Some netizens interpreted a song uploaded in the story by RM as being against Islam, leading them to believe that RM has a phobia of religion!
Here is the full story!
1. What did RM do in the beginning?
RM has shared a song recommendation with his Instagram followers. In an Instagram Story posted in early August, he recommended Frank Ocean's 2012 song "Bad Religion".
The 30-year-old often shares music recommendations with his followers on the platform. The post is a simple yet effective way for RM to encourage his followers to listen to new music and expand their musical tastes. But ever since its initial release, the song has been surrounded by controversy.
2. Why did some Internet users accuse him of being an Islamophobe?
Most netizens only searched for the lines and lyrics of the song and what was said in it but did not search for its true meaning and the reason for publishing it. BTS RM faces a mixed reaction from Muslim fans over sharing a song that some have found problematic due to its lyrics. While the song has a double meaning and some fans seek to clarify its deeper meanings, others remain uncertain about its true message. Not long after this, RM made headlines as an "Islamophobe".
"BTS accused of insulting Islam" (BBC NEWS)
Many social media users posted pictures and videos of Namjoon burning it, and some even placed their feet on his pictures. They also demanded that he officially apologize for publishing the song and insulting more than a billion Muslims.
The fans of the Korean singer defended him, saying that the song did not mean insulting the Islamic religion.
The hashtag "Namjoon insults Islam" was launched, and those commenting on it demanded a boycott of "Namjoon" and the "BTS" group in general, after he published the song through his official accounts on social networking sites.
4. What does the song mean exactly, and does it mean to insult the religion of Islam?
"Bad Religion" is a song by Frank Ocean from his critically acclaimed album "Channel Orange." The song explores themes of unrequited love and societal pressures. It does not specifically target any particular religion or sexual orientation.
I wrote 'Channel Orange' in two weeks. The end product wasn't always that gritty, real-life depiction of the real struggle that happened.
In the song, Frank Ocean uses religious imagery and metaphors to describe his feelings of unrequited love. The lyrics touch upon the struggle he faces in expressing his emotions and the pain he experiences as a result. The phrase "Bad Religion" refers to the idea that his love for someone who does not reciprocate his feelings is like a misguided faith or devotion.
● In the lyrics mentioned from "Bad Religion," Frank Ocean includes the lines:
"He said, 'Allahu akbar'
I told him, 'Don't curse me'
'Bo Bo, you need prayer'
I guess it couldn't hurt me"
These lines reference religious phrases and prayers but do not specifically target Islam or insult the religion. The phrase "Allahu akbar" is an Arabic phrase that means "God is great" or "God is the greatest". In this context, it seems to be used as a metaphor or expression of the intensity of the emotions Frank Ocean is experiencing
When Frank Ocean responds with "Don't curse me," it suggests that he perceives the intensity of these emotions, perhaps even describing them as a curse or a burden. The line "Bo Bo, you need prayer" implies that someone is advising or suggesting that Frank Ocean should seek solace or assistance through prayer.
The overall sentiment of the song is about unrequited love and the emotional turmoil it brings. The use of religious imagery and metaphors adds depth to the emotions being conveyed but does not specifically target any particular religion or sexual orientation. It's important to understand that the interpretation of lyrics can vary, and listeners may have different perspectives on the meaning behind the words.
5. Is the "Bad Religion" singer an Islamophobic person?
Frank Ocean was raised Christian, including a brief time as a practicing Catholic. But why would he insult the Islamic religion?
Artists often draw inspiration from various sources, and their choice to reference a particular religion or belief system in their work may be influenced by personal experiences, cultural context, or thematic relevance.
Frank Ocean was telling his own story and experience in the song with a Muslim taxi driver. Frank Ocean feels burdened by a secret he's been keeping to himself. As he sits in the car, he starts to open up to the driver, feeling a sense of relief as he shares his thoughts and emotions.
When I was growing up, there was nobody in my family - not even my mother - who I could look to and be like, 'I know you've never said anything homophobic.' So, you know, you worry about people in the business who you've heard talk that way. Some of my heroes coming up talk recklessly like that.
In the song, Frank Ocean expresses his desire to finally confront and face the things he's been trying to avoid. He suggests driving on the streets as a way for him to have enough time to share everything with the driver. It seems like Frank is ready to open up about the things that have been weighing on him and hopes that this vulnerable moment will bring some resolution or peace.
Before Frank Ocean, is done telling the driver his story, the driver says, "allahu akbar" which is Arabic for "God is great" or "God is the greatest". The driver says this phrase to perhaps, stop Frank Ocean from continuing with his story. The driver probably had a notion of what Frank's story was and did not know any better way of helping him believing that any problem Frank Ocean has, can be overcome if he devotes himself to God.
I think we all change each other's paths. I don't know which law idea is in physics, but I don't think any of us can live without affecting one another.
So we conclude that many popular religions do not accept or acknowledge homosexuality, which could lead Frank Ocean to experience unbearable pain and anger if he begs a God who restricts his ability to love the way he wants to.
