(RNS) Nearly 60,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that YouTube take down a Katy Perry video they say is blasphemous and offensive to Muslims.

About 75 seconds into the video for the song “Dark Horse,” a Cleopatra-like Perry shoots a laser at a man dressed as a pharaoh but also wearing a pendant that says “Allah” in Arabic. Both the man and the Allah pendant disintegrate.

“Blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video,” reads the petition, started by 22-year-old Shazad Iqbal of Bradford, England, who suggests Perry sets herself up as an enemy of God by shooting the man with the Allah necklace. “We hope YouTube will remove the video.”

But some Muslims said the flap was much ado about nothing.

Zeyna Ahmed of Easton, Pa., a mother of four, including two teenage daughters who love Perry, never noticed the Allah pendent in the video.

“Muslims need to stop making a big deal about unimportant things,” Ahmed said. “With all the death and destruction in this world, especially in Muslim countries, Katy Perry’s video should be the last thing on our minds.”

The petition has attracted signatories from every continent, and while almost all are Muslims, a few have described themselves as Christians.

Some anti-Islamic bloggers pointed to the controversy as evidence that Muslims don’t believe in free speech and are intolerant. But Asma Afsaruddin, chair of the department of Near Eastern languages and cultures at Indiana University, said the number of Muslims who signed the petition was much less important than those who didn’t sign.

“Sixty thousand is a drop in the bucket compared to the 1.5 billion Muslims who have not signed, and most of whom probably don’t care,” said Afsaruddin. “For most Muslims, it’s not something to be concerned about.”

YS/MG END SACIRBEY

Video courtesy of KatyPerryVEVO via YouTube

18 Comments

    • Even as a Jesus believer, I would never want blasphemy codified. If I as a Jesus believer need to get over myself and I think I do. Then it’s okay for hard ass Muslims to get over themselves. I normally wouldn’t watch a Katy Perry video, but I’ll watch this one for freedom speech’s sake.

  1. Stupid video and a pointless song. But nevertheless, there is now reason to get worked up about. Like Max said “blasphemy is a victimless crime”.

    And it`s not really a crime at all. Religious people, especially Muslims, need to stop being so easilly offended. So there was a pendant with the word Allah on and she obliterated it. SO WHAT!?!

    Sure, it might be insensitive (altough in this case I don`t think it was), but being rude is not a crime.

  2. Although Asma Afsaruddin is probably right, most muslims don’t think this is something to be concerned about, they should be.

    I would like to see an end to all religion, and don’t wish to assist any in continuation. However until that happens, and I do feel it is inevitable, I would like to see and end to any violence done in the name of religious belief.

    The world watches as the extremist of many religions commit horrendous acts of violence against each other, and we collectively disapprove. However also noticed, with equal disapproval is the silence by the majority of those religions when such atrocities occur, By this acquiesces, they allow the extremists to be the most visible representation of their respective religions to the world.

    To me, I see this as a double edged sword. Violence in the name of religion is one of the many reasons I would love to see religion end, but at the same time, I believe it is one of the major forces driving people away from it. It makes it increasingly obvious to many that religion has no place in a moral society.

    The silence of the lambs while the wolves howl loudly only assists in the ultimate demise of this irrational belief system. So please, maintain your silence.

    Religion is poisonous!

  3. I would have more sympathy with this petition if the muslims in Pakistan and all muslim countries for that matter stopped persecuting christians.
    The denial of freedom of religion and freedom of religious thought and speech in muslim countries are far more important that some poxy pendant in some vacuous pop video.

  4. Silly question, isn’t the video copyrighted?

    I would think Ms. Perry’s lawyers would have more cause for getting the video pulled from Youtube than a bunch of PO’ed religious fanatics.

    • @Larry Huge numbers of YouTube videos are posted by the copyright owner, and advertising revenue is collected. Most modern artists post everything on YouTube, and the number of hits works as a proxy for measuring popularity, a sales tool (click here to buy), and a direct revenue source (from the ads).

      Appealing to the lawyers will only invoke laughter.

  5. @les,
    If you want to argue religion, fine. Bring it on.
    But the insistence that everyone else must respect the pictures in your imagination is the best argument against its truth.

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