Culture House Daily

Let’s call a ban on Katy Perry. Why I’m siding with the mad mullahs.

27 February 2014

6:02 PM

27 February 2014

6:02 PM

Call me a fruitcake, but I am all for Islamic censorship when it comes to Katy Perry. In the last few days, there’s been a terrible fuss about Perry’s latest song, ‘Dark Horse’, because the video for it features an Arabic man wearing an ‘Allah’ pendant, who is burned alive. A bunch of angry Muslims, led by someone called Shazad Iqbal from Bradford, have campaigned against the video on the grounds that it was blasphemous. They launched a petition calling for the video to be removed from  YouTube, and got more than 60,000 signatures. The video has now been edited to remove the offensive pendant, and Shazad has declared a victory on behalf of the prophet. Sure enough, a secularist backlash is underway, and lots of people on Twitter are protesting about free expression and the dangers of giving in to mad Mullahs.

It may or may not be a disgusting PR stunt — I’m guessing it probably is. But have any of the people now standing up for Perry’s right to free expression actually listened to her songs?  I have, and in my opinion, Shazad did not go far enough. I’d like an outright ban on Katy Perry. Sod free speech, and never mind religion; Perry is profoundly offensive to everyone. I like rubbish pop more than the next man, but Perry’s songs are almost diabolically bad. ‘Dark Horse’, in particular, sounds like some sort of vile pastiche. I sometimes think that her producers are engaging in a smug joke, in which they produce ever more terrible music and see if they can get it to number one. Consider the lyrics. There’s ‘Firework’ (Opening line: ‘Have you ever felt like a plastic bag?’).  There’s ‘California Girls’ (‘I know a place where the grass is always greener’). Anyone who has ever been to a children’s birthday party and seen their progeny gyrating to the brain-sucking lilt of ‘Roar’ (see video above), as I have, should know what I mean.

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Show comments
  • Jack

    I’m new here, but is the Spectator really all so angry-white-man as this?

    • logdon

      As opposed to the even angrier brown men in the Guardian?

  • litesp33d

    There may or may not be reasons to like/dislike this song and video but whenever blasphemy is invoked not only should the people invoking it be laughed at loud and strong they also get a visit from plod to point out that there is no law against blasphemy in the UK and creating petitions like this are hate speech. And the dhimmitude shown by the video makers is another win for the perpetually offended followers of Islam.

  • confluente

    Two words: Ancient Aliens.

  • swatnan

    What if … what if Justin Bieber married Miley Cyrus? …
    I like the fiesty fun loving Katy.

  • Liz

    I like it.

  • paulstaines

    Longwinded clickbait.

  • bwims

    Back in the 1970s, a rag called “Gay News” published a foul poem about Jesus called “the love that dare not speak its name”. Mary Whitehouse took them to court for blasphemy and the poncey Left were outraged.

    If it’s ok to blaspheme against our established religion, I don’t give a damn for the sensibilities of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage. Nobody forced them to come here. The arrogance of these creatures knows no limits. Repatriation now!

    • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

      It was not a foul poem, it was a beautiful poem about a man trying to reconcile his homosexuality with his faith and using the language he had to try and understand the boundless love of Christ.

      That Ms Whitehouse was too thick to understand that is obvious. I remain eternal thankful she lived to see Queer As Folk on TV.

  • Barb Searle

    Sorry Freddy but why are You offended ? Reading this it just doesn’t make sense – you need to explain your outrage regarding the medallian .. there’s so much free expression about everything going on all the time, so why this in particular.. (or does it offend your faith?)

  • Peter Brown

    Her music might be ghastly but she has cracking

  • scampy1

    Why did these head bangers never issue a fatwa on Tony the phony Blair?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Ok, Freddy, you’re a fruitcake. I agree that she is awful though.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Why is her stuff supposed to be so bad. It sounds to me like all the other stuff. And I like the children jumping around. As for the man being burned to death by muslims, I’m sure we can see that every day if we ant to.

  • dalai guevara

    The show must go on, otherwise we’ll have to give them their money back.

  • GenJackRipper

    I don’t agree one bit. I’m as reactionary as you get, but I really liked the sound of Dark Horse. Alot better than most of the rubbish coming out nowadays.

  • Nick

    The “Sharia Community” in Britain is the “Dar al-Harb”. They are at war with the culture of Britain and the west, and desire you to submit and become part of the Dar al-Islam. You have submitted. Enjoy your subservient status. It will only get worse.

  • Heather Harrison

    Apologies for being just a tad fascist, but crap should be banned by the Taste Police

  • Noa

    Freddy, as one who has experienced islamic censorship, in Saudi Arabia, I would not wish anyone to experience it here. Sadly Shazad and his like are more likely to ensure its successful introduction in Britain than your humour is to maintain our traditional rights to freedom of thought and expression.

  • allymax bruce

    Ahh! Speccie getting chicken.

  • allymax bruce

    ‘Let’s call a ban on Katy Perry’
    Yes, please.

  • crosscop

    I hear Katy’s next song is going to be a re-working of an old Alexei Sale song – “Ullo Mo, Gotta New Martyr?”

