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".
The decision to cancel the concert was based on the views the Home Ministry, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Royal Malaysia Police.
" The Puspal committee's decision to disallow the entertainer to perform publicly is in our view justified.
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.