Katy Perry’s music video for her song “Dark Horse” is set in a fantastical world that is part ancient Egypt, part candy-colored and bejeweled dream world. It features Perry as a powerful ruler with a taste for things that sparkle, and with the power to make men literally disintegrate before her eyes.
More controversially, it also features – or used to feature – a scene in which a symbol representing the Muslim God, Allah, is burned.
The detail sparked harsh reactions and outrage from the international Muslim community, who felt that their God was being blatantly disrespected.
In the video, a man wearing the religious symbol around his neck approaches Perry. When Perry zaps the man into a pile of sand, his pendant, too, is demolished.
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In response, a petition was launched on Change.org urging Youtube to remove the video. The petition urged supporters of not only Islam, but of other religions too, to ask Youtube to remove what it deemed the “blasphemous” video.
“At 01:15 into the video Dark Horse; a man is shown being burned, whilst wearing a pendant (also burned) forming the word ‘Allah,’ which is the Arabic word for God,” notes the online petition.
On Wednesday, the petition reached 50,000 signatures, and Youtube responded by quietly editing the offensive clip out of the video.
“Using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion,” wrote 22-year-old Shazad Iqbah, who created the petition.
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Iqbal posted on Wednesday that the effort was a success.
“I’m thrilled to let you all know the name of Allah has been removed from the ‘Dark Horse’ video we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support so I thank each and every one of you deeply, our voices have been heard! God bless you all,” wrote Iqbal.
Neither Youtube’s nor Perry’s representatives responded to the controversy.
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