TUKWILA -- A group of Muslim protesters at Southcenter Mall yesterday afternoon blasted the use of words from the Quran, Islam's holy book, in a flier promoting an underground dance party known as a rave.
The 30 protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside one of the mall's entrances and listened to Ali-Salaam, a Muslim leader, angrily read a statement denouncing everyone and everything connected to a rave planned for Feb. 17 in Seattle.
Waving a glossy flier in his hand, Ali-Salaam, director of the Seattle-based Institute of Service Leadership and Management, pointed to Arabic text taken from the Quran and imposed as a background design.
``How dare they use Islam to promote homosexuality, drunkenesss, vile sexuality and the use of illicit drugs,'' Ali-Salaam said. ``We will not tolerate their use of our religion in this way.''
Swirling designs, camels and advertisements for acts such as ``Nick Twisted,'' ``Richard Humpty'' and ``Swank'' are printed on top of faint images of the religious text.
``They could have used anything else, such as simple Arabic letters, but not the Holy Quran,'' he said. ``It is an outrage.''
The protesters said holy text -- whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim -- should not be associated with raves because they view the parties, which have been around since the mid-1980s, as decadent orgies of sex and drugs.
While what takes place at raves might be antithetical to the tenets of Islam, most protesters said that the only reason they chose to speak out against the parties is because they feel their religion has been degraded in the fliers.
``We say in Islam for them to believe what they believe and for us to believe what we believe,'' Ali-Salaam said. ``But do not deface the Quran.''
Inside the mall at Mr. Rags, a store that caters to the rave crowd, manager Michael Smith defended the subculture that he has been a part of for seven years.
``A rave is a form of self-expression,'' he said. ``It's a good thing. We want people to know that we're about love, respect and union.''
Smith, who said he has attended hundreds of raves and even organized some, agreed that some drug use and sex takes place at raves. But the underlying focus of the events is forming a community, he said.
He guessed that the intricate Arabic text was probably used because of its romantic imagery rather than its religious value. The promoters of the rave, Trenchtown Productions, could not be reached for comment.
The half-hour protest drew little attention from passers-by who filed in and out of the mall. The group said they targeted the mall because several stores inside distribute the fliers.
Some protesters, like 23-year-old Jabreel Mahmoud -- who walked out of the mall with a stack of the fliers in his hand -- pledged to continue collecting and destroying the fliers.
Ali-Salaam said protesters might even attempt to blockade the Feb. 17 rave if the producers do not pull the fliers and apologize.
``When people do something like this we are personally attacked,'' said another protester, Salwa Abdul-Razzak. ``We have to take a stand.''
Photo by Patrick Hagerty/Journal
Ali-Salaam, a Muslim Leader, protests the use of Sacred Muslim Text in a promotional flier for a rave, an all-night underground dance party. About 30 area Muslims attended the afternooon protest yesterday at the Southcenter Mall.
Taken from Raves.com written by Matt Joyce so don't sue me over copyright stuff!
I just thought it was funny, with all the goings on in the world, people waste an afternoon protesting this! They have all their rave facts round the way!
promote homosexuality, drunkenesss, vile sexuality and the use of illicit drugs
No way would you see me at a party if this was a valid description!