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Helly Luv’s “Revolution:” When it’s Okay to Fight

June 19, 2015

Hellyluv Revolution - Stand up we are United2

Western-raised Middle Eastern singer, Helan Abdulla, whose artist persona is called Helly Luv, has released a powerful video called “Revolution” where she sounds the rally cry for people to fight against the evils of the terrorist group, ISIS.
Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There 2

Despite our desire to see that our troops get to stay home to never return to the scenes of conflict in the Middle East, the dynamics of what was going on when we originally went to war and what is going on today are totally different. We aren’t deposing an evil despot for the sake of oil anymore. We are finally facing the very threat we thought we were going to war to fight in the first place; terrorism. And where are our troops? Back home.

After witnessing so many public beheadings committed by ISIS against westerners and Christians, good people cannot help but want to fight.


British citizen who went to the Middle East to help Muslim victims of war is shown here just before his public beheading by ISIS.

In fact, many Americans, like the ones shown in the photo, below, along with other westerners are so offended at these atrocities that they have spent their own money to join in the fight against ISIS. Who are they joining? The Kurdish Peshmerga, the primary army now fighting these terrorists.

Westerners Join Peshmerga 3 - no text

American’s join Kurdish Peshmerga in the fight against the darkness of ISIS.

So, why would the author of a blog dedicated to peace and unity be writing an article about fighting darkness and injustice while featuring a secular pop music artist? This video caught my eye because Abdulla appears to be calling for people of all religions to unite in this fight against evil.

Or is she?

There are a few scenes in this video when Abdulla seems to be sending a mixed message encouraging both peace and war. Are there times when it is okay to do both?

Any form of unity and the desire to maintain peace in our communities and relationships can be equally confusing at times. How does a Christian, for example, strike a balance between adhering to the truth while walking in unity amidst so much religious diversity?

This critique of Helly Luv’s compelling video will provide the perfect opportunity to discuss that very thing. I will make comparisons with the conflict in the Middle East with the basic struggle we all face as human beings and as Christians as we try to walk in loving unity with mankind while also trying to adhere to our principles and ideas of truth.

unity truth


Abdulla is a Kurd born in the Kurdistanian region of Iran. Her family would escape Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror and end up living in Finland where she was raised.

In this music video Abdulla uses song lyrics, driving rhythms, and many powerful images to communicate an important message to the world calling for all to unite against ISIS. One example of this injustice from her video is depicted here in this image of a mother cradling her dead child.

Hellyluv - Revolution Devastation

This video has a lot of powerful symbolism, such as that which is represented in Abdulla’s bold attire. Could this be meant to fly in the face of some of the values that radical Islam promotes, particularly those held against women? Or is this a part of Abdulla’s own brand of Islam? Maybe she has no religion at all. Like all art, this will be left to the interpretation of the viewer.

In this first image, below, Abdulla appears on the scene after what was once a peaceful day in a village has been shattered by an attack by ISIS. To get her message across, she uses the imagery of golden high heels, heels that are higher than your average heels, along with a gold ankle bracelet. In this scene, she can be seen walking against the fleeing crowd.

Hellyluv - Revolution Gold Shoe

The sound of clanging metal can be heard as she puts her first step forward. This may depict the strength of taking that first, all-important step against such an enemy. Without the first step of good people standing against tyranny, eveil cannot be defeated. Or maybe it just represents her own resolve to stand up against such evil.

We all know that gold represents value; the monetary value we place on things. Does this speak of the value we should place upon this message? Or is she trying to tell us that ISIS is threatening our most important human values? Consequently, we should take some sort of action and join her in taking that all important first step.

Gold also depicts royalty and wealth. One can clearly see here that Abdulla must put some value in herself. But then again, as we would come to discover, she isn’t just another burka-wearing Muslim with something naughty hidden underneath in a statement of defiance.

The next clue in our introduction of this singer is when the camera shows Abdulla wearing a veil or scarf while walking against the crowd towards the incoming tanks.

