The Course of Reason

Music Monday: Fela Kuti - “Shuffering and Shmiling”

February 18, 2013

Today’s Music Monday comes by request from CFI’s outreach director Debbie Goddard, who is also the director of African Americans for Humanism. The song by Fela Kuti, Afrobeat musician extraordinaire, invites, “You Africans, please listen to me as Africans. And you non-Africans, listen to me with open mind,” to a story of his fellow people being promised heavenly rewards by religious leaders from far away lands at the cost of worldly suffering. The story takes us “into any goddamn church. Any goddamn mosque” and back out again. 

While Fela doesn’t draw any conclusions about whether the promises of religious leaders from Mecca, Rome, London, etc. are worth worldly suffering, the 21 minute song does raise meaningful questions about religious imperialism. 


As always, if you get a chance, send your suggestions for future Music Mondays to me at, leave a comment below, or @tweet us at @CFIOnCampus. Your suggestions, along with future and past songs, may end up in the official Course of Reason Music Monday Grooveshark playlist or Spofity playlist that anyone can listen to.    



About the Author: Cody Hashman

Cody Hashman's photo
Cody Hashman is a Campus and Community Organizer at the Center for Inquiry. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, with a degree in Psychology, where he was the co-founder and president of the UNI Freethinkers and Inquirers.




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