Erykah Badu ‘Allah’ Tattoo Costs The Star a Public Apology

Malaysian daily ‘The Star’ had to apologize for publishing Erykah Badu’s image with ‘Allah’ tattoo

UPDATES: We are sorry to announce that Erykah Badu’s KL concert has been cancelled because of ‘failure to meet cultural values’ (updated at 3:43PM). To read the official reason of the cancellation, read: Erykah Badu KL Concert: Cancelled!

Erykah Badu has a pair of tattoo meaning ‘Allah’ in Arabic and now everyone is talking about it. The Star, Malaysia’s best-selling English newspaper, published an image of Erykah Badu showing the tattoos on her upper arms.

Erykah Badu is scheduled to perform a solo concert in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (28/02). It is still unclear whether this issue will affect her show.

Home Ministry summoned The Star to make a public apology and they did:

“A photograph of American singer Erykah Badu with tattoos of various symbols, including the Arabic word for Allah, was inadvertently published in Star2 today. We sincerely apologise to Muslim readers for this oversight.” – as quoted from The Star Online.

The tattoo issue is also being discussed on Twitter, with most users against the tattoo.

“Sape pegi Erykah Badu punya event tu mmg bodoh. Terang2 kat kiri kanan ada tattoo Allah, lagi korang nak support org mcm tu.”

“kuang ajaq punya Erykah Badu.ada tattoo ‘Allah’ kt bahu.ko trn KL,aku baling batu!”

Credits: New Straits Times, The Malaysian Insider

Latest Updates : Erykah Badu concert cancelled and Organizer Says Erykah Badu Concert is Not Cancelled

42 comments

  1. Sheahnee

    Firstly, there are many forward thinking Muslim-Malaysians who do not agree with the ban. Malaysia does not consist of backward retards although some of our politicians do make us look that way. Please do not paint this decision as one that reflects Muslim thinking. Islam is a progressive beautiful religion that is often marred by the silly decisions of knee-jerk politicians who act purely for the sake of the vote. I regret that Erykah Badu, perhaps ignorant about the consequences of having the photo taken (impermanent henna tattoos notwithstanding), and the concert organisers will have to pay dearly for this unfortunate mistake.

    • Aakriti

      Sorry. Those so-called forward thinking Muslim Malaysians you are talking about might not be a good Muslim if they don’t mind such thing. For us Muslims, we were taught not to ever allow anyone to dishonor our religion in any way. She doesn’t respect the religion most people in Malaysia believe in therefore I personally don’t think she deserves any respect from the Malaysian Muslims. That’s just disgusting. Smearing our God’s name by putting it on her filthy body.

      • Sheahnee

        Being a forward thinking Muslim does not necessarily mean you are a bad Muslim. It can also mean that you believe your Iman is strong enough to withstand other people’s behaviour. Loving Islam is not just about protecting its sanctity but also guiding other people about that it is an inclusive religion, not an intolerant one! Banning everything that doesnt agree with our sensitivities only proves to non-believers what they already think about Islam: that we are stuck in the dark ages. Guide the ignorant, dont give up on the disbelievers and judge not what Allah SWT will judge Himself. Wallahualam.

        • Irwan

          It is sad that so many have such weak faith that they feel the need to control others. Who are these people who feel they need do Allah’s SWT work for him?

    • ann

      That is just it isnt it? In Islam, I don’t think you’re aware that the wrong things are clear and the right things are also clear. And the vague must be avoided. In this case, it is a clear wrong. Plain and simple.

      • Sheahnee

        I never said what EB did was right – I said that we have responsibilities as Muslims to guide, but guide kindly and intelligently, not leave rude comments that reflect a backward mentality! DSU Rais Yatim should have met her and heard the explanations of the organisers. Reacting without dialogue, compromise and understanding is as bad as not reacting at all!

  2. Islam adalah agama yang sebenar, Islam tidak sama seperti agama-agama lain, maka hormatilah agama Islam, Malaysia adalah negara Islam, oleh itu, Malaysia tidak sesuai untuk mereka yang membenci Islam dan cuba untuk memburuk-burukkan Islam. sila kaji dahulu agama Islam sedalam-dalamnya sebelum melabelkan Islam sebagai sesuatu yang buruk dan yang paling mustahak, PENGANUT AGAMA ISLAM TIDAK MENCERMINKAN 100% TENTANG AGAMA ISLAM.

  3. nicky

    Actually, the tattoo is yes offensive, but the act that they cancelled the concert is unnecessary.. so many foreign artist came here before we didn’t know what kind of tattoo they have ..

  4. obie2610

    I do not understand how The Star editors could have “inadvertently” let through the image. The Govt Guidelines on what images are permissible is very clear – all good editors know that if a photo has an Arabic word, the rule of thumb is – check what the word means to ensure that it is not offensive to Muslims. It is not a new rule – it was irresponsible of the Star editors to claim that they did not know what the word meant.

  5. Avan

    I disagree with a complete ban, yet at the same time, I disagree her putting the name on her upper chest. It’s a basic respect others. Each religion has their preferences and way of respect, rules etc. For someone who doesn’t know, we forgive, but we INFORM. A ban is too radical. Instead it should be informed to the artiste herself. If she insist that the tattoo stays, then the ban comes in. No one like to be insulted or humiliated. So be a little more sensitive when it comes to getting into someone else’s “area” – in this case – other’s religion. I ain’t a Muslim but the moment I spotted the photo in The Star, I know already that they are seeking for trouble by publishing that photo. Please don’t be harsh. Get into a discussion with the organizers, and the artiste herself and clear things up. Unless of course if she insist it stays.

  6. Spicey

    Erykah happens to come from USA. I don’t know what religion she embraces but this shows that she is not sensitive to other people’s religion even though she labelled herself as an “International Entertainer”. Being “international” she must have the intelligence and know the sensitivities. Islam is a worldwide religion and I think she deliberately have those body art /tattoo to insult Islam. Last week, the US army in Afghanistan desecrated the Al Quran and there has been a huge riot and deaths in response to this by the Afghans. Truly these Americans (Black or White) have no respect for others, so why do we have to bow to their arrogance? I respect the people here whether Chinese, Malay or Indians where we can live together and practice our faith with tolerance. The concert Organizer is to be blamed, too for not doing enough homework and background checks. The Star media is just doing their publicity job. This will be an eye opener for the entertainers at large to respect and obey the rules of other nations if they wish to perform here.

  7. WTF

    Oh come on… grow up people. It’s just a tattoo. You say it’s offensive. But to most of us out there, she’s showing her faith and love to her god. All they could do if it’s really a big issue, is to ask her to wear outfits with sleeves. No big deal.

  8. lmfao

    wow…a big fuss of a tattoo of the “ALLAH” word… maybe its her way to show her appreciation..who know…true Msia is an Islamic country and she should have done some research before coming down here..how every since everyone making a fuss about tattoo and Islam…what about the youngster around KL nowadays…most of the Malay youngsters having tattoo… i see them showing them off proudly…why hasn’t any action being taken…there are Malays aren’t they..isn’t it wrong???

    well everyone has their own opinion on this..
    make love not war :D

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