Conservative campaigners in Malaysia are demanding Elton John cancel his upcoming concert in the country.
The singer is set to perform at the Genting Arena of Stars, a resort on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday, but he is facing fierce opposition from Muslim activists, who object to openly gay stars performing in Malaysia.
Nasruding Hassan Tantawi, head of the youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, tells AFP, "This concert must be canceled. Artists who are involved in gay and lesbian activities must not be allowed to perform in Malaysia, as they will promote the wrong values. . . . [We] demand that authorities cancel the immoral performance to protect our society from social degradation."
Homosexual activities are illegal in Malaysia, and gay pop star Adam Lambert also faced protests from religious groups in 2010, while a number of high-profile female artists, including Beyoncé, Fergie and Avril Lavigne, have previously come under fire for their saucy stage acts. Elton John faced down similar protests to perform his first-ever show in Malaysia last year.