Hello everyone! I will be talking about the Malaysian b1a4 conflict in this article! There’s Muslim religion aspects in this so if you’re sensitive for whatever reason, please refrain from reading! Enjoy!
So B1af has caused quite a bit of controversy at their fan meeting in Malaysia. WM Entertainment and B1A4 have recently come under fire by netizens and officials in Malaysia for personal contact which occurred during a fan meeting on January 10. The controversy involves incidents where members of the group hugged, back hugged, and held hands with female audience members who were wearing hijabs (aka Muslim headdress). WM Entertainment addressed the situation through a Newsen on January 13. News outlet Enews reported and translated this statement: According to Enews the WM Entertainment representative stated, “We carried out an event in which five out of many fans were chosen to reenact scenes from dramas.” “For future fan meetings abroad, we will be more considerate and more cautious of the local culture, so we can all be able to enjoy it together.” The fans that were selected to interact with B1A4 were selected, in advance of the event. WM Entertainment acknowledged that some of the participants were Muslim and the host of the event requested their permission prior to the fan meeting.
So as some of you might wonder, why is the hugging and hand holding an issue? Well, apparently in Muslim faith you cannot hug and or have intimate contact with someone who isn’t a family member or your spouse. This only applies to the opposite sex, I believe… Though times have changed, Malaysia seems to have very strict Muslim law/ rule following. These religion ideologies seem to trace to the Mahram Muslims, but I’ve also read you can’t hug someone of the opposite gender no matter what you follow in Islam…
Back to the contact thing! So a hug, back hugs and hand holding with girls who follow this religion… is a no-no. Sure they signed permission, but for a cultural standpoint it was a bit of an upset. Malaysia has freedom of religion, for the most part. It guarantees freedom of religion but there are many ways Islam is privileged and some discrimination is practiced. So in short, this is a predominately Muslim/ Islamic country; clearly the company did not do their research. As K-pop continues to spread to countries such as Malaysia, maintaining cultural sensitivity has become more difficult. These women may be jailed for 6 months for violating Quran laws. WM better do something for these poor girls who just wanted to support their band!
There has been high Muslim sensitivity around the world in the past year or so. I’m just going to address some of the tension and racism. There are the religious extremists who commit acts of terrorism. Then there’s the rest who just follow the religion and don’t do such mean things. Actually, it applies to any religion. So the acts of 9/11 and the bombings and open fires by extremists… They are extremists who use the name of religion to justify something horrible are not good (insert religious following here) at all!
I read a bunch of comments about racism and offending of Muslims. Some were positive, others were not. Some comments said “Why listen to k-pop then?” or “get over it” or “you’re not special”. I think that’s so insensitive. Remember when CL’s song MTBD had as chant from the Quran, and they made a new version without it due to the offensiveness of devout Muslims? YG handled it by saying it was more of a creative vibing thing, they were sorry about offending anyone and they fixed it. Not all were offended; some Muslim followers thought it was kind of neat. But at least it was handled right!
All in all, I hope WM handles this right. It was honestly a mistake. I just hope they learn from it, and those girls will be spared. Even though WM said they’ll keep note and learn more culture about places they visit, what will happen to the girls? I hope they pay their bond or something! Let me know what you think in the comments below!
And remember, no hickies!