- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pop star Katy Perry’s newest music video has garnered more than just millions of views on YouTube: It also has prompted a online petition for its removal because of “its portrayal of blasphemy.”

Shazad Iqbal of Bradford, England, condemned the video for Miss Perry’s song “Dark Horse,” saying the image of a burning and disintegrating necklace bearing the Islamic name for God, “Allah,” warrants the its removal from the popular video website.

“Such goes to show, that blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry (who appears to be representing an opposition of God) engulfs the believer and the word God in flames,” Mr. Iqbal’s petition states.

“This is the reason for lodging the petition so that people from different walks of life, different religions and from different parts of the world, agree that the video promotes blasphemy, using the name of God in an irrelevant and distasteful manner would be considered inappropriate by any religion.”

By Tuesday afternoon, the petition had been electronically signed by more than 42,000 people, a number dwarfed by the 30 million views the video has garnered on YouTube since Feb. 20.

The video portrays Miss Perry as “Katy-Patra” in ancient Egypt meeting suitors in her bubble-gum pink temple complete with bright blue dancers and a talking Sphinx throne. The first suitor is a shirtless hunk wearing a golden cape with a bejeweled baseball hat and several large pendants around his neck, including the one that’s the target of the petition.

Unimpressed by the suitor but enticed by the enormous diamond he presents to her, Miss Perry zaps the man with an electric current, turning him to rose-colored sand.

“Dark Horse” is the third single off her new album “Prism.” The video was launched on Ms. Perry’s YouTube channel KatyPerryVEVO.

Ms. Perry has not made a statement about the petition.

YouTube did not respond to a request for comment. Its Community Guidelines state that staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day to determine whether they violate guidelines, such pornography, gratuitous violence or hate speech.

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