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A telecom ad that aims to battle terrorism with song has gone viral in the Middle East, delighting audiences while also sparking controversy over its depictions of bombing victims, its use of the issue to promote its brand, and its vision of Islam’s role in preventing violent extremism.
The three-minute commercial, created by marketer Zain for the region’s Ramadan season, when TV viewing there increases, features a range of nationalities pleading with a suicide bomber not to carry out an attack, by appealing to his faith, and sense of shame, with a gentler reading of what it means to be Muslim.
The clip features Hussain Al Jassmi, an Emirati pop singer, delivering lines like “Worship your God with love not terror,” and “Let’s bomb delusion with the truth.”