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Last Updated: Monday, 31 October 2005, 16:30 GMT
Madonna defends Kabbalah interest
The singer said her interest in the Kabbalah frightens people
Madonna has defended her interest in the mystical Jewish teachings of Kabbalah, saying media descriptions of it as a cult make her angry.

In a newspaper interview, the singer put all the attention down to a lack of understanding of the religion.

She told the New York Daily News it seemed it "would be less controversial if I joined the Nazi Party".

Madonna said she could relate to Tom Cruise, whose following of Scientology has attracted many column inches.

"If it makes Tom Cruise happy, I don't care if he prays to turtles," she said. "And I don't think anybody else should."

Directing career?

The newspaper interview with Madonna took place after a Kabbalah guru credited with persuading her to make a trip to Israel in 2004 was arrested for alleged extortion.

Madonna said the Kabbalah was "not hurting anybody" and she found it "very strange" that people questioned her following.

"It frightens people," Madonna said. "So they try to denigrate it or trivialise it so that it makes more sense.

"'What do you mean you study the Torah if you're not Jewish?' 'What do you mean you pray to God and wear sexy clothes? We don't understand this.'"

According to the Daily News, Madonna also said she was not interested in acting in films anymore but did add she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her husband Guy Ritchie by taking up directing.

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