• https://twitter.com/IgnisInvictus Ignis Invictus

    I’m just glad YG handled the issue well after the fact. They did not give excuses or explanations. They just recognized that there was a real concern and took action quietly.

  • Timea B

    The thing is nobody claims or accuses performers who come from a certain religious society when they use religious elements in their performances. There are tons of “world music” performers from various Muslim countries using religious prayers etc when performing. Once sy who is not from that religion does the same, people immediately call blasphemy and send death threats. Yeah I am sure you make a good religious person if you want to kill somebody for making references to a text in a lyrics. That’s surely what all religions teach, right? Hypocrysy that’s what it is. Calling for anending the lyrics is one thing but sending death threats in the name of whomever’s god is another. And you know you can see this world is really going towards self destruction when you see people throwing death threats over a song lyrics. Where is God’s claimed love and understanding?

  • https://twitter.com/IgnisInvictus Ignis Invictus

    “I mean, we would be just as offended if CL had used verses from the Bible, the Torah or the Vedas.”

    Verses in the bible have been used so many times in pop songs. A good example is Jay Chou’s In The Name of the Father, a hip hop Cpop song that not only uses as a title the Lord’s Prayer, it also recites a full prayer found in the Bible within the song and MV. Even during his live concerts, there are many things on the stage that borrows from Christianity like pictures of crosses and churches. My point is, NO, we would not be just as offended.

    I have no argument to make about the Quran as I am not Muslim and I don’t speak Arabic.

    • mangchi

      Yes, I’ve seen Muslims saying this about the use of Bible verses at least a few times, but as far as I can tell (I’m not Christian), most Christians don’t seem to consider it wrong to quote the Bible in popular music. Someone somewhere probably does, but for the most part, singers and rappers quote widely recognized Bible verses pretty frequently with no fuss. Actually, a lot of American Christians seem to approve of people injecting the Bible into everything they do, entertainment included.

  • iamjammmichi

    I believe that Muslims are the most sensitive people when it comes to religion. If a song, act, saying, or other media stuff that seems to be againts Islam, they always voiced out because Islam should be respected. I remember in one Asian Muslimcountry, Lady Gaga’s concert was suspended because many Muslims have rallied against it.
    Yes, Muslims also has their own music that only use the allowed instruments but the lyrics of the songs were not taken from the Qur’an because the words in Qur’an is so sacred. In MTBD’s case, many who heard it believed that they used a verse from Qur’an. What makes it worse is it was recited by a young boy.
    Islam means peace and it has no fault. But the Muslims who are the followers of Islam are only people who can do mistakes/evil acts that’s why I was not surprised if some of them have done death threats to CL. So, everyone should try to understand the situation and to them to not describe the Muslims as a whole.
    I have question/s, where did YG got that controversial part?

    • Amy

      WTF? Are you saying that Muslims are the only people who commit evil acts and that’s why it’s not surprising that CL/YG using a verse from the Qur’an is bringing about violence, because Muslims are involved??

      • iamjammmichi

        I’m not saying that Muslims are the ONLY people who do such acts. I am implying that Muslims as people can possibly do such acts. They are only humans. They are also ‘people’ who can commit evil like any other people with different religion. And so, because maybe of anger and feeling disrespected, others did death threats to CL.
        Did I say something bad about Muslims?

        I live in a Catholic country but I am a Muslim. I have friends who are also Muslims, Born Again Christian, Roman Catholics, Buddhists, etc. I know how it feels to be discriminated because of my religion by the society and media. But if there is one thing that I am proud of, it is being a Muslim.

        • bigmamat

          I don’t want to create a shit storm here but for right now people have every reason to fear fundamentalist Muslims. It appears you are aware of this yourself. Saying this doesn’t mean that people of other religions have not committed terrible acts in the name of their god in the past or even today. It’s just facing reality. There are Muslims that are willing to kill and cloak it in their religion. I firmly believe that some of these people are angry enough to kill without having religion as an excuse. That still doesn’t change the fact that there are Muslim leaders who are directly responsible for using Islam as a reason for violence. Just like in the U.S. where so many Christian fundamentalist churches are preaching politics from the pulpit. When people are hurting or feel threatened they turn to religion for answers. I believe it’s the religious community’s responsibility to police their own. Just like I believe it’s the responsibility of the non violent Christian community to educate and restrain their lunatic fringe, I think it’s also up to the non violent Muslim community to set an example and control the crazies in their group. I’m not religious in any way. Nor am I an expert on the Koran so there is absolutely no reason for me to argue religious dogma with a Muslim. Moderate Muslims are the only people with the knowledge and authority to change the hearts and minds of the more extreme factions in their faith.

          • Amy

            I don’t want to create a shit storm here but for right now people have every reason to fear fundamentalist Christians. It appears you are aware of this yourself. Saying this doesn’t mean that people of other religions have not committed terrible acts in the name of their god in the past or even today. It’s just facing reality. There are Christians that are willing to kill and cloak it in their religion. I firmly believe that some of these people are angry enough to kill without having religion as an excuse. That still doesn’t change the fact that there are Christian leaders who are directly responsible for using Christianity as a reason for violence. Just like in the U.S. where so many Muslim fundamentalist mosques are preaching politics from the pulpit. When people are hurting or feel threatened they turn to religion for answers. I believe it’s the religious community’s responsibility to police their own. Just like I believe it’s the responsibility of the non violent Muslim community to educate and restrain their lunatic fringe, I think it’s also up to the non violent Christian community to set an example and control the crazies in their group. I’m not religious in any way. Nor am I an expert on the Bible so there is absolutely no reason for me to argue religious dogma with a Christian. Moderate Christians are the only people with the knowledge and authority to change the hearts and minds of the more extreme factions in their faith.

