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Black Eyed Pea soup

“Muslims cannot attend. Non-Muslims can go and have fun.”

AN Information, Communication and Culture Ministry official on Guinness’s 25 Sept 2009 Arthur’s Day celebrations at Sunway Lagoon, where music group the Black Eyed Peas is due to perform. The ministry had set out conditions for the organisers, including one stating that Muslims were not allowed to attend the event.

Alcohol companies ordinarily would not have been permitted to organise such events; however, an exception was apparently made to boost tourism. No guidelines were issued on how such a prohibition would be enforced (Source: Muslims banned from attending brewery-backed Malaysia concert, AP as quoted in The Guardian, 27 Aug 2009)

“Are you a non-Muslim aged 18 years and above?”

Question posed to enter the Arthur’s Day website on the 25 Sept event at Sunway Lagoon. An answer in the negative would mean that access would be denied. The question was removed after the prohibition on Muslims attending the event was lifted, and changed to “Please enter your date of birth”. (Source: Concert ban for Malaysian Muslims, BBC, 27 Aug 2009)

“The event organisers are in for a nightmare to enforce the non-Muslim ruling. Are they going to check your ID before issuing the ticket or at entry? If it’s at point of sale, one could very well buy the ticket and pass it on to a Muslim. If it’s at entry, you are in for a long wait, not to mention frayed nerves.”

UK promoter Danny Person, wondering how the “no Muslims” condition would be enforced by event organisers. (Source: Nightmare in store for Black Eyed Peas show, The Malay Mail, 28 Aug 2009)

“It is totally up to the organiser and it is not right for any authority to bar people from entering the hall to enjoy the music or the show … We have no legal powers actually to bar people from attending functions. “

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, on the ministry’s reversal of the condition that Muslims were not allowed at the Arthur’s Day event. He said it was up to the individual’s “better judgement” to decide whether or not to attend, and that there was no problem as long as it was “a closed concert”. (Source: Arthur’s Day show open to all, The Star, 3 Sept 2009) Favicon

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