A controversial rapper from Malaysia has been detained by law enforcement and criminally charged over a music video that was deemed offensive to Muslims. If convicted, Wee Ming Chee – known by the stage name Namewee -- could be forced to spend up to two years in prison. Namewee was placed into police custody at the airport upon arriving from Taiwan. He has been charged with “injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class,” police chief Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said, adding that an investigation into the matter has been launched. The offending video, entitled “Oh My God!” (which can be viewed above), drew the ire of police for allegedly using footage of a Penang mosque, as well as for illicitly using the words “Allah” and “Mecca.” Namewee produced and directed the video for a Taiwan band that signs in Mandarin and Hokkien Chinese. Namewee had already been targeted by Malaysian authorities due to a 2007 video called “Negarakuku.” The name was interpreted as a play on words that equated the national anthem, Negaraku, with the Hokkien word for penis. Police considered charging Namewee with sedition but did not go through with it. The case has become the latest example of Malaysian authorities cracking down on those perceived to be rebelling against the Muslim faith. “Insulting or ridiculing” religion recently become illegal, and a 2014 court case resulted in an effective ban on non-Muslims using the word “Allah” in any capacity.

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