Malaysian rapper arrested for allegation of insulting Islam

In a music video produced by the popular Malaysian Rapper Namewee, five non Muslim characters were seen uttering the word Allah (God). Also a scene in a song was supposed to be in front of a mosque. This was enough for him to be nabbed from the airport as he returned to the country from a foreign trip and put in jail.

The musician, whose real name is Wee Meng Chee, 33, was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport yesterday after returning from an overseas trip.

He was brought to Penang late last night and taken to the Penang courthouse this morning. The singer-songwriter is being investigated under Section 295 of the Penal Code for defiling a place of worship with intention to insult the religion. The section carries a jail term of up to two years, or a fine or both, upon conviction. Assistant court registrar Ahmad Tajudin Zaini granted a four-day remand, which ends on August 25. Several religious groups had previously lodged police reports against Wee over his music video, claiming that it insulted Islam.

Namewee - Getty images

Namewee – Getty images

Representatives for a selection of NGOs and local religious groups reportedly lodged complaints about the singer in response to the song. A representative for the group of NGOs told the BBC: “We had lodged the report based on five characters that were used in the music video which had…uttered the word ‘Allah’.”

In the song, the rapper mentions “Allah” as well as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary and uses words such as “Hallelujah”. In 2013, a Malaysian court ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word ‘Allah’ and it must be exclusive to Muslims.

On Monday, Namewee posted a statement, written in Chinese, to his Facebook page where he defended his song and music video.

“I wrote ‘Oh My God’ to promote religious harmony out of goodwill, the purpose is clear. I did no wrong […] this is my homeland,” he wrote.

It seems the law in Malaysia seems to think the patent for the Arabic word Allah is with the Muslims. Actually Allah in Arabic is only a general term for god used by all religious followers. Now Arabic speaking Christians and Jews might have to find a new word for their god !

Many feel atheists should respect beliefs of theists. If you start respecting such irrational views, then each and every country will be like Malaysia with such stupid laws.

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