Whispers: Erykah Badu Banned in Malaysia
Erykah Badu has been banned from performing in Malaysia. Why you ask? A picture of Erykah with temporary tattoos of the word Allah on her bare shoulders in Arabic was seen by the people of Malaysia. Since Malaysia is a mostly Muslim nation, the photo started an outcry from the Muslim community. Muslim groups felt that Erykah was not a suitable role model for young Malaysians. With that said, a government committee that includes police and Islamic policy officials decided to forbid her show
In a statement, Minister Rais Yatim said, the body art was “an insult to Islam and a very serious offense. It triggered public criticism that could jeopardize national security and cause a negative impact to the government’s image.”
Unfortunately, Erykah has already made the trip to Malaysia. She’s okay for her to be there as a guest, but she will not be allowed to perform. Razman Razali, managing director of the show’s Malaysian organizer, Pineapple Concerts, said his company hopes the ban will be reversed.
Erykah is “worried and dismayed”, Razman said. She was slated to perform in an auditorium that can hold about 3000 spectators.
The photograph of Badu, which also appears on her official fan website, attracted attention after Malaysia’s most widely read English-language daily, The Star, published it Monday. Yesterday, the same newspaper apologized to Muslims for what it called an “oversight”, saying it deeply regretted any offense sparked by the photo, which was “inadvertently published”. The Home Ministry summoned The Star’s editors to explain the photograph, which caused some Muslim activists to demand the newspaper’s suspension.
That was pretty deep. Hopefully they’ll get the situation rectified by tomorrow’s concert time.