● Many YouTubers started blaming RM for supporting such a song while they were they thought it was against Islam :
● There were other videos that supported RM and interpreted the song in another way, which is that it does not support homosexuality and does not insult religion :
However there were a lot of videos with different meanings, but each one interprets it in his own way according to the way he understands it! Artistic expression often allows for metaphorical and symbolic representations, and lyrics can be open to multiple interpretations. It's important to approach such interpretations with an understanding that artists often explore themes and emotions using various creative devices, including religious imagery or references.
Some people focus more on sonics. Some people focus more on story. I focus on both sonics and story, but music sometimes, just music itself, can turn into more of a maths problem. I guess everything in life is a math problem, but it can be more about an empirical route to getting the symmetry that you want, and this vibe, sonically.
Overall, it's important to approach discussions about art and its relation to religion with sensitivity and an understanding of the artist's intentions, as well as the diverse interpretations and beliefs within different religious communities.
4. RM responds to Muslim ARMYs
OK, guys. I know what you’re talking about. You just keep telling me that I insulted a religion. But I didn’t. There was not any intention or purpose to insult a religion. I respect every beliefs and religions. That’s all I could say.”
However, RM denies any intention or purpose to insult any religion. He stated that he respect all beliefs and religions, and they claim that there was no intention or even a small fraction of their heart dedicated to insulting a religion.
“I know what’s going on on my Instagram. I can see. But I never … there was no such any purpose or like at least 1% of my heart to insult a religion, OK?”
RM also mentions being aware of what is happening on his Instagram account, implying that the accusations might be related to the story he posted on that platform.
he continued, shaking his head in frustration.
“Guys, it’s a song, OK? I’m not apologizing. I’m just saying. I have my own soul. I’m 30 years old. I can express my true thoughts. Please! The word is the word, it is what it is. Please believe my words from myself. Not just guessing, pretending and assuming, OK?”
The K-pop artist acknowledged that some individuals would still question the veracity of his story despite his honesty.
“But I just can’t lie! I just can’t lie to you!”
“I’m just being honest.”
“people will just keep chatting me about that,” and he “just can’t stand it right now.”
This sentence suggests that individuals will continue to engage in conversations or discussions about this topic.
“I just can’t bear it, I can’t deal with it. I just have to say it. If it’s me, just believe my own words,”
he pleaded before changing the subject.
5. Why was RM supporting Frank Ocean's song?
"We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to 'speak yourself.'”
In this sentence, the RM encourages everyone to take another step forward. They suggest that since they have already learned how to love themselves, it is now time for individuals to express their true selves confidently. The phrase "speak yourself" implies embracing one's identity and sharing it with others without fear or hesitation.
RM’s historical speech at the 73rd UN General Assembly for the launch of UNICEF’s “Generation Unlimited” initiative
"I would like to say one last thing.
"After releasing the “Love Yourself” albums and launching the “Love Myself” campaign, we started to hear remarkable stories from our fans all over the world, how our message helped them overcome their hardships in life and start loving themselves. These stories constantly remind us of our responsibility.
Here, BTS RM is referring to BTS's music album titled "Love Yourself" and their associated campaign called "Love Myself." They mention that after these releases, they began receiving inspiring stories from fans worldwide. These stories highlight how BTS's message of self-love and acceptance has positively impacted individuals, enabling them to overcome challenges and develop self-esteem.
"So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to “speak yourself.”
In this sentence, RM encourages everyone to take another step forward. They suggest that since they have already learned how to love themselves, it is now time for individuals to express their true selves confidently. The phrase "speak yourself" implies embracing one's identity and sharing it with others without fear or hesitation.
"I would like to ask all of you. What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat?
BTS RM poses two questions to the audience, asking for their names and what brings them excitement and passion. By doing so, they aim to engage the listeners and encourage self-reflection. These questions prompt individuals to consider their own identities and what drives them in life.
"Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice, and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, gender identity: speak for yourself.
"Find your name, find your voice by speaking for yourself.
RM encourages individuals to embrace their true selves and express their thoughts and ideas without fear of judgment or discrimination. He emphasizes that everyone's voice deserves to be heard, regardless of their background or identity.
And now we can relate, RM was supporting Frank Ocean's song because Frank was speaking himself, telling his story, his thoughts, and ideas.
● And one of Frank Ocean's fans said :
He did not care about the public's opinion when he expressed his truth, and I condemn him for that. He did something noble and courageous, and I aspire to do something similar to him. Although I am not homosexual, after listening and analyzing this song, I gained a whole new perspective on life. This song allowed me see the turmoil homosexuals face; the internal conflict they face with in themselves. A conflict in which no one can solve and something we can all relate to.
A fan of Frank Ocean
In the song, Frank Ocean uses religious imagery and metaphors to describe his feelings of unrequited love. The song's themes are more broadly about the complexities of love and personal struggles. RM was just supporting Frank Ocean's song for speaking himself in it. Let us know your thoughts on this sensitive issue in the comments below!