Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Gracious Erykah Badu - Did We Overreact?

I know Pas Youth is very happy with the cancellation of Erykah Badu's concert which was to have been on last night. They said so.
Along with some Muslims intolerant of anything they deem to insult their faith, even if it is not so.

Pas secretary Khairil Faizi Ahmad Kamil thanked Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim for "his concern and immediate action in cancelling the concert".

Khairul Faizi and five other delegates had submitted a protest memorandum against the concert.

On Tuesday, Rais announced the government's decision to cancel the concert (scheduled to be held on Wednesday Feb 29 at KLCC) by the 41 year-old grammy-winning soul artiste.

The cancellation was on the grounds of national security, religious sensitivity and public order.

He said the rules and requirements by the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) were breached.

Basically, the concert was banned because of Erykah's promo photo that appeared in The Star (section 2) which showed her bare shoulders and several "tattoos" two of which were the Arabic words "Allah". The "tattoos" appeared on the far front right and left side below her shoulders.

Erykah told a press conference on Wednesday that the images were NOT tattooes but body art and were not permanent

Before this, I don't think anyone knew that she had those images on her body.

Had she insulted Islam? Or Allah SWT? I don't think she had. And if she appeared to have, it was unintentional.

In the eyes of Pas Youth and other Muslims, she certainly had.

How intolerant we are.

Erykah, at the press conference, apologized for the image and said it was unfortunate that it was used by the newspaper as a publicity photo.

She said the photo was from a photo shoot and was inspired by her "fave film maker", Alejandro Jodorowsky and his movie called The Holy Mountain in the 70s.

"One of his characters is called the painted lady. She wore all symbols and names of God on her body. I posed as her in a photo shoot for New Am pt2. This idea embodies who we All are...One."

When people tattoo or paint images on their body, they usually admire, love, like...have all those positive things of/for the image they want to have imprinted or painted on their bodies.

Rightly or wrongly -- Erykah did it. But that's her body and that's her choice. No one was harmed .
And it was a photo -- and one that was used (bad choice by the newspaper, they have admitted and for which they have apologized) in the newspaper report.

Erykah was not going to insult Islam and sing songs insulting Muslims in her concert.

Rais, in his statement referred to the images and said that it was "an insult to Islam and regarded as a serious offence".

"This has raised objections from the community which can threaten national security and have a negative impact on the government's image," he said.

The decision to cancel the concert was based on the views the Home Ministry, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Royal Malaysia Police.

"With the graphic exhibition of "Allah" on the body of the singer, it is sufficient to warrant irrefutable religious controversies 0from among Muslims who disdain such practice.

" The Puspal committee's decision to disallow the entertainer to perform publicly is in our view justified.

"To proceed with such public performance would only attract bigger and more cascading
difficulties the likes of which we cannot afford to have under the present circumstances.

"Symbolism of Allah and Prophet Muhammad in the realm of exhibitive entertainment is not in the order Muslims'acceptance," said Rais.

Wow - you'd think that Erykah was an anti-Islam activist whose performance was going to cause a riot of such magnitude?

In fact, there was no public uproar. Just protests (typically) from our moral custodian Pas Youth and a few in the Muslim community.

And I seriously doubt that there would be mayhem outside the concert hall if the show had gone on as scheduled. A few Pas Youth members and supporters wasting their Wednesday evening making noise outside the venue, perhaps. Certainly nothing our police could not handle.

I understand Pas Youth sentiments because they are Pas Youth -- but they would really be deserving of contempt and odium from Malaysians - Muslims and non-Muslims - alike if they behaved like mad rabid dogs protesting the concert.

So, no...we should not have cancelled the concert. We overreacted, as we always do for our inability to do better in such circumstances and instances. I say we -- although I was in no way party to that decision -- because that decision reflects all of us. That we are a bunch of intolerant hypocrites.

Well, typical, isn't it? So easy to ban, ban, ban....books. concerts, films....

Read THIS too.


Anonymous said...

Salam puan,
I remember in the '70's a popular starlet (she did not bloom into a star in my eyes), wore a necklace (something like a choker) that had the word "Allah" in jawi around her neck. Most of the time her dressing were a tad outrageous (by last century's standards). My aging grandmother asked if she took the necklace off whenever she needed to use the washroom. It is wrong, grandma declared. I wonder if there were any objections back then.... hmm.. she's given up showbiz and spots the hijab since.

Happy growing up in the '70s.

Azli Jamil said...

Malays by nature are natural drama queens.
Of course we overreacted

Anonymous said...

"Erykah, at the press conference, apologized for the image and said it was unfortunate that it was used by the newspaper as a publicity photo".

This is the actual problem.

It's a typical knee-jerk Malaysian response by the authority.

Anonymous said...

No we have not overeacted.
In fact it was the mildest form of protest shown to her. You can never know these people did it deliberately but when caught they claimed innocence. A truth is a truth no matter where it comes from even if is PAS.

Of course you have not got it cos' all your life you were a bleeding liberal and secularistic and surrounded by bird of the same feathers. It is time for you to move on
check the other terrain which you are unfamiliar.