          • Maiya

            O.o That is quite silly, you’ve misread 2 posts in a row now. Do try to calm yourself and read more carefully, as a mod you should show a better example than this.

          • taequila777

            I think she’s a genius.

          • Maiya

            I am glad for you, you have not wasted yet enough time on the Internet to know that that type of reply is overused and a ‘smart-ass kid’ type of reply. If only she was right it wouldnt have been that bad, but she misunderstood what bigmamat said.

          • bigmamat

            Thank you obviously you were not looking for a reason to get offended by my comment.

          • KrisMyStar

            You completely missed the point of his post. The original commenter was in no way trying to say that Christians are better or less violent than Muslims. He was only using Christianity as an example of another religion where its followers can become extremist and radical, to show that his post wasn’t intended to be a personal attack on the Muslim community.

          • Gaya_SB

            I personally think the mentions to Christianity were used to mask their admittedly islamophobic comments which were made apropos of nothing; I mean, the comment bigmamat responded to wasn’t talking about this at all.

            Amy’s response was just showing this: we’re calling her silly for saying that we should fear christian fundamentalists, but saying that we should fear muslim fundamentalists gets a more serious response? Shouldn’t we fear both equally? Why is one type of fundamentalist a legitimate concern and fearing another “missing the point?”

          • KrisMyStar

            Here’s the thing, I said she missed the point of the comment above. She viewed it as putting down Islam and elevating Christianity while ignoring everything in between. Besides, we’re calling her silly not for her opinion that we should fear Christian Fundamentalists but for the manner in which she presented her opinion. And so far, I really haven’t seen any serious comments directly responding to this fear of Muslim Fundamentalists so I’m not sure where you got that from.

          • Gaya_SB

            By “getting a more serious response” I really meant that it gets a pass; I agree, I could have worded that better.

            And I don’t see a problem with how Amy responded; as long as abusive language isn’t being used then it’s fine. If you or others don’t like the method of response, then fair enough, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

          • KrisMyStar

            I’m not trying to say here that she doesn’t have a valid point. In fact, no one has criticized her for her opinion in this whole thread. It’s just that her use of mimcry in this case didn’t really strengthen her argument in context of the whole conversation and seemed rather silly for someone who’s supposed to be a mod. And as for why those other guys seemingly get a pass, you should probably know by now that capitalizing on the mishap of a staff member is always going to be preferred over a serious discussion on religious fundamentalism.

          • Gaya_SB

            But it’s meant to be silly, to show how silly the original comment is.

          • bigmamat

            That’s because you don’t like me anyway Gaya and I’m fine with that. Now if you like to know how I feel about Christian extremism we can discuss that too. Because I am much more often directly effected by the ridiculous notions of extreme Christians than I am Muslims. I have a disdain for all religion. It doesn’t matter what brand. I also have very little actual respect for religious believers when they aren’t willing to accept the rights of non believers. The problem is that the extreme factions of these religions attempt to insert their beliefs into the day to day lives of everyone. Moderate believers have a greater responsibility to their own beliefs than to just separate themselves from the nuts.

          • Gaya_SB

            I don’t know you enough to like or not like you, I’m just not in agreement with a lot of your your comments.

            That said, you do make a valid point about Christian fundamentalists. I still believe your comment is Islamaphobic, but I apologise for not taking your remarks on Christian fundamentalism seriously enough.

          • bigmamat

            You just accused me of hiding a bias toward Christianity. I am hiding a bias toward Christianity but it’s not what you think. I despise the beliefs of fundamentalist Christians more than I do anyone else because I’m closer to them. Their fanaticism effects my day to day life much more often than any other religion. Their violence toward the community is more subtle and insidious than the overt acts of other groups. So there is my bias toward Christianity.

          • Gaya_SB

            It was more a case of having a stronger bias against Islam than Christianity.

          • bigmamat

            No it’s more like the other way around. I don’t really see violence from Islam as an extension of the religion. If Muslims, especially those in the middle east were not faced with so many economic and political challenges they wouldn’t need to use Islam as an excuse for violence. As far as I’m concerned if you live in a country as a refugee or one faced with 70% unemployment then you have every right to be pissed off regardless of your religion. If you are shut out of the political process and living under the thumb of a corrupt regime or dictator it doesn’t surprise me that young men turn violent. It also doesn’t surprise me that religious leaders are willing to exploit these conditions to incite violence. It’s unfortunate that man doesn’t seem to have learned much from his past mistakes. This isn’t a new story and it’s rather heartbreaking that as a group humanity hasn’t moved on from this kind of behavior.

          • Gaya_SB

            Wait which country are you talking about here?

