Namewee, stage name of Wee Meng Chee, was stopped at the airport in the capital yesterday after returning from a trip abroad. In the song "Oh My God" he used the word "Allah" and sounds similar to the Islamic call to prayer. The singer: "I did not mean to offend anyone but promote harmony between religions".
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A young Malaysian rapper and filmmaker was arrested for insulting Islam in one of his videos. Namewee, stage name of Wee Meng Chee, was stopped yesterday in Kuala Lumpur International Airport after returning from a trip abroad.
The charges relate to the video clip and the lyrics of a song, titled "Oh My God", that uses the word "allah" and ssounds similar to the Islamic call to prayer. In the pictures the rapper appears along with other singers, dressed in clothes of various religions, while singing inside a mosque and Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist temples.
Namewee had already received a complaint last July from radical Islamic groups. In response, the musician had posted a video on YouTube explaining that he has no intention of insulting religions and that the song was written "to promote harmony".
Malaysia is home to a moderate Islam, but in recent years the threat of fundamentalist fringes and the introduction of laws inspired by sharia have increased. On August 16 last year, the Immigration Department of the Malaysian government has issued a decree prohibiting non-Muslim domestic workers from working in Muslim homes.
In late June, the proposal to intoduce Sharia in Kelantan State sparked heated debate.
In January 2015, the Federal Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Catholic Church, which claimed the right to use the word "Allah" for non-Muslims.