Lamb Of God has officially been denied a permit to stage a concert in Kuala Lumpur on September 28 because their shows have been deemed to infringe on the religious sensitivities and cultural values of Malaysian society.
The decision was reached today by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry at a meeting of the Central Committee On Applications for Filming and Performances by Foreign Artistes (Puspal).
Objections to the show were raised last month by the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (Jakim) because, according to the department, Lamb Of God’s style of music and lyric content is allegedly contrary to the teachings of the Quran.
Datuk Othman Mustapha, the director-general of Jakim, stated that Lamb Of God, whose original name was Burn The Priest, incorporate, “evil and anti-divine spiritual elements in its performance.”
Othman said the objection was in accordance with the decision of the Fatwa (Edicts) Committee and that the practices and acts of black metal groups were misguided and divergent to Islamic belief.
He argued that allowing heavy metal groups to perform in Malaysia would , “revive the black metal trend.”
Show organizers Livescape Sdn Bhd said the decision to cancel the show was made after the objections of Jakim and the safety of Lamb Of God were taken into consideration: “This difficult decision was made after thorough deliberation by us at Livescape and taking into account the objections raised by various groups as well as life threats made by certain irresponsible individuals towards the bandmembers,” Livescape said.
Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton issued the following response to the ban earlier today: “As widely reported, Lamb of God’s concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia scheduled for September 28th has been cancelled by the government who refused to issue a permit for the show even though the concert had been on sale and had sold over 1500 tickets.
“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. We would invite anyone offended by our music to engage in a discussion regarding the true motivations behind our work, especially before publicly slandering us based on assumptions and shallow misinterpretation.
“We sincerely apologize to our amazing fans in Malaysia for the cancellation. Many thanks to all who have spoken out in support of us through this.
“We will still be playing the shows scheduled in New Zealand, Australia, and Thailand. – Mark”