          • bigmamat

            No country in particular. The middle east in general. I don’t want to actually get into the politics of the middle east because then we’d have to talk about so many things that are not only controversial but heartbreaking to me as well. Since I’m well aware of how large a role my own country has played in the politics of the region. I’m just saying that I’m sorry for us as a species. We are after all the only animal on the planet with a brain capable of rational thought and self awareness. Yet we continue to fight each other brutally for resources and power in order to maintain greater and greater comforts for ourselves. We are still greedy and don’t care who suffers in our greed. It doesn’t appear that this inclination in man will every change.

          • Gaya_SB

            … That is a massive generalisation about the Middle East you are making, especially with the 70% figure. I think it’s best for everyone’s sanity if we just leave this conversation here.

          • bigmamat

            I don’t remember which country has that kind of unemployment and it could be an older figure, and it may only have been for refugees. I’m just saying that it doesn’t matter what country when people begin to lose hope that their lives will be anything other than brutal and full of indignities they often turn violent. It’s the stuff revolutions are made of.

          • Gaya_SB

            Yes it does matter which country and what time — the middle east isn’t some homogenous blob suspended in time. And you’re also ignoring other muslim-inhabited countries in south and south east asia. Meanwhile, you express sympathy for these people who are suffering and use that to attack others for supposedly not doing enough to impress “outsiders” (AKA white westerners)

            I guess I was wrong about the islamaphobia — this is just blatant and wilful ignorance, which is way worse.

            That’s all I have to say on the matter, so again, let’s leave the conversation here.

          • bigmamat

            I understand that there are Muslims in other countries. Yes, I’m talking from an American perspective because that’s the one I know. That’s the only perspective I can take. It comes with a lot of shame and guilt. I understand there are Muslims all over the globe. Why are you being obtuse. I understand that the problems in the middle east are informed by religion but not actually related to it at all. It’s about power, resources and land. It’s about historical rivalries, imperialism and human greed. I understand all that. What you don’t understand is that a lot of people don’t understand all that, they are being informed by people who will exploit the religious aspect and use it to hurt all Muslims. It doesn’t do any good to tell someone that you don’t agree with a certain religious perspective when they are being indoctrinated in their own religious community to hate you.

          • bigmamat

            Thank you. You are right I was not saying that Muslims are inherently more violent. I was saying that it’s the responsibility of moderate religious people to address the more extreme members of their community.

          • iamjammmichi

            I think you should reread for 2-3 times the comments above and try to understand clearly. Then make an appropriate reply. You are the one who wrote the warning, right?

          • taequila777

            OMG, you’re effing brilliant.

          • Gaya_SB

            Why are we pushing all the responsibility onto Muslims? Not that Muslim community leaders around the world aren’t already doing anything about this, but interfaith dialogue is the way to go in fighting fundamentalism in all religions.

          • bigmamat

            Wow…so you actually get it. I just didn’t have the right words for it. Interfaith dialog that works for me. Is this true? Is it really true that moderates are fighting the extreme factions of their faith? Perhaps the process is so slow that those of us who are not involved do not see any progress.

          • Gaya_SB

            That could be the case. I don’t know how the media coverage on these things is in America.

          • bigmamat

            I think there is opposition but in my mind not loudly enough. I think religious people are hesitant to take on the more extreme in their communities. I’m sure there are multiple reasons. I think in some ways they are just as frightened of the extremists and their tactics as anyone. I also think it’s not easy to have a faith based belief and be certain of anything. It’s a lot easier to argue that the earth is round and 1 +1 equals 2 than it is to argue about religious texts written thousands of years ago and their meanings in the modern world. I’d like to see religion go away entirely but then I know I’m not going to live another thousand years.

        • Gaya_SB

          That makes sense, thanks for the clarification!

          • bigmamat

            Why don’t I just clarify then. I have a disdain for ALL religion. No need to go into why that would be an argument for my atheist beliefs and this isn’t what my comment was about. Out here on the internet and even other forms of public discourse you see religion discussed everywhere. As an American I am told that I have to respect people’s religious beliefs. It’s part of our constitution which every American is trained to revere and respect, it’s our law of the land. I follow the law even though I do not feel intellectually inclined to agree with people who believe in some unseen, unproven omnipresent god. That same constitution also gives me the right to not believe in anything. So that’s where I stand on religion.

            What we often see happen when some religious fanatic does something rude, violent, or just plain silly is a lot of excuses from the non crazy religious community. There are lots of people who will step up to defend their brand of whatever religion is in question. We don’t think like that, we don’t act like that, we don’t believe that, is what we always hear. When Muslims bomb marathons, when Christians kill abortion doctors everyone in the non crazy community is cocked and aimed at defending their own beliefs and attempting to separate themselves from the nut jobs. In my mind there is no separation. This attitude of backing away from the more extreme in their own religion has not done anything to curb the violence or extremism. It doesn’t convince me at all if you quote the Koran and tell me that it’s a peaceful book. I don’t care. I didn’t bomb anyone, I didn’t threaten anyone in the name of the Koran. Tell it to the guy who did. You have more in common with them than I do, you believe. I think religious extremism can be stopped eventually if moderates will step up to the plate, take on the responsibility to change the hearts and minds of extremists. Don’t give them space to corrupt your beliefs. Don’t look the other way and pretend it’s everyone’s problem. You have the ammunition to fight them in the arena of ideas.

