after night yields to dawn… as morning turns to midday.
Passing years dissolve into the flow of centuries… all that is young must grow old.
The seasons are constantly changing… This life, too, is bound to end in death.

Nothing in this world is eternal… nothing everlasting…

Time will annihilate everything on earth… but not my love for You,
Because I'm the Divine Prince of Love.

 

See the music video!

 

Oneness
Song & Lyrics:
Ahmad Dhani

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This “I”… is really You
My love… is really Your love
This “I”… is really You
My soul… is really Your soul

My longing is Your longing
My blood is Your blood

There is nothing but You
Whom I worship night and day
I call Your name
With every breath I take
I call Your name… I call Your name

It’s with Your hands that I touch
With Your feet I walk
With Your eyes I see
With Your ears I hear
With Your tongue I speak
With Your heart I feel

There is nothing but You
Whom I worship night and day
I call Your name
With every breath I take
I call Your name… I call Your name

 

See the music video!

 

Listen to a clip of another Dewa megahit, Arjuna Searching for Love

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