KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Muslim-majority Malaysia on Tuesday banned a planned concert by Erykah Badu after a photograph appeared showing the Grammy-winning singer with the Arabic word for Allah written on her body.
The American R&B singer was scheduled to perform Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, but some Muslim groups said Badu was an unsuitable role model for young Malaysians after seeing a publicity photo of her with what appeared to be temporary tattoos of the word Allah on her bare shoulders.
A government committee that includes police and Islamic policy officials decided to forbid Badu’s show because the body art was “an insult to Islam and a very serious offense,” Information Minister Rais Yatim said in a statement.
The 41-year-old, Dallas-born singer had already arrived in Malaysia. She can stay as a tourist but will not be allowed to perform, an Information Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to make public statements.
On Tuesday, the 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.
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