Malaysia bars US band’s show over Muslim criticism

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Muslim-majority Malaysia has barred a performance by American metal band Lamb of God after Islamic officials accused the Grammy-nominated group’s work of being blasphemous.

The band expressed frustration because it believed authorities had not studied the content and meaning of its songs carefully enough.

Lamb of God had been scheduled to perform at a concert hall in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, on Sept. 28. But the Communications and Multimedia Ministry said late Wednesday it would not issue a permit because the performance could infringe on Malaysia’s religious sensitivities and cultural values.

The decision comes after the government-run Department of Islamic Development last week said the group’s work could lead Muslims astray, partly because the band has been known to mix excerpts from the Quran, Islam’s holy book, with heavy metal music.

The band posted a statement on its Facebook page saying it would continue with other shows this month in New Zealand, Australia and Thailand.

“It is very evident (and a bit frustrating) that the groups, parties and powers that have taken the most offense to our music and lyrics, have themselves only made a passing glance at the content and meanings of those songs,” the statement said, adding that more than 1,500 tickets had been sold in Malaysia.

Lamb of God is the second prominent American act in less than two years to run afoul of Malaysian authorities for religious reasons. In February 2012, the government banned a show by R&B star Erykah Badu on the eve of her performance, saying a photo of her body art was offensive to Muslims.

Lamb of God, from Richmond, Virginia, has had three albums that reached the top ten of the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

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