          • Maiya

            English is not my native language and I still understood what they meant the first time without them having to clarify it.

    • guest

      “What makes it worse is it was recited by a young boy.”
      Can you please explain further? I don’t mean to offend anyone, I’m just being curious about this observation.

  • yuuki

    Firstly, i agree that different people has different views and i respect that so, i think CL who is not muslim neither has any knowledge about this religion should not use the context of holy book for comoditization of her product.
    However i believe your attempt to explain CL should not use is too biased.
    My mom is budhist n dad is hindu, SO i follow both religions. However i have plenty of times heard buddhists and hindu chants in a pop and hiphop music before. And no it does not offend me, us.
    You have clearly not researched enough to valid your points expect to the one which concerns your own religion. You are trying to provide an excuse somehow on why people were so raged over this although (thank god) you do seem to acknowledge that death threats cant be excused. I would have preferred you to completely write down from your view than trying to be critical with very little research that makes this article seem more of an excuse rather than explanation.

  • mxisluv

    Starting at the 3 minute mark of the Come Back Home video, you see a doppelganger version of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb described in the Book of Revelation in the Christian Bible, which says that paradise is virtual.

    Coincidence?

    • gulagula

      Can you elaborate more on this? I want to know more about it.

      • mxisluv

        I will try to write this as objectively as possible.

        This is the Christian version (Revelation 6): There are signs in the heavens. Moon turns in to blood, stars drop out of the heavens like figs (meteor shower). Christians are taken into REAL paradise (heaven), where saints are in white robes. This is the blessed hope. Believers are saved by the red blood of Christ. The prominent symbol of Christ is the cross. Christians with the holy spirit are a new creation. Heaven is consummation of the marriage feast, presided by the priest, with choice produce. This is eternal life.

        2NE1′s (PRODUCER’s DOPPELGANGER) version: There is a big moon at the back, and meteor shower – referring to the same event as in Revelation 6. People are duped into strange paradise, where 2NE1 dons black clothing. Virtual paradise is the false hope. Duped people are sliced by red paint spray cans. The prominent symbol of ____ are pyramids, covered eyes. Electronic devices are plugged into the brain. Destination is a feast. Attendees wear horns and the meal is presided by a woman in black robes, with grotesque produce. This is eternal death. Out comes the paint slicing people in half. Then a trolley of fire (hell). At 3:19 you see diners slumped at the table burning in fire, skulls (people were deceived through brainwashing into eternal death and damnation). Last scene people are in underground tunnel (those left behind are hiding in caves)

        I am so frustrated about this – it’s such a good song and now I don’t want to watch the MV :-(

        • gulagula

          Woah, that’s a deep analysis you have there. I did read few mv reviews but you’re the first to mention that they might as well revisioning the Marriage Supper of Lamb. /Since I’m not a Christian, this is a very much a new information about Bible/ Now the way I see it, it seems like this mv didn’t embrace the idea of the paradise/heaven for afterlife. Okay, now WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO A FULL ANALYSIS OF THIS MV?

          Hahahaha anyway, thank you. You did enlighten me in your explanation. Do you analyse other mv as well? I wish I could read them. Once again, thank you. :)

        • bigmamat

          Here’s where I get in trouble all the time with people on the internet. Koreans will put something controversial in a video that starts a debate. Then out come the apologists. They’ll say Koreans didn’t understand. They’ll say it’s a cultural thing they didn’t have any clue. I say, Koreans are some of the most educated people on the planet. They study their asses off and they study english and many of them go to western schools, actually about 70,000 a year come to the U.S. Koreans are not stupid. They are not complete cultural idiots that don’t know anything about other cultures, especially those in the entertainment industry that are not only educated but come into direct contact through their work with non Asians. I watch Korean movies a lot and have seen many references to certain types of western literature. They like Russian literature which makes sense to me, but that’s another conversation. We aren’t talking about the general public who make these videos. I think most of the images we see in these videos are not accidents. That would make Koreans completely clueless and I know they aren’t. I’m sure Koreans know plenty about Christianity. I think the figure is around 28% of Koreans who identify as Christian.

    • kiki

      I want you to please right a full article-comment on this!

      • mxisluv

        Thanks Kiki, Sugar-Sugar (?), and BigMamat,

        I started following K-Pop and Korean Dramas and Variety because in general the messages they put across are positive. There are a couple of strange videos on and off, but on the whole, they give good vibes at the end of a hectic working day.

        Religion tends to be sensitive topic to touch on, and it can rapidly blow out of proportion when discussed in an open forum. I am thankful that Seoulbeats wrote such an insightful topic on this video, and are taking the efforts to moderate.

        Take care – and if any of you reading this are Christians – please discern what goes into your daily media diet :-)

  • Amy

    I’m going to say this once: all discussion is welcome, as per usual. But the second I see anything inflammatory about Islam, or defense of your freaking K-pop idol taking precedent over respect of other people’s religions and freedom to practice their religions, or personal insults levied at the author, you WILL be banned and your comments WILL be removed.

    You have been warned.

    • maria maria

      Why did you removed my comment I didn’t insult anyone, it’s because I say the truth. Anyway it’s you who give a bad image of Islam and Muslims

  • The Green Witch

    Quran is held sacred by all Muslims period, not a majority of us. Words, darling.

