Malaysia Islamists object to Adam Lambert concert

Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:58am EDT
 
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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's Islamist opposition party on Monday demanded that authorities cancel a planned concert by U.S. glam rocker Adam Lambert that they say is promoting "gay culture" in the mainly Muslim country.

The Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has also threatened to call "as many of its members and supporters" to proselytize to concert-goers if the performance by the former "American Idol" runner-up goes ahead on Thursday, a party official said.

"Adam Lambert's shows... are outrageous, with lewd dancing and a gay performance that includes kissing male dancers, this is not good for people in our country," said PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hasan. Homosexual sex is a criminal offence in Malaysia.

PAS is Malaysia's second-largest political party with close to a million members and is a partner in a rainbow opposition grouping led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Foreign acts often draw protests from PAS, which since 2007 has campaigned against performances by singers including Beyonce, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and Mariah Carey.

Police in May broke up a demonstration by Islamists including PAS supporters protesting against a concert by U.S. rapper Pitbull, underscoring a deepening tide of Islamic conservatism in the country.

An official from Malaysia's Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry was reported saying that the singer, had signed a contract agreeing to abide by the Ministry's rules on performances, which can require foreign performers to tone down their acts to suit local sensibilities.

(Reporting by Razak Ahmad; Editing by Alex Richardson)