Islamist Group Calls For K-Pop Ban

A hardline Islamist group has demanded that the Malaysian government ban all Korean pop concerts in the country, insisting that the musical acts who sing K-pop encourage immoral behavior.

The claim was made in the wake of a meet-and-greet session after a concert by a Korean boy band. The Islamist group, Hizbut Tahrir, said that girls who met the members of the band were “molested” on stage.

Most reports seem to indicate that the girls shook hands with their idols and some may have received hugs. Even though the Muslim girls who attended the concerts wore head coverings, the group said they should be condemned for “interacting with the Korean artists on stage,” according to the Malay Mail.

The group laid the blame squarely on the sholders of the government, which was “instrumental in popularizing such events. Even the prime minister himself attended K-Pop concerts during Youth Day and Chinese New Year celebrations in 2012 and 2013,” according to the group’s statement.

Hizbut Tahrir isn’t the only Muslim organization to complain about K-pop. Another called Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia said that Korean pop artists are using their music to “covertly spread Christianity” since they think South Korea is a majority Christian country and all singers are “secretly church activists.”

TGM Events, which organized the concerts, denied that any molestation took place during the meet-and-greet. “As a company run primarily by women,” TGM said on its Facebook page, “we do not and never will condone molestation or sexual harrassment.”

A video of the event showing the Korean men embracing some of the fans was posted online with the caption “Malay girls molested on stage by K-pop artists last night.” As of Jan. 14, it had been shared 19,000 times and attracted more than 13,000 comments. TGM Events is required to report on the matter to officials of the Communications and Multimedia Ministry.