    • kiki

      In every religion aren’t there people who practice their religion in different manners? Not all Christians have a close relationship with Jesus though they may have one, not all Muslims may hold the Quran as sacred to them as others do. Perspective, dear.

      • The Green Witch

        You’re talking practically, but I’m taking it theoritically. One of our fundamental Pillars of Faith includes our faith in Quran (there are six altogether), and that itself speaks volumes about how elevated its status is. Whether they practice it or not is another issue. (You see people not performing their prayers, but they say they are Muslims. Theory and practicals.)

        OP’s words MIGHT insinuate that Quran is not that important to some of its believers towards non-Muslims, and I don’t want that to happen because theoritically that is blasphemous. Better safe than sorry, I want non-Muslims to know the religion itself instead of what its believers do. Especially since the whole world judges us by what we do and not what we’re supposed to do– which is another can of worms that is actually something even Muslims should think about.

        I’m rambling. Ooops.

        • bigmamat

          No you actually said something quite appropriate. “Especially since the whole world judges us by what we do and not what we’re supposed to do– which is another can of worms that is actually something even Muslims should think about.” Yes that…

          Anyone who identifies with a particular group, religion or otherwise has a responsibility to police it’s own. If the perceptions of outsiders is going to change then the conversation within the group has to change.

          • Gaya_SB

            How about outsiders stop judging a whole group of people by the actions of a few instead of expecting this group, which consists of an immensely large variety of people, to somehow act in unison in a manner which appeases these outsiders, as though that is the most important thing to do?

          • bigmamat

            Outsiders don’t really care how any of you practice your religion as long as it doesn’t encroach on our lives. I’d be willing to bet there are plenty of outsiders who are even thankful for the support and charity of many religions. That’s fine too. The problem is that people don’t pay attention to these things until something bad happens or that group begins to insert their religious beliefs into the political realm. Then it’s like the old saying….the squeaky wheel gets more grease…of course then outsiders start paying attention.

          • Gaya_SB

            Well if the thoughts of outsiders matter so much, then it’s likely that the outsiders are the ones with the power; ergo they should be the ones to change for the betterment of society

          • bigmamat

            That would be nice if everyone were more rational to start with but we aren’t. It would make sense too if the outsiders were not also informed by some other religion that may even be at odds with the current offending party. Like I said before using religion as tool for political oppression is nothing new and it’s not inherently a Muslim trait, it’s just a human inclination.

          • The Green Witch

            Still not a free pass for outsiders to judge us based on ideology that they don’t know/don’t understand/don’t identify/won’t ever care with.

            Our Prophet has said once that Muslims will come as foreigners (the weird ones if I may say so, the Arabic word being “Ghurabaa”) and will leave as such too.

          • bigmamat

            Maybe not but don’t give insiders a free pass to corrupt your ideology that’s all I’m saying. If you don’t want to be misjudged then make sure that your proponents aren’t sending the wrong message. Outsiders should be forgiven in their ignorance but those in the know who deliberately twist your ideology should be dealt with more swiftly and harshly. After all they are the ones who are actually being disrespectful because they should know better.

  • Fatricia Fatlegs (Trish Okeke)

    Oh the Muslims strike again.

  • bchay26

    Religion and religious culture always brings about heat in popular culture, doesn’t it?

    I’m not particularly versed in the events that occurred, but from what I understand… a simple and heartfelt apology might work. Keyword: might.

    The fault has been committed and people have been hurt. I think it’s best to pacify the situation instead of fueling the fire. So YG, people are expecting some statements.

    I’m not going to try to place the religious mishaps of this in the forefront of my comment, but merely recognizing that people were offended by the usage of something they hold very dear. I have no authority or knowledge of this religion so I decided to take a more simple view on this issue.

  • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

    The death threats are horrible and inexcusable that’s for sure. I definitely think appropriating the Quran is offensive. But sending YG/CL death threats isn’t productive to anything nor is it something a decent human should do.

    HOWEVER, people who seem “legitimately concerned” for CL and YG’s safety are ridiculous. The ones typing those death threat comments are just overzealous K-pop fans same with anything. If you conflate the amount of damage a bunch of tween Muslim K-pop fans can do, to damage caused by Muslim political extremists or militants, then sorry — dice it how you want, but you’re definitely Islamophobic.

  • CJux

    “Though I do agree with freedom of speech and admire the creativity that comes from that freedom, I also agree that people deserve respect for what they identify themselves with.”

    I’m glad that you said this, because this pretty much reflects my opinion on anytime elements of religion and culture are used in music.

    People do have the right to feel offended if they feel that a certain artist is mocking their beliefs, or misusing their religion. I do like some Marilyn Manson songs, but I equally defend the right of Christians to be pissed off about him. The thing is, there is a difference between having the right of feeling offended and demanding something to be done about it because of one’s personal whims. No matter where you’re from or what you believe in, that behavior goes against freedom of expression itself. As a consumer, you have the right to choose to not support an artist that offends you (a right I use all the time with misogynist artists); I don’t think however you are entitled to the right of telling other people what to do nor how they should respect you. Demanding the song to be re-edited and issue an apology over it was, in my honest opinion, abusing of the artist’s right of freedom of expression, although I do understand why YG felt the need to do it.

