Rihanna under fire after using Islamic lyrics in lingerie show
Her lingerie brand Savage x Fenty is usually overloaded with laudatory comments. Still, the label’s latest fashion show by Rihanna (32) is particularly critical. The choice to use a piece from an Islamic Hadith in a song causes anger on the internet.
Besides being a singer, Rihanna is nowadays mainly a successful businesswoman and designer. Her fashion brand Savage x Fenty – which specializes in lingerie for all shapes and sizes – is becoming increasingly popular.
Therefore, the label’s fashion shows are very popular online – more or less the new Victoria’s Secret fashion show, but with inclusive models. However, the latest show, which has been on display at Amazon Prime since last Friday, is causing a lot of resentment.
You can hear the song ‘Doom’ by the London producer Coucou Chloe in the show. It uses fragments from the Islamic Hadith. Those are traditions of the Prophet Muhammad. The texts are said to have been spoken by him and later put in writing by his followers. They are used by Muslims as guidelines and thus are very important in religion. The specific excerpt in the song is about doomsday and the end of time.
Therefore, it is raining indignant comments on social media about the use of the song in the lingerie show. “Rihanna’s show should have been a beacon for ‘inclusivity’, yet she alienated the Muslim community by disrespecting a quote from the Hadith. A perfect example of how fashion brands and the media have never seen us as part of their audience,” someone writes.
Another Twitterer then says: “I cannot allow Rihanna to try to appropriate Islam. In her first show, the models wore a scarf around their heads to make it look like a hijab. In her second show, she used a song that remixes a piece from the Hadith. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? My religion is not your aesthetic.” And also: “I feel that Islamophobia has become so common that people call us dramatic for being angry when our religion is not respected. The Hadith are holy words of the Prophet. They are used to guide Muslims and are the second most important after the Quran. Rihanna should know better.”
Moreover, the critics reject that the lyrics can be heard by chance in the music. “I think the person who made the song knew what he was doing. That is a very specific Hadith. You really have to look for it to find it. Without research, non-Muslims would not know it.”
Rihanna and Coucou Chloe have not yet commented on the controversy.