BH Discuss: Does CL’s “MTBD” disrespect the Qur’an and Muslim K-pop fans?
A huge row erupted recently on social media after the release of the performance music video of CL’s ‘MTBD’ from 2NE1’s new album. It erupted after fans began to notice that the samples used in the song may in fact be a recording of a boy reciting the Qur’an. This upset a massive number of Muslim K-pop fans as Islam teaches that the Qur’an is the sacred word of God. You can compare the two clips in this video:
There were (and still are) calls for YG to pull the song and album from release and re-release them without the offending sample. Many Muslim fans have dealt with this in an appropriate way but there has also been a large number of death threats and abuse directed towards CL personally because of the incident.
What do you think of the whole incident? Do you think the song should be pulled from release? Should YG make an apology or release a statement? Are people overreacting or is this a reasonable response to a serious offence?
Here are some factors to consider:
- CL is listed as neither the producer nor composer of this song – Teddy Park wrote and produced the music whereas CL co-wrote the lyrics. It’s likely that CL may not have been involved in the creation of the song until after the instrumental had already been recorded.
- Several countries with large Muslim populations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Dubai and Turkey are becoming important international markets for K-pop. In fact, 2NE1 already have a tour date scheduled for Malaysia.
- Less than 0.001% of the Korean population are Muslim (in 2007 the figure was around 35,000 people) and so a degree of lack of awareness of the religion might be understandable.
- Although this is debated, some Muslim scholars believe that music goes against the teachings of Islam. Obviously Muslim K-pop fans would not believe and/or follow this teaching but it could make this use of the Qur’an seem more disrespectful.
- Death threats are never acceptable and should always be condemned. The outpouring of aggressive and threatening abuse is not ok.
- Having said that, many, many Muslim fans are going about protesting this song in a very reasonable and even-handed way. One petition has over 8000 signatures while another has over 2000 signatures so far.