    About your last question, my answer is: it depends on the situation. Most of the times I’m more a supporter of freedom of speech, no matter how dumbly one rips off another’s culture(s). As I’ve said before, there’s a difference between the right of feeling offended, or thinking this artist is a complete asshole and hoping he/she flops miserably, than demanding restrictions to be put on something just because you don’t like it.

    The only situation where I defend backlash against art (songs, movies, etc) and restrictions against artistic creativity, is when said art is objectively being used to promote hatred and violence against the other: hatred against people based on skin color/religion beliefs/ethnic background/etc. I do believe freedom of speech/expression ends the minute you abuse your right of it to try to end the rights of another.

    I must admit though, I do love it when elements of religion are thoughtfully used in songs provided with context, especially when used to stimulate thought-provocative reactions from the consumer. I’ve seen both verses of the Bible and verses of the Qur’an being used in anti-war songs, as a way to confront the dichotomy between a religion that should be about promoting love and a people who use it instead to promote war. And unfortunately, I’ve seen songs like these being met with insane backlash, even when the artist had no intent in criticizing the religion itself. People only see what they want to see, and most of the times, human beings are just interested in looking for another thing to hate on. Aren’t we just a lovely product of darwin evolution.

    But anyway, CL’s song seems to be neither the cases mentioned above. From what I understood, the Qur’an was used for merely decorative purposes, with no context, nor thoughtful creative intent behind its input. I think this case falls under the “cultural appropriation” discussions. I’m afraid I can’t care enough about the morality or legality of a cultural practice that has been going on for centuries since the even before the Sumerians (don’t get me wrong, I do believe cultures should be acknowledged and credited, I just don’t believe they should also be copyrighted based on a person’s birth certificate. If I want to year a yukata, I will wear a yukata. And the Japanese can wear all the fugly clothes of my country’s history for all I care), but I’ve seen Seoulbeats writers more than often confusing cultural appropriation with stereotyping. It’s not the same thing. A person doing squinty eyes to mock Asians is not appropriating Asian eyes, he/she is just engaging on malicious stereotyping. Same with the black face. Sometimes cultural appropriation – i.e. using elements of another’s culture, such as clothing, religion, art, etc. (I’m pretty sure these elements do not include genetics) – is used to promote stereotyping and to engage on discriminatory behavior, but regardless, “cultural appropriation” and “stereotyping” and two different things. I found it completely irrelevant to mention incidents of black face in K-pop in your article because it’s obvious that CL’s song had no intent to stereotype or mock the Muslims.

  • iamjammmichi

    CULTURE is different from RELIGION.

    • bigmamat

      No it isn’t it’s a piece of it…religion is part of the culture…

      • The Green Witch

        My opinion is that they are two different things.

        • bigmamat

          Perhaps you are correct by definition but in many societies religion informs culture.

      • iamjammmichi

        Okay. In Islam, which is a religion is different from Culture. A Muslim Arab, a Muslim Chinese, a Muslim American have the same one religion but they have different cultures. This is one misconception of most people that ‘religion is part of culture’ because in the first place it is not. [As far as I believe in Islam but I'm not sure in other religions]

        • Gaya_SB

          I really like this explanation

        • The Green Witch

          My comment about this disappeared lol, I probably shouldn’t comment on different devices. I hope @bigmamat sees this instead. My culture as a Malay is very much steeped in practices from Hinduism, Islam, people who came and invaded my lands over decades, and natives who doesn’t have any religion itself. Islam may have shaped a lot of my culture, but recent developments (coughohmalaysiawhycough) have indicated that there are plenty of practices that clashes horribly with my religion itself.

          So yes, like I said, my opinion is that my religion and my culture is inherently different. In fact, I was from a religious school 7 years ago and one entire chapter of our Islamic Studies textbook is all about differentiating culture and religion.

          This last part is nowhere near relevant, but I feel like it’s interesting to note. Malaysia has one problem when it comes non-Malays embracing Islam– the common misconception is that once you embrace Islam, you embrace Malay, especially since we’re very ~multi-cultural~. Angry family members are very against this; your roots are your roots and no way can/should you be a Malay just because you change your religion- you have to change names etc etc etc which is a cause of huge arguments when really it’s not compulsory, on a basic level. Your faith is what matters. Identify yourself as a Muslim, and that’s all that it should be.

          Done, that’s my take. I have a seminar on gastrointestinal tumors and I really shouldn’t be here now T____T

          • bigmamat

            Thanks very informative post about your personal experience. Please by all means learn all you can about the tumors. Study well and enjoy.

        • bigmamat

          Fine I concede. Perhaps we use the word “culture” to loosely. Just where I come from religion plays such a huge part in public discourse it’s hard to see the separation.

  • shannie4888

    I’m glad that YG removed the verse. The situation got completely out of hand. It was mind blogging that people would send death threats to defend their religion, when sending death threats is against their religion. Anyway, I’m sure it was a learning experience for YG because they always fail to do their research when they make music or borrow from another culture.

    Hopefully, this never happens again as more companies become culturally aware. I’m always terrified when it comes to religion (or politics) because it can bring out an ugly side of people.

