No longer funny: Band Andrew Jackson Jihad changes name


Andrew Jackson Jihad, an irreverent US band whose moniker was in keeping with its ironic lyricism, on Wednesday changed its name and said it did not mean to offend Muslims. The folk rockers, in typical tongue-in-cheek fashion, said that they no longer wanted to be associated with Andrew Jackson, who remains one of the most controversial US presidents for his role expelling Native Americans from their lands in the 1830s.

"Interesting historical figure as he was, he was an odious person and our fascination with him has grown stale," the Phoenix, Arizona-based band wrote on Facebook. Then the rockers turned serious and said they were "very sorry" for causing offense for using "jihad" and had not thought fully about the name when forming the group in 2004.

"We are not Muslims and as such, it is disrespectful and irresponsible for us to use the word jihad in our band's name," it said.

The Arabic word "jihad" is often translated as "struggle" but the term's usage has increasingly been controversial, with some Muslims and non-Muslims associating "jihad" with religious war waged in the name of Islam.

The band said it would now be called simply "AJJ." It did not spell out the acronym but offered as possibilities "Arizona Juvenile Justice" and "Anonymous Junk Jugglers." With folk instrumentation and punk rock song structure, the band has won a loyal following for its bitingly sarcastic lyrics that often touch on personal depression and social injustice.

The band released its first song as AJJ, entitled "Now That I'm at the Top of my Game" and said a sixth studio album was in the works.    (AFP)

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