Hellyluv -Revolution AppearanceAgain, we are provided further proof that if the woman in the video is a Muslim, she is not as conservative as other Muslim women we see in the Middle East because she has on a shiny belt. But once we get to see her face for the first time we notice that something else is very, very different about this woman because she is wearing heavy eye makeup and a headband of gold with a black bandanna sporting what looks like skulls on it.

Hellyluv - Revolution Birds

The additional imagery of the dark colored doves flying close around her periphery sends yet another message to us that appears spiritual in nature; possibly meant to provide greater significance to her cause. But these doves are not pure white. White doves generally represent peace or the spirit of God. These are grey and white, could this be a foreshadow of what eventually seems like a mixed message… a message of attaining peace through war?

Then as Abdulla reaches down to reveal that she is holding a banner, you can see, below, that she is also wearing a gold machine-gun ring on her right hand and golden bullets for bracelets.  Note the long, red, fingernails and all the ornamentation or henna that is tattooed onto her left hand. Could this be representing her ethnicity, her value of herself, or even her liberty as a woman? Or is it just a way to call attention to her hands; hands that are actively doing something about this injustice?

This is also really the first time we have any clue to her message. She seems to have a militant purpose here.

Hellyluv -Revolution Bracelets

That is when she confuses us.

Hellyluv - Revolution Sign Stop Violence

We think to ourselves, “Well, yes, dear. That is an awesome message but aren’t you also wearing bullets and machine guns?!? Make up your mind!” So this compels us to watch further to see what Abdulla’s real purpose is here.

Next, Abdulla uncovers the symbol of her oppression. She removes the veil covering her head and face to reveal an audacious head-full of bright red hair! Red is a color that represents love as well as action, determination, fire, passion, severity and blood. As we listen to the lyrics and watch the rest of the images in this video, each of these are a part of her message. So she couldn’t have chosen a better color. Here, we also get another close up of Abdulla’s militant jewelry.

Hellyluv - Revolution Red Hair Exposed

In this blog we talk about how people use cover ups to mask their feelings of inadequacy. These inadequacies of the soul are created by our social connections. They are caused by wounds of rejection, abuse, neglect, humiliation, and shame.

The cover up chosen really doesn’t matter (e.g., a prestigious job title, high rank, money, social position, beauty, material possessions, or religion…). It will be different for each individual. This usually depends on what the community that the individual wants acceptance from values.

In the Muslim religion, for example, cover ups for women are referred to as hijabs. These are meant to represent modesty. This is a great value to have. But in reality, it is really a way for the society to diminish the value and rights of women with respect to men who, as you will note, do not use anything to physically cover themselves up for the sake of modesty. Veils actually repress a woman’s individuality and her identity which Abdulla also appears to be expressing here with the color of her hair. What’s more, she is insulting the values of her enemy; ISIS.

This next picture shows Abdulla as she, once again, stands resolute in her cause for peace and liberty. Our next clue proves to us that she isn’t just a peace-loving hippie placing her body in between the tank and the terrified citizens of this village when she raises a finger in defiance and strength against this heavy artillery. It is as if she is saying, “If a woman can do this boys, surely you can get your guns and join the fight with me.” And apparently there is some need for that message to get communicated. We constantly hear reports in the news of Iraqi soldiers running away from the battle and not standing up to fight against this oppressive enemy. As a matter of fact, it is the Kurdish Peshmerga (which include female soldiers) that is depicted in this video that seems to be fighting their battles for them.

Hellyluv Revolution - Stand up we are United

In this next scene we see Helan Abdulla waving a flag that many in the West will not recognize. It is the Kurdish flag.

Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There

This flag came into being during Kurdistan’s bid for independence against the Ottoman Empire. For those of you not up on this important bit of history, that is basically the empire that ISIS is trying to resurrect. You have probably heard this word caliphate used a lot lately in the news, right? Well, the Ottoman Empire was a Muslim caliphate that had been in existence since the latter half of the Middle Ages until it was dissolved in 1922 just after WWI.


It should be known that the Kurds are an ethnic group without a country. They make up 10-18 percent of the people in Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. They have been fighting for independence for about a century now. They have no desire to see a radical Muslim caliphate in place.