  • Amanda Campanaro

    No one would have made half as big a deal if it had been the Bible taken out of context. Getting offended because someone borrowed a verse from a highly esteemed and respected artifact, religious, legal, or otherwise, is like getting offended because there are criminals who brake the law. I understand that Muslims” take this very seriously “…the Qur’an is seen as the legitimate word of God as sent down to prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) over a course of 25 years. It is law to many and held in high esteem by many others…” , and because CL probably is not Muslim, she therefore wouldn’t understand the meaning of the Qur’an to them.

    Did she embarrass herself? Yes. We can all agree that doing this was wrong. But wouldn’t it have been more shocking/offensive if a Muslim, who knows the Qur’an, had misused it? She clearly didn’t realize what she was doing. Those who are so outraged that you feel the need to wish death and/or ruin upon her, is that how you would react to an ignorant child who knocks over a prized vase from a shelf while playing?
    What CL did was wrong, but the outrageous reaction was even more wrong. Anyone who could react so strongly as to spew hatred upon an ignorant woman who did not mean to offend anyone is lacking in morals, in which case why are you even bothering to defend something you don’t respect? Would anyone react like this to a Muslim borrowing a Buddhist quotation, or a Jewish artist mocking a Catholic excerpt? This isn’t the first time sacred text has been used in music/entertainment, and it won’t be the last. Forgive, and move on.

  • happy_slip

    I didn’t even notice it. After several Muslims pointed it out, my final conclusion is that no one in YG knew it held significance at all as well. Obviously they had no intentions of offending Muslims and their religion; it didn’t even dominate the song, the part was small that it took over a week and a live performance of it for people to actually notice anything. Secondly, the confirmation of the verse itself was divided between Muslims at least at first — generally there are some who have heard something and there are others who did not. Thirdly, the sampled music sounded like your usual middle-eastern inspired melody that is so common in a lot of songs today. Were the people in YG (including a lot of fans) ignorant? Perhaps. But to say that they deliberately put the sample to offend Muslims? No.

    I won’t take away from Muslims their right to be offended. It’s a big part of who they are and if they feel that the people behind the song disrespected them then so be it.

    However, one thing that appalled me the most about this is the audacity of non fans (a lot of them who aren’t even Muslims) to use this as ammunition to continue and justify their hate for CL and YG. It’s fucking disgusting. To actually hate under the guise of “well she committed a blasphemous act” is more deliberate than what the group behind the song has done tbh. Using someone’s feelings, especially over a religious matter to put down someone…IDK, for a seemingly religious issue I wonder where these people’s “beliefs” have went the moment they started cursing CL to die. Let’s not even go to “well those threats aren’t real anyway” because those words have obviously affected the woman as well.

    I’m relieved that YG took down the questionable parts that is all. It’s a small part obviously not intentionally put there to propagate hate so in my opinion it’s best for people to move on and for YG to take this as a reminder to be careful of what they use in the future.

  • girlonfire111

    I’m not muslim and I can’t speak arabic so I don’t feel like I can state an opinion about the use ot not of Qu’ran on the song other than, if you’re going to incorporate something from a different culture, do your homework, research and make sure you’re not offending anyone. Christians might be ok with Lady Gaga’s “Judas” but muslims have shown again and again they are not ok with people messing with religious symbols and people should have learnt to respect that by now.

    Let’s just not use this mess as an excuse to hate on CL (like a lot of people have been doing). The girl gets enough shit as it is and I’m sure a lot of haters are adding fuel to the fire just to see her crash during her time at the spotlight.

  • Gaya_SB

    Great article Warda!

  • http://nasilemakandtehtarik.blogspot.com/ iszati

    I’m a Muslim, Islam is perfect but I am not. If I make a mistake, blame it on me, not on my religion.

    • Gaya_SB

      This comment is perfect.

  • Yoricka

    I understand that religion can be a touchy subject especially since I have never seen in my six or so months lurking on Seoulbeats such a scary warning at the top before the comments section but, does it truly have to be that way? After reading comments from all three sides of the argument of the offended, as Warda pointed out, here and back at good old Youtube, it truly saddened me to see the way that everyone was dealing with this issue.

    Now, I am not a Muslim and I will not claim to understand the serious way that they regard the Quran, but why is it that there is such a stand offish approach to dealing with this offense? I think another commenter already mentioned it below, but just because you are offended, does not mean that you can go around telling people to change what they did and not explain why such an act was offensive. This is the problem when religious or other groups get offended by an “outsiders” actions regarding what they believe; they think that it all threatens their beliefs. Instead of just telling people that they are wrong, you should try to understand that it may not have been in ill regard towards what you believe in. If it is then speak up about it, but if it is something like your holy text being included in a song where no one was even aware until it had to be point out in second intervals, it probably shouldn’t be a big deal to you

    I am only saying this because a lot of the comments expressed a deep hurt that a particular person felt because of how the Quran was used and then it was followed by: “and we don’t ever use the bible or other religious text in that way so you shouldn’t do it to us”. This just seems to push the idea that as long as you’re doing your holy duty, everyone should respect you and not disrespect your religion. BUT, we all know that this isn’t how it works in real life. And for a person of certain religion to want acceptance and understanding from others, they also have to learn to accept and understand the opposing points of view and the fact that some people are jerks but this does not accurately reflect everyone on the outside of that religion.

