Nearly two years after Erykah Badu ignited controversy with her ballsy “Window Seat” video, the singer is again in hot water over one of her creative choices — and this time it’s the ink on her body. The soulful artist has reportedly been banned from performing in Malaysia after pictures of her adorned with what looks like a temporary tattoo of the Arabic word “Allah” began making the rounds. Badu was set to perform in Kuala Lumpur, but local authorities put the nix on her concert.
Malaysian publication The Star published the so-called offensive photo of Badu along with a writeup on the Dallas-based singer ahead of her scheduled gig.
According to the New Straits Times, Muslim groups called for action to be taken against the paper while Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said tattoos of Islamic religious scripture were considered an insult to Muslims. “While Americans and non-Muslims view tattoos as an art form, the name of Allah should never be used that way,” she is quoted as saying yesterday.
Meanwhile, The Star has since issued an apology: “We deeply regret any offence caused to Muslims and sincerely apologise for the oversight.”
Another Malaysian official, information minister Rais Yatim, wrote in Malay on Twitter that the performance was canceled for “touching on religious sensitivities” and failing to be in accord with “Malaysian cultural values,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
And what does Badu herself, who turned 41 on Sunday, have to say on the matter? “I deserve it,” she tweeted yesterday.
Do you agree with her? Should her show have been canceled by local authorities?