KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A Malaysian state has closed down a museum exhibition on ghosts, ghouls and supernatural beings after Islamic clerics claimed it was detrimental to Muslims’ faith, newspapers reported Saturday.
The exhibition at the state museum in southern Negeri Sembilan has drawn some 25,000 visitors since it opened March 10. But it has also attracted criticism from religious scholars who charged the show was un-Islamic and based in fantasy, the New Straits Times reported.
Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim also disapproved of the exhibition, saying it was not beneficial to the community.
But the museum has claimed its aim was to educate the public. The exhibition capitalized on widespread fascination in Malaysia with otherworldly creatures from local legends and mythology. Reports said artifacts on display included alleged vampire carcasses and a mythical phoenix bird.
The Negeri Sembilan state government decided to halt the show Friday after the National Fatwa Council ruled it was forbidden under Islam as it could undermine Muslims’ faith, The Star newspaper reported.
“We do not want all the controversy surrounding this exhibition to drag on further, so the best thing is to stop the show.”
What we have is an intolerant religion and censorship; we haven’t heard much complaining about martyrdom and killing for 72 virgins. We suppose that’s tolerable!