A song called “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest” in Arabic) was trending on Sunday as number two on popular music site Spotify’s Viral Chart in the UK, after having topped the chart for a number of days before.
The song, an electronic track with occasional calls of “allahu akbar” and a section with additional Arabic wording, is by a previously unknown artist called “DJ Inappropriate.”
The phrase used in the song’s title is a component of formal prayers that practicing Muslims recite five times per day and is also recited in the call to prayer heard from the minarets of mosques throughout the Muslim world.
A negative connotation has attached to the phrase since it has become the call of choice for many terrorists immediately before their attacks. Attackers in the onslaught in Paris on November 13 reportedly yelled the phrase as they massacred concertgoers in the Bataclan theater. Palestinian terrorists also often shout the phrase before striking Israelis.
“The song is apparently meant to be satirical,” a music expert told British tabloid The Sun. “It is not intended to be inflammatory or to incite hatred.”
Aside from its UK popularity, the track was also listed as number seven on Spotify’s global rankings for Saturday.
It is unclear why the video, which has been up on Spotify for months, has reached such a level of popularity in recent weeks, and whether the attention stems primarily from curiosity, satire or actual belief.
The song that overcame “Allahu Akbar” on the UK charts for first place on Sunday was “The Girl Is Mine” by 99 Souls, featuring Destiny’s Child & Brandy.
“Save a Prayer” by The Eagles of Death Metal, the band that performed at the Bataclan during the assault two weeks ago, had dropped by Sunday on the weekly Global Viral chart to number 19, having been at number three last week.