Malaysian Muslim clerics seek ban on heavy metal music


Malaysian Muslim clerics Wednesday proposed a ban on heavy metal music to curb the rise of a "black metal" satanic cult among teenagers.

Clerics, or "muftis", meeting at a national conference in the northern state of Penang also called for a ban on pornographic materials, the Bernama news agency said.

Penang mufti Hassan Ahmad, who chaired the conference, was quoted as saying that the government must take stern measures to stop youths from being involved in undesirable activities.

A lack of religious education among Muslim parents, widespread entertainment outlets and easy access to pornographic video and magazines had contributed to youths' involvement in the black metal cult, he said.

"We want the government to also review approval to stage rock concerts to prevent spread of adverse influence on the young," he said.

The proposals would be submitted to the government through the Islamic Development Department, he added.

The government has embarked on a crackdown on the black metal cult, which uses heavy metal music to recruit teenagers and practises satanic rituals.

Last week school officials in some states began checking students to see if they sported tattoos or other signs they had joined the cult.

Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said over the weekend that foreign rock groups would have to submit videotapes of recent concerts before being given permission to perform.

His comments came amid a planned concert here Friday by German rock group Scorpions.

The Sun newspaper Wednesday said the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students has urged the government to ban the Scorpions from performing amid social and moral ills spread by heavy metal music.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for a special cabinet session on August 8 to discuss the involvement of youths in undesirable activities, including the black metal cult.