View Full Version : Controversial song made available on the Internet

07-26-06, 11:24 AM
July 25, 2006

Controversial song made available on the Internet

By John Hoellwarth
Staff writer

A professionally-produced studio version of “Hajji Girl,” a controversial song about a fictional Marine’s encounter with an Iraqi woman, has been made available for download as an audio file on the Internet, though the Marine who wrote and originally performed it had no part in the polished version.

The song’s author, Cpl. Joshua Belile, stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., does not sing in the studio recording, which is performed by the studio’s in-house band Young Americans. Nevertheless, Belile will receive royalties.

“I was ordered by my command not to record or perform the song, which is why it had to be done by a studio band,” Belile said.

Alan Grossman, a music producer and owner of Hit Music Incorporated of Spencer, N.C., said the song will be available at www.hadjigirlsong.com for $1.99. He said Belile will receive roughly 36 cents for each download.

“It’s illegal for them to sell a song that I wrote without paying me, so all I’m getting paid is nothing more than a writer’s royalties,” Belile said, adding that the rest is going to Hit Music, administrative costs and Marine Corps Community Services.

Grossman said that at Belile’s request, 99 cents from each download will go to MCCS to support the morale of troops overseas.

“The sale of this song is a means for the general public and service members alike to donate money to support deployed troops,” Belile said.

Belile’s song first surfaced in a four-minute video circulated on the Internet earlier this year. In the clip, Belile sings about a Marine who falls in love with an Iraqi woman and is then attacked by members of her family. The Marine ends up killing the family members.

The song prompted an outcry from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which brought the video to the military’s attention. CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the song was insensitive and glamorized the killing of Iraqi civilians. Corps officials launched an investigation that concluded Belile did not violate military law with the song.

“It’s harmless. It’s a spoof,” Grossman said. “There’s a difference between a stupid little ditty and someone out in the desert killing people for no reason.”



07-27-06, 05:59 PM
Marines reluctant to accept 'Hadji Girl' song proceeds for MWR

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Friday, July 28, 2006

Music producers want to give a large part of the proceeds from sales of a controversial song to the Marines, but a Marine Corps spokesman said the Corps may not be able to take the money.

Alan Grossman, of Hit Music Inc., said the song “Hadji Girl” can be downloaded for $1.99 at: www.hadjigirlsong.com.

Of the proceeds, 99 cents per every purchase is earmarked to support Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities for U.S. troops overseas.

The song outraged a Muslim- American advocacy group after a video posted on the Internet showed Marine Cpl. Josh Belile singing about falling in love with an Iraqi girl, but then being forced to kill her family after they attack him. In one line, Belile sings about using the girl’s sister as a human shield.

The Marine Corps called the song insensitive and launched a preliminary inquiry but decided not to take disciplinary action against Belile.

Producers approached Belile about recording a professional version of the song, but they ended up using a band called the Young Americans after Belile was ordered not to participate, Grossman said.

While a good chunk of song sales are intended for U.S. troops, the Marine Corps may not be able to accept the money because regulations prohibit “any donation that may bring discredit on the service,” said Bryan Driver, a Personal and Family Readiness Division spokesman.

The Marines have told the song’s producers that they need to submit a formal application letter before the Marine Corps can decide whether to accept the money, and the Marines have also suggested the producers look at giving the money to charities that support Marines, Driver said.

No matter what the Marine Corps decides, Grossman vowed to somehow get the money to Marines.

“I’ve never heard of anybody who doesn’t want money. It’s not like we did anything bad,” Grossman said.

Grossman also called the song a tribute to boot camp, saying the training paid off for the fictional Marine in the song.

“Because he was attacked and he killed everyone who tried to attack him instead of him getting killed,” Grossman said.

Belile said he intended the song to be humorous, not offensive.

“I was playing my guitar outside one day in Iraq and we had just got finished watching the movie ‘Team America: World Police’ created by Matt Parker and Trey Stone, and the catch phrase was stuck in my head, and I thought it would be funny to write a song with the phrase, ‘dirka dirka Mohammed Jihad,’” Belie said.

Belile said he gave producers permission to make a professional version of the song to support U.S. troops.

“There’s a large number of people who like it and enjoy it because it’s a good song, and I’m hoping that those people will decide to purchase this song to support the troops,” he said.

But Ibrahim Hooper, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he expects the Marine Corps to reject the money because it has said the song is inappropriate.

“Acceptance of the money would indicate approval of the source,” Hooper said.


07-28-06, 08:16 AM