Katy Perry has angered Muslims with her new Dark Horse video. Members of the faith signed a Change.org petition, leading to YouTube making subtle changes to her video on their website. However, the petition was actually to have the video removed completely.
Fifty thousand people signed the petition, believing that Perry was blasphemous when she used an Islamic symbol in her video. It was not just the fact that she used a symbol representing Allah. She burned the symbol, according to the person starting the online petition.
Twenty-two year old Shazad Iqbal started the petition on Tuesday according to The Jerusalem Post and by Wednesday it had already received 50,000 signatures and spurred YouTube to do something. While the video website has remained quiet, Perry’s video was changed slightly to remove the symbol of the Islamic God. While the petition asked for the video to be removed, Iqbal saw the change as a win and thanked everyone for their support. Many of those who do not believe in the Islamic faith would not have realized there was a change if it wasn’t for the media.
In the Dark Horse video, the singer is portraying Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen. She is using her power to thwart those who stand against her and one of those is a man wearing the Islamic symbol. She turns the man into a pile of sand with the help of her power, which also destroys the symbol.
Perry’s actions in her Dark Horse video angered Muslims, who believe she is showing her opposition of their values. UK resident Nida Ahmed explained that burning the symbol, which spells the name of Allah, is disrespecting the religion. Another UK resident Bilal Khan expressed his disgust at the industry and not just the singer. He believes that music should not be about spreading hate of religions, but about spreading love.
Iqbal believes that the use of God for any religion would have been “distasteful.” The man from Bradford, Wes Yorkshire in the United Kingdom wanted people of all religions to sign the petition to stand up for all religious rights. Most of the signatures were from the United Kingdom, but there has also been a number from Muslim countries, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
One signer from South Africa, Faeezah Shaik commented on the petition to urge artists to think about their actions. Instead of trying to be controversial, artists should consider how their actions will affect the different communities and viewed in societies around the world.
Perry was raised as a Christian, but has since stated that while having a “deep connection” with God, she does not have an identification with a particular religion. She started her music career by singing Gospel music, but then moved into the mainstream industry, kick starting it with I Kissed a Girl. Since then, she has been criticized for her chosen portrayals of cultures, including the Japanese portrayal during her November American Music Award performance. However, this recent action has led to Perry angering the Muslim community and led to her Dark Horse video being changed by YouTube.
By Alexandria Ingham
The Jerusalem Post