    • Trapnel

      Bee Gees – Staying alive – more likely.

  • Will Scott

    I love controversies like this: outraged .vs. outraged in reaction

    I have to say that “Roar” is an excellent song for getting my 7&10yr olds to work off their energy before bed. And KP does look good in the leopardy suit thing.

    Looking for meaning (good or evil) in any of it would be like searching for eternal truths in a Duran Duran song – a fools errand. Taking offence, therefore, can only be the same.

  • Tanin

    It’s also historically inaccurate given that the video is set in ancient Egypt, when Allah hadn’t been invented yet.

    • gerontius

      The mere non-existence of your god is not a bar to blasphemy.

    • Vineet Kumar

      Allah existed long ago before he was crowned the One True God of the One True Religion. There’s no historic inaccuracy involved in it. It’s completely possible that a diety called allah was popular to some extent in Ancient Egypt even if it wasn’t recorded in history.

      • abeleehane

        It really doesn’t matter a bit if there is, was or will be a god named Allah. The offense-obsessed Muslims should have no say in the artistic expression of dancers/singers. They should grow a thicker skin, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

      • Tanin

        There’s no need for speculation. The history of religions is pretty well documented. The Allah character in the book Quran originates in polytheism and is based on Yahweh, the Jewish god of war, and a moon deity worshiped by nabataean tribes in what is now Saudi Arabia. The development and incorporation of the character in the book came much later than ancient Egypt. So, when you say “It’s completely possible that a diety called allah was popular to some extent in Ancient Egypt” I don’t know what you’re talking about. Horus? Montu? Sekhmet?

        • Vineet Kumar

          You seem to be making a couple of assumptions here. 1) the allah in the video is a reference to the quranic allah 2) there were no gods for the ancient egyptians other than the ones you know.
          Allah comes from Al Ilah, which stand for ‘the god’. Ilah is from the generic Semitic root word for god, the Hebrew correspondent of which would be Elohim.
          Allah’s possible origins as a moon god are irrelevant here.
          It is pure speculation that the allah in the video is referring to the islamic deity.
          Even if that is the case, Allah being a mythological figure, artists should have the same freedom to use his character like all other figures of religious mythologies.

  • artemis in france

    Freddy, aren’t you just being provocative? I hope so. Some things are too creepy to be joked about. It is shameful that thèse Islamic thugs have got their way.

  • David

    Katy Perry should not be banned because this is America and only when we go nuts do we ban stuff! And never do we ban blasphemy! As for a fatwa, the author of this piece should be visited by the police for threatening serious bodily harm against an American (whose songs I have never listened to). Decency be damned!

  • Wessex Man

    I wish I could be as talentless as young Katy and through my talentless warblings make the multimillions she has, leave her alone you miserable old fool and stand up for her right to arble away in the background!

  • City Blue

    Perry may be aesthetically void but I’m buggered if the Islamists can shut her down, First they came for Katy Perry…….

    • Jeff77450

      A very good point. “…and then they came for…”

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        Hannah Montana?

        • Jeff77450


  • Cornelius Bonkers

    NO, let’s not declare fatwas on anybody eh? I’m the first to mock democracy, religion and tyranny (although obviously not in equal measure). And Katy Perry is clearly a talentless and undiscriminating half-wit (wasn’t she married to that uber-oaf Russell Brand?). But to support – even mockingly – such a brutal and stupid reaction is unwarranted and dangerous. YOU GOT THIS ONE WRONG SO NOW PLEASE ADMIT IT?

  • Hexhamgeezer

    Getting angry at a bit of flim-flam from the likes of Perry shows a seriously unbalanced and dangerous attitude. As for her music, it isn’t aimed at the sharia compliant community (Spec writers, Jihadists, archbishops etc) and it most certainly is no threat to anyone and so should not be banned.

    • mikewaller

      I think that you get the guy’s psychology wrong; in reality, he is just an attention-seeking poseur to whom anything is fair game as long as (a) there is no personal risk to him; and (b) he gets another nano-second in the limelight.

    • Daniel Maris

      The Sharia-compliant community – I like it! And it’s rather large isn’t it?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Come now. This highlights the problem of absolute freedom of expression, once the natural birthright of every Englishman and now on licence by a bunch of gobby lefties. It is absolutely essential that the subversive elements now leading the narrative continue their Marcusean work of criminalising all objects of their disapproval, regardless of the convoluted and twisted hypocrisies or double standards involved. Of shutting down any and all who do not conform. How else can they build their new East Germany here?

      • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

        I can’t really tell if you’re taking the mick, but Britain has had blasphemy and obscenity laws for almost its entire history.

        • Colonel Mustard

          But not Twitter mobs, the braying, intimidatory Left or UAF.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            You’re just bitter about being on the losing side at the battle of Cable Street.

  • CraigStrachan

    You are a fruitcake.

  • Ricky Strong

    Thank you for moderating me. At least I now know where your publication stands.

    • GeeBee36_6

      I have all but given up posting. Every time I try, I get ‘your post is awaiting moderation’. Needless to say, they never subsequently appear. Anyone else experience this? It seems any post containing a proper noun or an adjective is flagged up then rejected.

      Free speech??!!