Deen Squad are an influential Muslim duo from Ottawa, Canada. Together they combine the raw essence of the urban hip-hop genre with core tenets of spirituality and values in the effort to rouse appreciation of the contemporary Muslim identity in today’s youth.
With the mission of promoting the positive values of Islam through his music, Zaher and his musical partner Jae Deen aim to build pride within the Muslim community while also challenging the misconceptions about the global religion.
Having launched his first music videos just a few years back, Zaher has definitely come a long way. With more than 1 million followers on Facebook, and having opened for Justin Bieber in Dubai, Zaher has built a global fan base.
The rapping Muslim duo made their appearance in Durban at the annual Souk festival as guests of Muslim community foundation, Al-Ansaar this weekend however their performance was frowned upon.
A group of what seems to be orthodox Muslims found the performance by Deen Squad to be ‘shameful’ with commentary below spewing hate at Al-Ansaar for bringing Deen Squad to the Souk Festival.
How could an ‘Islamic’ Organisation so prominent in our Muslim Community, so guiltlessly endeavour to facilitate the Corruption of so many Muslims!? – Facebook user
Last night, like many others present at the Al-Ansaar Souk, I lost my last bit of confidence in Al-Ansaar. I entered the Souk’s Outdoor Entertainment stage to create a video of the horrendous ‘nightclub-like’ scene taking place inside and to approach sisters in order to advise them to exit the stage-area. – Facebook user
Following an outburst by Al-Ansaar audiences, a media statement has been circulating on Facebook:
We, the management of the Alansaar Foundation unreservedly apologise to the Muslim community for hosting the Deen Squad who performed at the Souk on Saturday.
Our expectations and engagement of the deen squad were based purely on international prominence and their reputation within wider audiences over the world. We fully acknowledge that the show was not in keeping with Islamic standards and ran counter to our expectations. We ask you, the community, for maaf (forgivenss) and above all beseech Allah to forgive us. We further extend our sincere apologies to the. stakeholders, sponsors and all participants in the Souk trade fair.
We further confirm that all further shows have been canceled and the Deen Squad have departed.
How do Deen Squad respond to negative publicity?
“We don’t bother explaining ourselves to closed minded individuals. We just know our music is changing the youth’s lives and we’re here to fulfill our purpose regardless of whoever criticizes or tries standing in the way.”
A deleted tweet emerged soon after the Deen Squad duo left the country.
Watch Deen Squad’s performance at Souk Festival
Watch some of their most viewed videos here