Monsta X's IM Uses Islamic Phrase on T-Shirt; Criticized for Hurting Muslims' Sentiments

Monsta X's IM has landed in a controversy for wearing a t-shirt with a religious phrase printed on it. A couple of photos related to his solo debut of mini-album Duality were unveiled recently. He sported the controversial dress with the Arabic phrase - Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (Meaning: In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).

Monsta X's IM
Monsta X's IM. IM Instagram

This artwork on the t-shirt did not go well with his Muslim fans who criticized him on social media sites for his religious insensitivity. It is the phrase recited by the followers of Islam in their daily prayers, during the preparation of halal food, etc.

Fans Angry over Monsta X's IM Ignorance

Many questioned Monsta X's IM ignorance. "i.m is my bias in monsta x, i'm so disappointed. i just want to tell you that Arabian languange & Islam are two different things! he's not a kid, both the stylist & changkyun are wrong, it's 2021 they should've searched the meaning of it, my religion is not for aesthetic purposes, [sic]" a user shared his displeasure over the controversy on Twitter.

Another netizen posted, "I love monsta x but this isnt it. Im so tired of this happening every other week. It's frowned upon for actual MUSLIMS to wear anything with God's name on it, let alone non-Muslims. This is one of the most important phrases in Islam and should not be used as decor by non muslims. [sic]"

Monsta X

However, the fans of IM came to his rescue and blamed the stylist for the blunder. He wrote: "I'm sorry that this happened to you but don't blame the artist just because the stylist told him what to wear. We've been sending email to the company so this will be resolved. [sic]"

Starship Entertainment Apologizes

Starship Entertainment, on behalf of IM, has given an apology for hurting the sentiments of Muslims. In a press release, it said: "We should have taken further measures to ensure there were no religious implications in the concept photos in advance and we regret not being able to scrutinise it fully. We deeply apologise to those who felt uncomfortable with our actions. We ensure you that we will make every effort to prevent a recurrence. Again, we pay and extend our sincere apologies".

Fans sent their displeasure directly to the agency through social media sites following which the controversial photos have been deleted from the official pages of Monsta X.

However, by the time the agency took the necessary action the pictures have spread all over the internet.

Duality will be out on 19 February. The album, which is the first solo release of the 25-year old since he joined the group in 2015, will be out on 19 February.