PETALING JAYA, April 30 — Islamic preacher PU Syed Bakri recently branded boyband BTS as “demonic” in an Instagram post, sparking backlash from K-Pop fans and Muslims alike.
The 2015 winner of Pencetus Ummah was commenting on the recent news surrounding Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s plans to bring the top boyband in the world to Malaysia.
PU Syed made his statement along with a screenshot of a news article about Russian cities halting ticket sales for BTS’ concert film BTS World Tour: Love Yourself in Seoul on account of the film being “gay”.
“We’re an Islamic country, can we really invite these demons to come here?”
“Even Russia, a country of infidels, knows how to look after their people,” he wrote.
He added that BTS had no “values” to bring to Malaysians and that they could only lead people astray with their music.
“Educate the country’s next generation using religion,” he continued.
Kita Negara Islam, boleh nak jemput setan² ni dtg. Rusia Negara Kapir pun tahu nak jaga rakyat mereka. Maaf guna kalimah setan, sebab hanya setan yg mahu menyesatkan manusia. Kumpulan ini seperti itu juga. Nilai² apa yg hendak mereka bawa kecuali kesesatan. Yg menjemput kena berfikir cara agama, bukan sekodar logik akal semata². Didik pewaris negara ini dgn agama. PU Syed. #Cuit_cuitSiasahBersamaPUSyed
PU Syed’s post has attracted a wave of criticism with many saying that he had crossed the line with his language.
“I don’t care if you want to call them infidels or what, but isn’t calling them ‘demons’ too much?” wrote scenerylisha.
Another social media user with the handle _ibgnina said that although she was not a BTS fan, she found PU Syed’s words too cruel especially since he was a religious man.
“What you’re doing is embarrassing. Islam is a beautiful religion and (BTS) is still a creation of Allah SWT,” she wrote.
Fans of the "Boy With Luv singers also claimed that BTS were Palestine supporters, referencing member RM’s possession of a miniature version of Banksy’s pro-Palestine artwork.
“They respect Islam and they are conveying the ‘Free Palestine’ message.
“But this is the response of so-called Muslims? Calling them demons?” wrote adda.rosli.
namjoon talking about palestine is so important to so many of us around the world who weep with pain for our brothers and sisters and friends who have had to endure institutionalised cruelty & murder. my heart always beats for palestine. I’m proud of joon. pic.twitter.com/rJ7o0XbrPP— ☕️ san 🍪 (@rkivekim) February 20, 2019
PU Syed’s gripes about the popular boyband are timely as local artist Fahmi Reza recently posted satirical art depicting BTS as hardcore metalheads, referencing the growing concern of conservative Muslims on K-pop’s cultural influence on Malaysians.
Berita gembira untuk semua Malaysian #ARMYs!!! @SyedSaddiq dan Kementerian Belia & Sukan akan bawa masuk #BTS sempena Tahun Melawat Malaysia 2020 tahun depan!!! Harap-harap Majlis Gereja dan PAS tak pergi buat police report!!! #VisitMalaysia2020 pic.twitter.com/QujNxbZHPD— Fahmi Reza (@kuasasiswa) April 24, 2019
NOW AVAILABLE ON TWITTER pic.twitter.com/H0xONXeASt— Fahmi Reza (@kuasasiswa) April 28, 2019
While local "Armys," the moniker given to BTS fans, have been over the moon with the recent plans to bring the group over to Malaysia, others have been quick to express their disapproval.
Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki recently said that Syed Saddiq’s efforts to bring BTS to Malaysia would turn the country into a “laughing stock for lifting and copying a foreign culture.”
Malaysian actor Sharnaaz Ahmad also slammed Syed Saddiq for choosing to host a K-pop act in place of bands like Blink 182 and Metallica, a statement which eventually backfired when social media users began mocking his taste in music.