Scholar Links Hip Hop and Islam

November 20, 2003

Source: Daily Illini


On November 20, 2003 Daily Illini reported that "Hip-hop and Islam aren't usually thought to be associated with one another, but Hesham Samy Alim proved otherwise during his presentation Wednesday night at the University. Alim, a visiting scholar at Duke University, is devoted to studying hip-hop culture. Various Muslim, African-American and other registered organizations invited him to the University to give his presentation, 'Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim: Uncovering the Hidden Histories of African-American Muslim Movements in the Hip-Hop Nation.' The lecture focused on Islam's place in the medium of hip-hop — a relationship between religion and music that greatly lacks public acknowledgement, Alim said... Alim said that many pioneers of hip-hop music were influenced by Islamic teachings and that the two share a bond in social protest. 'Islam itself is a strong source for social change and social protest. Hip-hop culture developed as a resistance to oppressive conditions in the United States,' Alim said. 'African-Americans were developing this form, and many other musical forms developed by African-Americans, as a way to protest social and economic conditions that they were experiencing.'"