Whether she intended to or not, Katy Perry has many Muslims in an uproar with her newest music video.
So far, more than 50,000 Muslims from all over the world have signed the petition demanding the song be removed because of a scene in which a man wearing an Islamic necklace inscribed with the word “Allah” (the Islamic word for God) is scorched by lightning shooting from Perry’s fingertips.
The petition on Change.org was initiated by British native Shazad Iqbal, who said that the burning of the pendant was “blasphemous.”
In his preface to the petition, Iqbal writes, “Such goes to show, that blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry (who appears to be representing an opposition of God) engulfs the believer and the word God in flames.”
Iqbal adds: “Using the name of God is an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.”
Although most of the signatures to date on the petition have hailed from the U.K., citizens of other Muslim countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have entered the fray.
South African native Faeezah Shaik posted the comment: “Artists should consider the impact their ‘art’ would have on society and not just go ahead and do things for the sake of being controversial.”
Even more to the point was the comment from Birmingham, England resident Bilal Khan: “Music should be about spreading love not hate.”
In the big-budget Dark Horse video, which has more than 30 million views on YouTube, Perry pole-dances with bodyguards wearing giant cat heads and climbs atop a replica of an Egyptian pyramid.
Perry grew up in a devoutly Christian home – both her mother and father were Pentecostal ministers – and began her career singing gospel music before switching to pop.
In a recent interview with Marie Claire magazine, Perry claimed she currently has no connection with religion or an “old man sitting on a throne,” yet still holds “a deep connection with God.”
And the current contretemps isn’t the first time the 29-year-old singer has courted controversy.
Wasn’t it just last November that Perry was labelled a racist for her decision to dress like a Japanese geisha to perform her song Unconditionally at the American Music Awards?
Katy Perry is one pop star who knows how to keep her name in the news.