Monsta X rapper IM found himself embroiled in controversy after promotional images of a K-pop star dressed in a T-shirt adorned with an Islamic phrase went viral.
Over the weekend, social media users pointed out that one of the clothing combinations that IM wore in the announcement pictures for his upcoming solo project ‘Duality’ contained an Islamic phrase uttered by Muslims during prayer.
Several fans on Twitter expressed their disappointment, calling out the rapper, as well as his agency Starship Entertainment, for religious insensitivity. They added that the phrase, which is calibrated in Arabic on the T-shirt, should not be used for purely “aesthetic” purposes.
In the now deleted tweet, one user wrote:
Tw // Islamphobia.
for those who do not know that this bimilla is on top of it, it says “bismillahirahmanirahim” which means “In the name of God, the Merciful and the Compassionate.” and we say this before reading the Qur’an. it is not aesthetics, Muslims should not have Allahname either https://t.co/W8rWQFw95k pic.twitter.com/isnu5NEEDP – Fonfon – network clocks. (@ F0F0B3AR) February 14, 2021
im my bias in monsta xu, i’m so disappointed.
I just want to tell you that Arabic and Islam are two different things!
he is not a child, and stylist and changkyun are wrong, 2021. they should have sought the meaning of it, my religion is not for aesthetic purposes
– over. @ (@Chancechanseu) February 14, 2021
On February 15, Starship Entertainment removed all photos with a religious stamp from Monst X’s social media pages and sent an apology to the band’s official cafeteria. “We needed to take further action to ensure that there were no religious implications in advance on the photos of the concept and we are sorry that we were not able to fully examine them,” the statement said. “We deeply apologize to those who felt uncomfortable about our actions.”
Starship added that he would “make every effort to prevent a return. Again, we pay and sincerely apologize, ”trans SCMP.
IM is expected to officially make his solo debut this Friday (February 19th) with his digital mini album ‘Duality’. Last week, the rapper presented a list of songs that includes five self-written songs, including the lead single “God Damn”.
See complete information on the playlist below:
Monsta X released their third full-length album “Fatal Love” late last year. In 2020, the group released their “Fantasia X” EP and their first album in English “ALL ABOUT LUV”. The latter received an expanded edition, which included the bonus ‘IM Rap version’ of their Pitbull ‘Beside U’.