Islamic authority bans black metal
On January 23, 2006, the highest Islamic authority in Malaysia placed a ban on black metal – a rock music variant dominated by distorted guitars and occult imagery
“Followers of black metal could be prosecuted under Islamic law,” spokesman of the National Fatwa Council’s panel on Islamic affairs, professor Datuk Shukor Husin, was quoted as saying by the Malaysian state news agency Bernama. “It has been established that black metal practices are way against the syariat and every effort must be taken to stop its spread. Black metal culture is unacceptable for Muslims and can cause listeners to rebel against the the country’s prevailing religion,” he stated.
However, merely listening to black metal music is not wrong, the council chairman stated. He did not clarify the penalties for being a member of a black metal band, and also didn’t clarify whether it would be regarded an offense to attend black metal concerts.
According to the chairman, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) is now working with state religious departments to amend the syariah laws to give power to the departments to act against those engaging in black metal culture.
The National Fatwa Council is the body responsible for issuing religious edicts in Malaysia. The issue of black metal’s affect on the country’s mostly moderate Muslim population was brought to the public’s attention after a New Year’s Eve bust on a black metal concert in Kuala Lumpur at a club in Jalan Kelang Lama, resulting in hundreds of unlawful arrests for suspected drug use and other crimes. According to some sources, 380 people attending the concert were arrested.
Malaysia Star – 23 January 2006: