Thursday, March 1, 2012

Erykah Badu barred from performing in Malaysia

Singer-midwife-DJ Erykah Badu has been banned from performing in Malaysia after government officials declared a promotional photo of Badu with the Arabic word for Allah painted on her bare shoulders was an "insult to Islam." That news came on the eve of a performance that was expected to draw over 1,500 people, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Badu took to Twitter after the news, retweeting reactions from her fans, who were clearly upset and accused the government of being intolerant. Others praised authorities for being firm about defending religious principles.

"It's sad because we traveled a long way," Badu said during a news conference. "But I'm totally understanding of (the information minister's) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn't want anything to happen. I'm good with that."

The promotional photo was published in a newspaper on Monday, drawing criticism from some politicians and religious groups in the Muslim-majority country. Information Minister Rais Yatim said Malaysia's cabinet endorsed the ban, fearing the concert would lead to religious quarrels. Badu said she would perform in Malaysia someday, and she will sing at a jazz festival this weekend in Jakarta, capital of neighboring Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.

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