Pop star Madonna said she was being deliberately “ironic on stage” at a Washington concert when she referred to President Barack Obama as a “black Muslim”.
A video clip posted on YouTube by audience members at the Verizon Centre in downtown Washington captured the 54-year-old singer delivering a rousing, profanity-laced political speech about freedom during Monday’s show.
“It’s so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African-American in the White House... we have a black Muslim in the White House... it means there is hope in this country, and Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man,” Madonna said.
Obama, campaigning to be re-elected on November 6, is widely known to be a practising Christian. Responding to a media furore unleashed by the YouTube video, Madonna issued a statement saying her reference to Obama’s religion was facetious.
“I was being ironic on stage,” it said. “Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim - though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is.
“And what if he were? The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don’t care what religion Obama is - nor should anyone else in America.”
Since Obama’s first presidential run in 2008, fringe groups and a smattering of opponents have espoused rumours that he is secretly a Muslim, similar to persistent but unfounded assertions by some political foes that he was born outside the US.
Madonna has been outspoken in her support of the president, going so far as to rip off her shirt during recent concerts to reveal the word ‘OBAMA’ inked across her lower back.
During one of her Paris concerts in July, Madonna landed in hot water with France’s far right National Front Party after screening footage of party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika superimposed on her face. The National Front said it would sue.
What do you think of Madonna's stage slip this time? Was it another Freudian slip or a sophisticated post-ironical commentary on the times?
© 2021 Al Sidra Media LLC