Erykah Badu Banned From Performing in Malaysia After Allah Tattoo Photo Surfaces
Erykah Badu has been banned from performing in Malaysia after photos of her with what look like a temporary tattoo with the Arabic word for “Allah” surfaced.
The Grammy-winning singer was scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, and had already arrived in the country when the decision was announced by local officials.
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Malaysian information minister Rais Yatim said in a statement that the tattoo symbol was "an insult to Islam and a very serious offense."
Yatim added that the photo of the body art has "triggered public criticism that could jeopardize national security and cause a negative impact to the government's image," the statement added. A rep for Badu did not immediately return request for comment.
Yesterday, Badu, 41, tweeted her excitement about being in the country on Twitter: “Malaysia !!”
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“I deserve it,” she added.
Badu can stay in the Muslim-majority country as a tourist but will not be allowed to perform, an Information Ministry official told the AP.
The photo of Badu covered in body art first caught the attention of the public in Malaysia after it was published by the country's English-language publication, The Star, on Monday. The publication later released an apology over running the controversial image.
While Badu is the first performer recently to be completely banned from performing in Malaysia, other singers, including Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani, chose to wear more conservative outfits after receiving protest threats by conservative Muslim groups.