|April 12, 2005|
Muhammad Hassan is a professional wrestling character played by Mark Copani. He is that of an American-born Arab bitter at the prejudice he faced following the September 11 attacks and the subsequent War on Terror. The gimmick was somewhat high-concept in that Hassan was ostensibly playing the part of a victim of anti-Arab bigotry but ultimately behaved exactly like the two-dimensional, evil, America-bashing foreigner he claimed to be mistaken for. During his brief time in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hassan became infamous for unexpected and unwelcome interruptions of in-ring promos to complain about his treatment and lack of championship title shots. These interruptions would always begin with Hassan's entrance music, which started with a loud chant resembling the Muslim call to prayer. (It should be noted that it is not Copani himself singing the chant.) Hassan's entrance music was included as a track on YTMND - The Soundtrack Volume 1.
The Hassan fad began sometime around April 2005, with Hassan and his theme music interrupting famous scenes in pop culture and/or YTMNDs. The first sites featured O.J. Simpson and Pee-Wee Herman as the "victims". Initially, Hassan sites did not reveal his presence overtly, preferring to surprise the viewer. As the fad progressed, the familiar chant in Hassan's theme came to be spelled as something approximately "ALLEYAHLEEYLALAYAHELLIYEAH". Being interrupted by Hassan came to be known as getting "Hassan'd."
A few weeks after the site "Pee-Wee Gets HASSAN'D" was posted, someone posted a link to it on the official site of Khosrow Daivari, Hassan's manager who himself also uses the Hassan theme, at shawndaivari.com. Daivari posted a response, saying "I dunno where u find this usless crap but i'm glad u did cause that was some funny shit."
Hassan sites are similar to those of Spanish Inquistion, Thwomp, Horsedick, and some NEDM sites. Hassan will normally come in as a surprise without warning, accompanied by his theme. At it's peak, the Hassan fad was one of the most popular fads and was constantly used in fad conglomerates.
Hassan was removed from WWE programming shortly after a controversial incident in which his character sent a gang of masked men to strangle his opponent, the Undertaker, with piano wire (a YTMND on this event was made in London subway bombings on July 7, 2005. UPN refused to allow the character to appear on its WWE Smackdown again, and although the option remained to move him to cable's WWE Raw, WWE decided to drop Hassan altogether. Copani left the company and retired from wrestling a few months later. This marked the end of the Hassan fads. Tribute sites and anti-UPN propaganda popped up.). The pre-taped segment, taken by critics to be a metaphor for al-Qaeda in Iraq's beheading of its hostages, aired on network television the same day as the