    It is always so tiring to get offended over people just being jerks or being ignorant and I would hope that CL, YGent, et al wouldn’t do this again as much as I would hope for people to stop feeling so victimized when they feel their religion is being “threatened” by others. As long as your faith is strong, what others say shouldn’t be such a big deal to you. People would be happier that way too, but it’s just my wishful thinking :-)

  • taequila777

    I would like to thank the author for a well researched and thought out article. Much more thorough then ones I’ve read on other K-pop sites. I’m Muslim myself and once I heard about this, I didn’t jump to conclusions, I tried to find proof myself. My initial response upon hearing it was it was distinctly Middle Eastern.

    Over at Asianjunkie there is a link that someone found of the actual boy reciting the Quran, and although the tone of his voice is similar to the one is CL’s song, it wasn’t conclusive, because I found a couple more that sound similar if not the same. I’m glad that YG has decided to edit the song and I’m hopeful an apology is coming soon, but my issue is the vitriol coming from alleged Muslims calling for CL to “go to Hell” and sending her death threats and other heinous insults.

    Islam means peace and Muslims and non-Muslims need to take a step back and exercise some critical thinking before becoming so reactionary, especially in this new age of social media. Once you hit send, it’s out there forever. I’m not excusing CL or the producers, because I don’t think they did it intentionally, or at least I hope not- but at least now they know, that religion is not something to play with. Trying to sound trendy and using a culture/religion that I’m assuming they know little about is proving itself costly. I love 2NE1′s new album and ironically “MTBD” is one of my favorite songs, but I’m hesitant now when I listen to it.

  • Hoya

    Com’on I can clearly hear the Quran OMG I’m muslim and I love kpop and respect Korea but I hope YG didn’t intended to do this to stir a problem like we respect them I hope they do the same so sad really

  • bigmamat

    You know I hate to be even more cynical than ever but could this have been deliberate? Could this very vague arabic sounding phrase been inserted to stir debate? Generate hits, create a mild controversy, see how much they could get away with? Draw in more international debate get more hits outside of Korea than in? This is YG right? It’s not like companies have not been accused of generating controversy as strategy. It’s also better for them if everyone focuses on the nutty people who made death threats instead of the inserted reference. Oh well, just a thought.

  • Chris

    Having read this article, I’m starting to believe that the Korean music industry is quite oblivious about offending particular parties. CL’s MTBD offended Muslims worldwide (some of them), Park Ji Yoon’s “Beep” made fun of the African American culture and Don Cornelius (http://seoulbeats.com/2014/02/park-ji-yoons-beep-another-poke-black-culture/), and some people even consider K-pop rap to be an insult to the original hip hop genre.

    So a question to you all, do you think that for the sake of more money and popularity, artists and producers are willing to poke fun at topics and areas that some people will consider sensitive?

  • http://faboomama.com Anika Malone

    As I said before, I think it’s all a wash. Using Arabic and/or Qur’anic verses in songs is so 40 years ago, that it comes off as trite in this day and age. I have rap & pop songs 20+ years old with people reciting suras. One of my favorite songs starts off with “Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem”. I’ve heard hadiths quoted and yes, Bible verses and the Torah too (Keep in mind those are also considered holy books for us).

    It doesn’t offend me at all. Crappy music offends me more. *turns off song* I’m sure there are Muslims who are offended and I’m not going to take that away from them. I would never tell them to get over it. Only an asshole would do something like that. You know, 99% of kpop fans.

    That being said, the non-Muslms who think their opinions on this matter? They need to STFU. Most of them are ignorant about religion/Islam anyway. Why do we need to hear their babblings?

  • my self

    I remember reading an interview in the Source Magazine when Kanye West and Jay-Z were promoting Watch The Throne. Both artist were question about the usage of religious moral beliefs that are present in songs like “No Church In The Wild.” They express that they did seek out religious theologian in order for the song to make sense and not seem wrongfully used even though it may still be offensive.

    If YG production team and CL are willing to use a quote from the Qur’an than they must understand what that quotes means and how it is relation to the song. I highly doubt YG wouldn’t use such prayer without the acknowledgment that it may offend someone. There is a level of social responsibility that YG, CL and Teddy Park must consider and to question when using religious sub-text and prayers as a sampler in their music. You can excuse such level of ignorance, YG is capable of understanding what the Qur’an prayer mean and avoid the controversy.

    There is no excuse to irresponsibility, if YG plans to go global and want to market themselves to a global audience, Than it is in their best interest to educate themselves on world religion and to understand cultural trends.

    It wasn’t right for disgruntle fans to issue death threats but YG, CL and Teddy are not naive and should have use the help of a religious adviser.

    For those who are using the Freedom of Speech as an example understand their is limitation to the amendment. Only the press has government protection when using Freedom of Speech but other form of speech are limited. YG is not a press but a corporation that under Freedom of Speech would fall guide lines that would limit to the type of content being express by their artist and in their company commercial advertisement.

    • https://twitter.com/IgnisInvictus Ignis Invictus

      “Only the press has government protection when using Freedom of Speech but other form of speech are limited.”

      I fell off my chair. LOL.