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Malaysia: Muslims can’t watch “immoral” concerts

To protect the morals of society, the youth arm of Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS Youth) wants to ban the forthcoming Michael Learns to Rock reunion concert in Malaysia. This is the same group which banned the concerts of music stars Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani in Malaysia.

PAS Youth issued this statement in their website, the excerpts of which were translated by myAsylum

This concert is a big insult to Malaysia, and to Muslims that are observing the holy month of Ramadhan.

Firstly, Muslims are facing a month of religious observance, full of dignity and blessings. It should not be contaminated by a concert like this, that brings in a foreign group artiste who definitely has no sensitivity whatsoever towards the local community. Surely, this concert will make the community idle and careless, in fact damage their morals and character.

These types of concerts will not help motivate the people to become good citizens, with high morals and competitiveness, but instead will weaken their morals and mental strength, and at the same time will drag them down to drown in the turbulence of lust.

Jonathan Ong attacks the religious bigotry of PAS Youth

I urge my fellow Malaysians not to attack the religion but the religious bigotry of PAS Youth.

If PAS Youth feels that the concert is not suitable for Muslims, then the most reasonable and practical thing to do is to advise Muslims to simply not attend the event. They should be considerate that there are also other Malaysians who do not observe the Ramadhan and would love to see their favourite band live. Has PAS Youth forgotten that Malaysia is not 100% Muslim?

Niki Cheong admits having “sinned” for watching concerts in the past

Forgive me, for I have sinned.
I have two confessions. The first is worst than the second, in my eyes at least. PAS doesn’t seem to agree.
1. I actually like Michael Learns to Rock. I grew up listening to 25 Minutes, The Actor and Paint My Love. I even have their CDs. I know, I know … judge me now.
2. I’ve actually even gone to their concerts. Twice.
Well, if PAS Youth is right, then my #2 confession means that I have sinned. They have called for a ban of Michael Learns to Rock’s Eternity Tour 2009 in Genting Highlands
Then again, I’m not a Muslim but I am a Malaysian. It would appear that their contention is that the concert, if held, would be a major insult to Malaysia and Muslims observing Ramadhan.

Klews believes the concert is less insulting because it will be staged after fasting hours:

What makes it strange and inadequate was that instead of asking for a postponement of the concert, they are threatening to prevent the whole event by any means necessary.

True, they may stake a claim that it was inappropriate to have such an event during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. But it would do little harm, much less an insult, as the concert would be held after fasting hour

Prissy's Evil Lair disagrees with PAS Youth:

How the hell is MLTR threatening Muslim's dignity!? Wow. DUMB.

Twitter reactions to the proposed concert ban:

vernadium1: PAS Youth calls for ban on MLTR concert. Thank you for shoving our country back to the dinosaur age. Fucking pathetic.
meeshly: Why #PAS Youth hates #MLTR #2 – they're Danish, there4 they're evil… like butter cookies

Malaysian Muslims can’t also watch the Black Eyed Peas concert because the show is sponsored by an alcohol company. The concert promotion website asks visitors

“Are you a non-Muslim aged 18 years and above?” and if the response is no, access is not allowed.

Wong Chun Wai notes that the decision to ban Muslims from attending concerts is unprecedented in Malaysia

Black Eyed Peas is performing but wait – it's only for non-Muslims and naturally Muslim fans are fuming. The no Muslim decision is reportedly imposed by the Information, Communication and Culture Ministry.

Muslims, too, want to be there to enjoy the concert but that does not mean that they have to drink. They just want to have a good time, that's all. But the corporate world is playing safe now. Such”non-Muslims only” restriction is usually placed at Christian functions and meetings, especially for faith-healing sessions, but never for a concert. It's unprecedented but that's what the authorities want.

Coffee Conversations writes about the state of freedom in Malaysia

Here’s to our forefathers and the freedom fighters. We might be independent, but we are yet to be free.

The simplest form of joy, music is restricted to us. Numerous artistes surely had refused offers to perform in our country in frustration over the silly decency rule. Muslims are banned from attending certain concerts just because the sponsors happened to be in the alcohol industry.

A little mention of concert sends them into a berserk, no matter that the band is harmless Michael Learns to Rock.

11 comments

  • max weber

    wow! this article is very bias at its core.
    I can’t find any objectivity in this article as it published almost entirely the view of parties from non-Muslims side please bear in mind Islam is the official religion of the federation of Malaysia. So, to be fair and equal, it is imperative for the author to take into consideration the views of Muslims in Malaysia.

    I speak as a Malaysian and a Muslim and for me, it’s crucial to invoke Muslims perspective on the issue.
    Ramadhan is a holy month for Muslims and seriously, attending MLTR concerts and BEP concerts is not encouraged and may be deemed as disrespect of the Ramadhan and the religion itself. Although, I’m not as pious as one should be during the Ramadhan month, I believe that Muslims should strive to do good, abstained from sins especially during this month as the reward from Allah is great.

    • J. Kactuz

      So “doing good” means forcing Muslims and non-Muslims to follow Islamic precepts? There is nothing “fair” or “equal” about this.

