I am not familiar with Ke$ha and doubt the Malaysians are missing much, but that is not the point. In free societies, people generally understand that things they may dislike or of which they disapprove must go on as part of the price of freedom. But in an Islamic context, nothing can happen that offends Muslim sensitivities, even in modern, moderate Malaysia. And there are many who are laboring to bring the same strictures and censorship to the West. “Malaysia bans Ke$ha concert over religious fears,” from AFP, October 26 (thanks to Lookmann):
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) – US pop singer Ke$ha has been forced to cancel a concert due to take place in Muslim-majority Malaysia on Saturday after authorities said it would undermine religious and cultural sensitivities.
“We are distraught to confirm that the show (at Kuala Lumpur stadium) will be cancelled,” concert organiser Livescape said in a statement, adding that it was losing 1.1 million ringgit ($350,000) due to ban.
Livescape said it had received a letter from the authorities on the decision to ban the concert “at the 11th hour” on Friday, despite agreeing to “modify the show to suit the Malaysian culture and sensitivities”.
The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia said in a brief statement Friday that it had rejected the application for the concert on grounds that it “touches on religious sensitivities and cultural values of Malaysians”.
Ke$ha’s MTV reality series ‘My Crazy Beautiful Life’ has featured her bizarre behaviour in the past, including drinking her own urine.
Some of her songs refer to sex and alcohol, which are considered taboo subjects by most Muslims.
Livescape said it had made adjustments to Ke$ha’s song lyrics, wardrobe changes, and had modified a set list to specifically adhere to the guidelines set forth by the authorities.
Last month, Malaysia pulled the plug on a planned concert by US heavy metal group Lamb of God after Islamic authorities declared the band’s music religiously offensive.
To avoid business risks and similar bans, Livescape said: “We encourage the authorities to engage in a productive dialogue with local promoters to avoid the current situation from repeating.”
Muslims make up 60 percent of multi-ethnic Malaysia’s 28 million people, while Christians account for about nine percent.
Malaysia is known for its relatively moderate version of Islam.
But conservatives occasionally cry foul over concerts by Western artists whom they accuse of promoting promiscuity, corrupting young people or offending religious sensitivities, though most concerts usually go ahead.
For AFP, you’re a conservative if you favor Sharia censorship, and conservative if you oppose it as well.
Music superstar Beyonce has twice cancelled shows in Malaysia amid criticism of her image, while American singer Erykah Badu had a concert cancelled by authorities last year after a photo appeared showing her with the Arabic word for “Allah” painted on her body.