Rihanna has issued an apology to the Muslim community after receiving backlash for using holy Islamic verses in a song performed at her fashion show.
The 32-year-old singer’s star-studded Savage X Fenty fashion show debuted on Amazon Prime on Oct. 2 and won praise for its inclusiveness, featuring models of different sizes, races and genders.
But after the praise comes the criticism. Viewers were offended by a part of the show in which lingerie-clad models danced to a song that sampled the audio of someone reading the Hadith, the holy account of the Prophet Muhammad who is deeply revered by the community Muslim.
“I would like to thank the Muslim community for reporting a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our wild x fenty show,” Rihanna wrote in an October 6 Instagram Story. “I would like to more importantly apologize to you for this honest but careless mistake. We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I am incredibly heartbroken!
She continued, “I don’t perform with any disrespect to God or any religion and so the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! In the future, we will ensure that nothing like this happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding.
The apology comes after a flurry of tweets called out Rihanna and London producer Coucou Chloe, whose song “DOOM” features the controversial hadith narration about the end times and Judgment Day.
“Rihanna is upset that she used a song with a hadith to play on her LINGERIE show. What’s going on with artists who use Islam as an aesthetic?? Have some respect” wrote a Twitter user.
Another one wrote“Using Islamic hadith as background music is disrespectful in many ways. Honestly, I’ve always loved @rihanna’s sense of diversity and inclusion in all of her branding, but how can you preach inclusivity when you’ve just disrespected an entire religion?”
On Monday, producer Coucou Chloe addressed the criticism on her Twitter, writing “I would like to deeply apologize for the offense caused by the vocal samples used in my song ‘DOOM’.”
“I take full responsibility for the fact that I did not research these words properly and I want to thank those of you who took the time to explain this to me,” Coucou Chole added. She promised to have the song “urgently removed from all streaming platforms”.