From today’s New Zealand Herald:
New Zealand’s greatest rock band, Shihad, are changing their name because of its similarity to jihad – the Islamic term for holy war – fearing a backlash as they try to make their mark in America.Osama bin Laden has called a jihad against the United States following the September 11 attacks.
A new name is yet to be decided on. Shihad drummer Tom Larkin said the decision was a tough one to make given the 13 years they had spent under the banner. It had been devastating to consider the implications of changing their name, he said.
“We’ve just spent four months in the US and every news item talks of the ‘Jihad against America’. As far as 99.9 per cent of Americans are concerned, ‘jihad’ means fundamentalist terrorist war against all Americans’.
“We wouldn’t get played on radio, we wouldn’t get tours and what would be the point?”
The name Shihad comes from the misspelling of the word jihad the band lifted from the novel Dune.
The group aim to have the new name in place before playing the Australasian Big Day Out tour, which starts in Auckland next Friday.
Thanks to Aziz, for drawing it to the attention of the weblog.