Monday, January 26, 2009

Islamic party protests Rihanna concert

A conservative Islamic party in Malaysia called Parti Islam SeMalaysia,  has been protesting Rihanna's upcoming concert in their capital Kuala Lumpur.

From the Barbados Nation:
The youth wing of the Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) called for a cancellation of the concert on Wednesday, saying Rihanna's performances were unsuitable because of her daring outfits and raunchy dances.

Ok, fair enough - after all, the same party has also protested concerts by The Pussycat Dolls, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne in the past on similar grounds.

However, this is the part that kills me - and you would think people who are in politics and opening their mouth in public would be better informed before they spout foolishness:
The protesters also said inviting the United States-based Rihanna, who turns 21 on February 20, would be akin to supporting US ally Israel, which does not have diplomatic relations with Malaysia, where Islam is the official religion.

I also read in the Malaysia Star that they have said this would be insulting to Palestinians.


This seems like a pretty damn tenuous link. I could maybe... maybe! even understand if she was an American, since the U.S. supports Israel and you go from there. Still a tenuous link since an artiste is not a politician - it's Rihanna, not Condoleeza Rice... or even Susan Rice.

But what irks me as an islandista is I suspect that these people do not even know that Rihanna is not an American citizen. She has to go to the US Embassy in Barbados and renew her visa just like everyone else... which she did up to last year when she was here for her Grammy celebration concert.

She is NOT AN AMERICAN. She is a Barbadian and Barbados does not have an embassy or even an honorary consul in Israel because ummmm ... it can't afford it? Countries that are 21 by 14 miles don't have the time or money to concern themselves with the Middle East peace process the way Parti Islam SeMalaysia clearly does.

Utterly ridiculous. It is comforting to see that other Malaysians agree, with one commentator writing in to the Malaysia Star to say:
I am a proud Muslim and I’m not a fan of Rihanna nor will I attend her concert, but I found it offensive and embarrasing to read the article.

Time and time again PAS will come out with some laughable comments. They made the same noise when previous foreign artistes came and also when Chelsea were about to tour Malaysia, just to name a few.

Who are they to impose their interpertation of Islam upon others? We, the Muslims in Malaysia, young and old, are wise and mature enough to decide for ourselves what is good, bad or “un-Islamic”.

And as has been so accurately described by your writer Raslan Sharif in his article on Jan 23, the reasons given by PAS are just ridiculous.

Exactly. If you are going to protest, at least get your reasons together. How exactly does the presence of a Barbadian performer show support to Israel? Because she lives in the U.S. for a few months out of the year? Give me a break.

Anyhow, Rihanna has promised to be a good girl gone back good for the concert. From the Nation again:

Barbadian R&B sensation Rihanna will shun skimpy outfits when she performs in Malaysia next month, the concert's organisers said yesterday, becoming the latest international star affected by the Muslim-majority country's strict rules on performers' dress.

Recent concerts by Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne faced protests by conservative Muslim Malaysians over immodest clothes.

Under government guidelines, a female performer must be covered from the top of her chest, including her shoulders, to her knees. Rihanna, 20, favours black leather bustiers, shorts and boots.



  1. if you dont want to see just dont watch...

    Rihanna or any other performer wouldn't go to perform if there werent any fans... if the fans happen to call themselves muslim and like what she has to sing/say/act the PAS needs to teach/preach better... maybe they could get some lessons from Rihanna as to how she is able to reach/captivate her audiences...

    on the US link... they clearly state US based and sad to say then go off on a tangent! they simply say that nonsense to get recognized and ppl always play into that... if we would simply let the jacka$$ bray and dont give them attention they wouldnt be able to attract weaker thinkers...

  2. Fundamentalism often abandons common sense and logic.

    It's a matter of "loyalty"...

  3. Rihanna's music is terrible anyways; her songs were good back a few years ago, but her last few were just awful.