The largest number of Kurds live in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iran. But the flag Abdulla is waving and that all Kurdish soldiers wear on their uniforms, is banned in Iran as well as Turkey and Syria because what it represents (freedom and liberty).

Once again, we see Helly Luv standing up on a tank, below, with a group of females and the Peshmerga army rallying people to stand up and fight.

Hellyluv Revolution - United We're Marching There 3

Nevertheless, there are also many messages in this video that seem confusing, with people taking up banners in hand with words printed on them such as “Stop War,” “No More Genocide,” and “Peace,” juxtaposed against the fighting and military propaganda.

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions

We even see scenes with people from multiple religions coming together to call for peace.

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions

Signs with every religion depicted are seen below.

Helly Luv Revolution - All Religions 2

Abdulla is seen here praying as she sings this lyric, “Brothers and sisters we all come from one. Different religions we share the same love.”

So what is she really trying to say here? Fight with banners or guns?

Helly Luv Revolution - Different Religions 3

Many people in the Christian faith may get upset with this because there seems to be a movement towards having one world religion. This is the religion that the Antichrist is supposed to endorse and lead.

Nevertheless, the reasoning in Abdulla’s song is sound. We all love, so why do we fight? It only hurts those we love in the end.

This may, indeed, end up being the rally cry that wins the day towards the formation of a one-world government and religion, as prophesied. After all, weren’t we told that if it were possible, even the elect might be deceived in the end? Maybe that is because uniting around the principle of love doesn’t seem to be such a bad thing. This would provide the perfect vehicle to rally everyone behind the Antichrist in his satanic agenda.

It appears, at least on the surface, that the pope is also trying to do the same thing. In his quest for peace he is seeking unity with the Muslims and other religions who are not remotely in agreement with his own faith. Below you can see one such gathering with, for example, the Hindus, Buddhists, and Atheists.

Pope Francis Unity and One World Religion

The pope’s reasons are likely the same logical, rational reasons that Abdulla is also using to call for unity; to stop fighting over religion. Much the same message of my own blog, with one exception. While I do call for unity, that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when we must bring our differences forward for discussion. We must learn to fight peacefully for the cause of truth.

Unity does not mean we have arrived at a consensus and agree with one another. Unity means rather than choosing to fight, we admit that we agree on most things. But we are secure enough in ourselves to accept the diversity that exists in others while striving to discuss our differences until we arrive at the truth. But will any of us accept the differences between us and a radical terrorist? Never! And no one should ever accept any form of injustice or darkness.

While we all want to think of ourselves as broad minded and accepting of multicultural people groups rather than being seen as prejudice, there are definitely times when we must exercise extreme prejudice against evil. And I think this is the message Helly Luv is promoting; peace through unity in war. She seems to calling the global community to take notice of the conflict and to throw their support and military might to fight this regime of terrorists. You can see her, below, waving us on, to come join her.

Helly Luv Revolution - Don't be Scared

The lyrics confirm this call to arms through the words, “People all around the world, around the world, don’t be scared. Come together let ’em know, let ’em know we’re right here. We’re marching… we’re marching there. United, united we’re marching there.”

Hellyluv Revolution - It's a Revolution Nations United - no text

This message becomes clear at the end of her video when the main character, a soldier who was fighting gets knocked off his feet by an explosion.

Helly Luv Revolution - Man being Blown Up

The soldier gets up just as Abdulla’s character in this drama, also a soldier, has rescued a defenseless baby in her arms.

Helly Luv Revolution - Rescuing a Helpless Family 2

The male soldier is then seen with a rocket launcher in his hands.

Hellyluv Revolution - Guy with a rocket launcher - no text

The rocket gets a successful hit on the tank that came to town to terrorize the people.

Hellyluv Revolution - Rocket launched tank exploding

Immediately after the explosion, you see Abdulla, who was just beyond the tank with the rescued baby in her arms cheering along with the rest of the fighters at this successful hit leaving no doubt, whatsoever, that Abdulla is standing behind her people, the Kurdish Peshmerga, in their fight against this evil.

