It was not just a man being disintegrated along with his Arabic “Allah” necklace that sparked demands for youtube to remove Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. Shazad Iqbal’s petition, which had over 65 thousand signatures, also claimed Katy Perry was in opposition to God with her powers in the pop video.
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.
This is not just about whether an act of blasphemy was committed – I am inclined to agree with views that it was bling jewellery which no one realised was the word “Allah.”
Rather, a personal interpretation of a pop video that a woman was destroying a believer as a challenge to God. Rather than the story of a woman that was rather exacting on would be suitors; where dating her was like playing with magic. Watch out!
The lyrics of the song make that clear enough and the video takes it’s cue from them:
Make me your Aphrodite
Make me your one and only
But don’t make me your enemy, your enemy, your enemy
So you wanna play with magic
Boy, you should know what you’re falling for
Baby do you dare to do this?
Cause I’m coming at you like a dark horse
Are you ready for, ready for
A perfect storm, perfect storm
Cause once you’re mine, once you’re mine
There’s no going back
So while the video has been edited not to show the necklace anymore (see photo above) Iqbal has failed to have the video removed. Some questioned why as a Muslim he watched music videos like this:
There has been a mixed response to this discussion some For and some Against many people comment why was he watching the video in the first place? My answer
I’m a regular 22 year old I do watch music videos this particular one I didn’t watch it was brought to my attention and felt disgusted by it. Also even if I was a devout Muslim that shouldn’t be watching “sexed up videos” this does not take away the fact that the name of the Lord was used in an inappropriate, manner what do you expect us to not watch it and turn a blind eye? Unlikely.
Still, while there are bigger battles and issues out there a peaceful petition was used and responded to. That is at least preferable to intimidation and violence whether you consider offence to yourself deliberate or unintentional. The concern is distorting what art is trying to convey and censoring. The call was to ban rather than edit.
Iqbal is right though that Katy Perry does oppose his version of Allah, stating:
“I don’t believe in a heaven or a hell or an old man sitting on a throne. I believe in a higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable. Accountability is rare to find, especially with people like myself, because nobody wants to tell you something you don’t want to hear. I actually don’t trust people who start to turn on me because they get scared of telling me the truth. I’m not Buddhist, I’m not Hindu, I’m not Christian, but I still feel like I have a deep connection with God. I pray all the time—for self-control, for humility. There’s a lot of gratitude in it. Just saying ‘thank you’ sometimes is better than asking for things.”
To be more honest the Egyptian theme interested me more in the video. MTV on the Egyptology of the video:
“While there is clearly an amalgamation of other cultures and Egyptomania at play in the video (Is that a Viking ship in the opening? Spinning rims on the chariot?),” Creasman wrote to MTV News in an email, “Perry’s modern take on ancient Egypt is refreshing. With Perry’s star power and Juicy J’s beats, I expect enrollment in Egyptology classes will see a welcome surge this year.”
A surge in learning Egyptology rather than blasphemy allegations against artists would be more than welcome. Claiming art and story telling as against God is religious fundamentalism we all need to oppose.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog