The photograph ignited criticism from some politicians and religious groups in Muslim-majority country when a newspaper published it to promote Badu’s show.
On the eve of the concert the Malaysia’s information minister announced that the concert that could not proceed because the painting on Badu shoulder was “an insult to Islam.”
Erykah Badu has responded saying, “It’s sad, because we traveled a long way,” but I’m totally understanding of (the minister’s) protection of the laws and its people. He doesn’t want anything to happen. I’m good with that.”
Badu, 41, said the photo was inspired by images from “The Holy Mountain,” a 1973 surrealist movie by Chilean-French filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.
“I think art is often misunderstood in the realm of religion, and it’s OK,” she said. “In America, it’s a lot different. Art is also misunderstood but it is not such a harsh gesture to promote the names of God. I am learning and understanding about Islam in other countries more as we travel.”
Police feared that if the concert went ahead, it could cause “various situations that may lead to social excitement, and quarrels may break out due to religious sensitivities,” the national news agency, Bernama, quoted the minister as saying.