“We’re not apostates”: Malaysian Muslim K-pop fans denounce creation of ‘BTS Religion’ on Telegram

Malaysian fans of singers RM, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have defended themselves after being accused of abandoning Islam for BTS. — Picture from Instagram/bts.bighitofficial and Telegram
Malaysian fans of singers RM, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have defended themselves after being accused of abandoning Islam for BTS. — Picture from Instagram/bts.bighitofficial and Telegram

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PETALING JAYA, May 8 — Malaysian Muslim fans of K-pop superstars BTS have defended themselves on Twitter after they were accused of creating and joining an “Agama BTS (BTS Religion)” channel on Telegram.

Screenshots of the channel show an anonymous admin seemingly calling on Muslim fans to “stop praying five times a day” and to dedicate prayer times to watching BTS videos instead.

The messages, which are written in Indonesian, also outline “prayer rituals” involving lightsticks and posters while addressing the BTS members as “prophets.”

Fans of the septet, known as ARMYs, have taken to Twitter to denounce the stunt while relating the painful consequences that have been borne by those who were wrongly associated with the chat group.

One user, known as @infiresmayn, compiled anonymous accounts from Malaysian ARMYs on Twitter who talked about being ostracised from family and friends due to the “Agama BTS” fiasco.

“Because of one lie, I’ve lost friends, been accused of apostatising, and my dad has lost trust in me.

 “All of us are getting framed, some of us have even given up. In my eight years of being an ARMY, this is what’s disappointed me the most because no one will believe us,” said one Twitter user.

Another fan confessed that her mother nearly destroyed all her K-pop merchandise after finding out about the “Agama BTS” group.

“Because of this slander, all my K-pop merchandise was almost burnt and thrown away.

“I’ve been labelled as an apostate and my mum won’t believe me. I can’t stand it anymore,” she wrote.

 

A screenshot making its rounds online have shown that the “Agama BTS” channel was allegedly created by an anti-fan of the band who revelled in knowing that they had managed to wreak havoc in the lives of ARMYs.

 

The hashtag #staystrongMYarmy has since been trending on Twitter to show messages of support for local fans of the Boy With Luv singers, many of whom have been struggling to clear their name amongst their peers.