      So discrimination against non-Muslims is obviously not an insult to Muslims and Ramadan, and Muslims must be forced to be pious.

      …talk about bias.

      • Matsuo

        It seems to me that it’s either their way or the highway… Well, at least Malaysia itself is an Islamic country.

        There are more worrying situations elsewhere in the world where some people are trying to force their way in democratic countries.

  • max weber

    it’s not forcing my fren.. unless it’s include the non-Muslims which is of course outside the realm of the issue.

    The matter is an issue of concerns with Islam and
    as a Muslims we obliged to follow the teaching of religion as in the Quran and Sunnah not only in spiritual aspect but also in other aspects also. Islam is a a way of life by which submit themselves to one God that is Allah by our conducts, intentions and practices wholly for Him the Almighty.
    So, in the month of Ramadhan the holiest month of all, all Muslims not only in Malaysia but the whole world abstained themselves not only eating, drinking, from sexual desires, not only during the day but also in the night also for Allah prescribed great rewards for those who perform prayers, reciting Quran etc

    So, attending MLTR or BEP concert during the month of Ramadhan is certainly an act of disrespect to the Ramadhan itself and also the God.

    • Philo

      To each his own. If to you attending a concert is “disrespectful” during the “holy” month why should others be forcibly prevented from attending through a ban?
      Aren’t all the months “holy” anyway? Aren’t we supposed to be good all the time?

  • Max Weber

    What I said earlier is based on Islamic perspectives and in Islam there are certain rules prescribed for Muslims which they should adhered to. I mean Islamic values.

    Being said that, Malaysia is still lax in this matter and most of the time, it’s not enforced strictly and it’s being done selectively. This is understandable because as Malaysia on the verge of modernization the way of thinking also change and we are losing some traditional values and religious values which defined each culture.

    Why Ramadhan is so special?

    “It was the month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed from on high as a guidance for humanity and a self-evident proof of that guidance, and as the standard by which to discern the true from the false.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185).

    Ramadan is a celebration of God’s guidance to humanity, through the Qur’an, which is a guide for doing good and a warning against evil.

    According to Hadis Qudsi, “And the most beloved thing with which My servant comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My servant keeps on coming closer to Me through performing extra righteous deeds till I love him. When I love him, I become the hearing with which he hears, seeing with which he sees, hands with he acts, and legs with which he walks; and if he asks of Me, I give him, and if he asks My protection, I protect him.”

    Yes, I agree with you. We must strive to be good at all times but, on this month, Muslims learn to control themselves and seek to develop their spiritual side.

    • Wow…. may be they should ban all the movies coming out too!! This have to be “holy” month yoh… We have to also unsubscribe Chanel V :) TOoO much skin here and there.

      Lets get to the point. Malaysia have been successfully on the top of the most laughed at country list.

      Firstly, PAS banned the concerts of music stars Beyonce, Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani in Malaysia.

      Secondly, caning ppl for drinking alcohol… lol. Thats another score point there. :D

      Wow, Malaysia gain credit points internationally!! Banning singers from coming to Malaysia. LOL!!
      People people… do not be angry for PAS is exceptional in the community. P = Partially, A = Average, and S = Slow. Partially Average and Slow. Therefore.. people… dont judge them too much.

      I admit… I have sinned.. I have Micheal Learns to Rock, Avril, Gwen CD and DVDs. I am officially going to hell…. owh man… save me!! Muahahaha!!

  • Hi,
    Thanks for mentioning my blog in your article (Stand Up for Malaysia!). I really appreciate it that this issue has received international attention.

    Cheers.

  • Kwan

    We’re actually the ones who have been tolerating and keeping our mouths shut all this while, we have been giving way all this while, this has been a culture for the non-bumiputera for ages…

    However, if our country would wanna achieve 1 Malaysia, let’s start by learning in small steps. Respecting and accepting others can be the simple first step that we can take. Do not impose your own rule and religion on others, perhaps?

  • Hariz

    I am a muslim but I don’t see why I can’t watch these concerts. I’m a big fan of MLTR. I’ve been listening to theirs songs since small. I don’t see what does the band have anything to do with religion. This is simply stupid. In my opinion,PAS are really shallow and a hell of a nuisance. I love Malaysia but sometimes I just wished that I was in some other country because of all this rules. Why can’t muslims just watch the concerts and simply have fun. It doesn’t have to involve drinking or anything immoral. Is watching some singers performing on stage wrong? I don’t think so. To my non-muslim friends,Islam isn’t actually a bad religion. Its just these people like PAS trying to take religion in their own hands and forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. Islam actually can’t be forced. People have the right to do whatever they want,just know the limits. I hope these people’s mindset change in the future,if not I’m out of this country.

  • End

    its just a song…a concert,dude!!!

    well,dont have to show to muslims then…let those people who are non-muslims get the special opportunity n enjoying those concerts…what so big deal about that?

    everything is about muslims n muslims….dont u tired of these annoying civilized act? u never care about other peoples feel….what a sick people…

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