Anonymous said...

Indeed "we" overacted big time! We are good only at talking about tolerance and understanding but we do not practice them.

We have a lot of sick bigots in this country that go around wanting to force their values on others.

We have politicians who love to play to the gallery and desperate to appear holy... These scumbags will get what they truly deserve for humiliating an innocent person!

Glad to read the voice of reason in your writing/blogging

jahamy said...


Anonymous said...

I suppose, what Erykah just did was in a way quite consistent with what Tuan Guru Nicky previously said/"berfatwa" -in relation to the issue of "penggunaan "Allah" dalam Church dan Bible. Pok Nick kata lebih kurang bermaksud : "Allah" untuk semua, orang bukan islam pun boleh guna pakai, apa salah nya? I dont see the logic why Pemuda PAS is making noise here? (when they don't on Nicky's comments then..Orang bukan islam boleh guna pakai "Allah" dalm konteks yg depa suka lah..). Like it or not, the Government of the Day (GoD) however, is consistent with it's stand,i.e. "Against" it. That's why pihak church bawak ke mahkamah..dan sampai sekarang,belum selesai lagi..

Anonymous said...

Was it only pas youth? Are you absolutely certain your friends from umno did nothing? Dirty spinning this.


anon@6:39PM: hmm i grew up in the 70s..can't quite remember who the starlet in question was..

thank u


Azli: really? natural drama queens?


anon@11:56PM: yep...typical.


anon@12:33AM: oh dear...i'd hate to think what the superlative is..


anon@2:33am: aaah...some people don't think i am the voice of reason...some people are so sad that as a Muslim, I didn't think the Ms Badu had insulted Muslims. As a Muslim I should be angry....

I think I (and a lot of other Muslims) are more tolerant than sall those Muslims who want Erykah badu's blood.

It takes more than Ms badu's body art to make my blood boil. I'd say people like Benjamin something or other, an apostate (Muslim who covnerted to Christianity) to make my blood boil as a Muslim. Not because he converted (that's his choice) but for belittling the Al-fatihah, Islam and Allah. You want to argue on the basis of freedom of expression that gives him the right to INTENTIONALLY degrade Islam, then I will exercise my right to respond to him.

Now, that's testing tolerance.

Ms Badu -- can I be angry with her over such a small thing. she apologized. and those were not permanent tattoos. just used for the photo shoot.

if you want to get all angry over that -- i can list down a lot of things we should be angry about with regard to Islam being insulted...


anon@5:43PM: Bingo! if they believe in that -- then what's the big ruckus about?


anon@8:14PM: what the ##** are you ranting about?

This comment has been removed by the author.
madskodeng said...

Agreed with anon@12.33, this Erikah Badu actually got off easy. As guardians of the religion, I felt that we malaysians should have stoned her (tak setakat mati la, pengsan je enough) and showed the world how serious we are about our brand of islam.


madskodeng : why don't we just stone her to death, kan?

madskodeng said...

nuraina: i like your style!

Anonymous said...

its is certainly not overreacting, it is called protecting the sanity of islam. if anybody loved islam they would totally understand why it is banned, on the first place, as a muslim country, why do we need some concert like this? why would it contribute to if not sin and a lot of sin...its this kind of entertainment healthy for younger generations? i am a young blood and i know how hard it is to grow being a good Muslim. with all this unnecessary temptations that would lead to many other bad thing, and why are we all surprised that illegal baby's are being born? i am surprised that you do not feel insulted, this is a clear insult. it does not show love, if she loved ALLAH she would had never exposed her bare shoulders. i am glad it is banned and i hope that more coming concerts like this are being banned too.

Anonymous said...

and how could you say it is just a tattoo? ALLAH is the most gracious word, not to just being tattoo-ed by some bimbo artist! yes there is a lot of things that we malaysians are not alert about which is insulting, but i am glad that this step was taken~

Anonymous said...

Nuraina, there is some law of Allah that you are not able to describe with only think logically. same with the laws of decking themselves, you do not practice because your logical mind said it was not necessary. in the absence of laws that preserved and practiced you will see women, including your own dougter naked into the street. During that more harm and damage and destruction and violence will occur. We have become the default and you should be thankful that there are those who try to correct the situation, because destroying much easier than to build.

Anonymous said...

I am sure many are against you. So you pre-screen comments before publication. FUCK you.


anon@1:09PM: i don't agree with you. Just as you don't agree with me. But than you for commenting. I value all comments from readers of this blog.


anon@1:13PM: as i have said it is/was not a tattoo. It is body art. i will not prolong this debate. You have your views and I have mine. As long as you do not question my faith. because if you do then, i am convinced that I am a better Muslim than you. But I don't wish to because as a Muslim, i have been taught a LOT of things...and to practice restainst, patience, tolerance. And not to play GOD. thank you.


anon@1:22pm: thank you. you have just shown the kind of person you are. in fact, it doesn't matter what faith you profess, but i hope you're not sharing mine.

tattoos designs said...

this girl has ancient ornaments and tattoos designs