Helly Luv Revolution - Abdulla after tank is destroyed - no text

Why is the nations of the world being so complacent? ISIS means to take over the world. This is why many westerners from America, Canada, Europe and other nations are taking matters into their own hands to join up with the Peshmerga to fight against this oppressive regime. They recognize the danger. These volunteers often bring their own guns because there is no money being sent to the Peshmerga arm them. Take a look at the flags this American is wearing on his uniform.

Westerners Join Peshmerga

ISIS isn’t a small band of terrorists. It is a well-oiled and well-funded fighting machine with what seems to some like really cool uniforms. Their self-righteous campaign of violence speaks volumes to the disenfranchised video game-playing youth everywhere; youths who would glory in such gun-brandishing, knife wielding threats. This can be seen in the photo below of these teens who brought guns to Columbine High School to commit the mass murder of their classmates and teachers.


Disenfranchised youths in the lunch room of Columbine High School where mass murders took place at their hands.

People who are wounded, fearful, and frustrated often want to gain a sense of control over their lives in some way… and what better way for some angry young men to feel justified about their anger than to join a gun-toting terrorist group like ISIS. Muslim parents beware! Keep a close eye on your kids!

Now let me briefly share the other message besides unity that I also promote on this blog, the importance of healing the heart.


Bitterness is the fertile soil of revenge and war. It causes illness, discord, and disunity. It ruins marriages, leads to crime, and promotes a blindness that comes from narcissism. We all get hurt from time to time. And most of us have suffered from injustice. So what would the world be like if we all took our revenge out on someone? You are absolutely right, like a Middle Eastern war zone. This is why the message of Jesus Christ is so important for today.

Jesus taught humanity the importance of forgiving from the heart. A heart that cannot forgive is hard and full of pride. Walls around our hearts promote distances in relationships making it harder for peaceful negotiations to occur.

stony_heart-rYou see, no matter how much we say we forgive, a heart cannot forgive until the wounds of offense, abuse, neglect, and need are addressed through healing… and only Jesus can fully heal broken hearts. Most Muslims would not be opposed to this message because they have a certain respect for Jesus, that differs from that of Christians, but He holds an important place in the Muslim faith and an honorable place in others. So, why not learn more about this possibility.


While it is true that we may all eventually get to feeling better as time goes on after we are wounded, few people realize that the damage done to our souls is just buried under other distractions until we forget the offense… that is, until it raises its ugly head in some other destructive or enslaving form. So, why don’t you search this blog further to learn more about how Jesus can heal? Also, you may want to go to my new blog as well:



Photo credits:

1) Photos of Hella Luv’s video:

Abdulla, Helan. (2015). “Revolution.” Vevo Music Video. Retrieved on June 18, 2015 from

2) Photo of Pope Francis with religious leaders:

Schjonberg, M. (2015 March 20). “Faith leaders unite with business leaders to end scourge of slavery.” Retrieved June 18, 2015 from

3) Photos of western fighters joining Kurdish Peshmerga:

I got this from a YouTube video, as follows…

Hiwa Marko Youtube Channel (2015). “American Peshmerga volunteers on the front lines against ISIS – Kirkuk 20.5.2015 English-Kurdish.” Retrieved on June 18, 2015 from

4) Other photos:

Unknown original owner, found online.

All written content © Tracey Nelson, M.Ed. Photos belong to their respective owners as credited above.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the previous and following statements on any distributed copy:

By Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author Accelerated Transformation , © Oct. 21, 2014 Website: The Spotless Bride Blog; (Some images, songs, & videos not owned by author).

**Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is meant to serve as medical advice. If you feel you are suffering from a mental illness, you need to seek the counsel of a certified mental health worker. The author is simply providing you with helpful information as a pastoral counselor with Master’s degrees in adult education and conflict negotiation and mediation.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 7, 2017 8:57 pm

    This is a great review of Helly’s video and message. I love how you analyze the symbols and visual imagery for meaning (probably more than the producers did!) I write an art column for, (using another name) and was doing research in hopes of getting an interview with Helen Abdulla. Thank you again, and I will check out your other websites and writing.

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