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PAKISTAN: Karachi school drops John Lennon song from student performance over ‘blasphemous’ lyrics

Campaigners approved of Lennon’s peaceful message but disavowed the atheist content of the song.

A privately operated children’s grammar school in Karachi was scheduled to allow a student performance of the 1971 John Lennon song ‘Imagine’. The song which was both beloved and controversial at the time of its release offers a simplified version of a Marxist world view in which earthly equality is matched by a collective rejection of religion.

The atheistic content of the lyrics proved too controversial for many religious parents of children at the school. After a peaceful campaign to remove the song from the student performance, the school announced that the song would not be performed.

The campaign against the song of the slain peace activist and former Beatle was led by journalist Ansar Abbasi.

Ansar Abbasi Tweeted the news of the song’s cancellation to his followers as a celebration of the power of peaceful protest, something which he as a religious Muslim and Lennon as an atheist had in common.

Although many parents supported Ansar Abbasi’s campaign, a former student of the school, Daanika Kama had a different take. She stated,

“We were introduced to (‘Imagine’) by the school. It was always a song of peace, that’s why it resonated with us. When you live in a country like Pakistan and are constantly hearing about attacks it is really soothing to hear a song that unites us”.

The head of the school in Pakistan is a British citizen, Dr. C.E. Wall. In the UK, secular and even anti-religious music has often replaced religious music during major public events as well as in schools.

Below is the original version of the controversial song.

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Patrick Woolley
Patrick Woolley
August 28, 2017

Secularism is dying in the ME.

rosewood11
rosewood11
August 28, 2017

The Beatles burst upon the scene when I was in the 6th grade. Like all the little tweens, I was a fan. Then John Lennon started making his anti-religious feelings known, and I changed my mind. I’ve heard this song many times over the intervening years, and have never liked it. I’ve even heard it sung at church functions, and wondered if the idiot performing it had any idea what he was singing!?! I agree with the school in this case, and don’t mind that the song was eliminated.

John R. Nolan
John R. Nolan
Reply to  rosewood11
August 30, 2017

It is suggested that Lennon, and the other Beatles, were satanists, etc. The lyrics of that particular song are all about man making himself god, through self emulation, though, if we have a look around at the mess we have produced, with our wars, environmental destruction, poverty, mass starvation, mass medicating of the citizens, one suggests we are not up to the task. Religions are man made control mechanism, big business, have nothing to do with God, and one in particular, has been behind every war in the last 2 thousand years. That this man had the wisdom to expose… Read more »

my2Cents
my2Cents
August 28, 2017

Religions divide us…..Spirituality Unites Us
It should be sung in more churches

Muriel Kuri
Muriel Kuri
August 30, 2017

In my opinion, he is stating that religions and governments are the causes for much of the strife in the world, and that without them, people would live in peace. Look at ISIS – such religious furor causing such terrible deeds to be done ‘in the name of religion’. I think this is what he was trying to get across.

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