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Page last updated at 14:24 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 15:24 UK

Concert ban for Malaysian Muslims

Black Eyed Peas perform in California - 9 August 2009
The Black Eyed Peas have been topping the hit charts this year

Malaysian Muslims will not be allowed to attend a concert in Kuala Lumpur next month by US hip-hop stars the Black Eyed Peas, officials say.

The ban is over the show's sponsorship by Irish beer giant Guinness, as part of its 250th anniversary celebrations.

Guinness will not be allowed to sell its famous black stout at the event or use its logo in publicity material.

Malaysia's majority Malays are subject to Islamic laws, while the large Chinese and Indian minorities are not.

The ban comes after an Islamic court sentenced a woman to be caned after she was caught drinking beer at a hotel bar, though the sentence is reportedly being reviewed.

The website for the Black Eyed Peas' event asks: "Are you a non-Muslim aged 18 years and above?", and bars access if the answer is no.

Muslims account for nearly 60% of Malaysia's 27 million people and are barred from consuming alcohol under Islamic laws.

Previous pop concerts, including one by the Black Eyed Peas in 2007, have been open to Muslims.

Officials at the Culture Ministry said the show would not normally have been approved because of the connection with alcohol, but ministers let it go ahead in the hope that it would boost tourism, says the BBC's Robin Brant in Kuala Lumpur.

Performances by other touring pop stars such as Beyonce, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne have faced opposition in Malaysia from conservative Muslims.



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