Muslim-American Rappers Promote Tolerance in Middle East

December 15, 2006

Author: U.S. Department of State

Source: News Blaze

When Native Deen took hip-hop music to Jerusalem in fall 2006, the group of Muslim-American rappers was moved deeply by the holiness of the place and the energy of the hundreds of teens who attended their concerts. Yet nothing came close to the connection the performers felt to their faith during their Middle East trip.

"I could feel it in the stone and the rocks," said Naeem Muhammad of Native Deen, a Muslim-American hip-hop group based near Washington that has a strong following in the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Our music inspires Muslims to be better Muslims, but it also gives other people a better view of our faith," Joshua Salaam told USINFO in an interview.

The rhythm is there, and the beat is contemporary. But the heart of inspirational hip-hop music is in the powerful rap lyrics coaxing listeners to live better lives and be better people.