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Muslim K-pop fans face arrest for being hugged by K-pop band B1A4

January 15, 2015
A Malaysian fan is hugged by a member of K-pop band B1A4 during a Kuala Lumpur fan event. (YouTube capture)

A Malaysian fan is hugged by a member of K-pop band B1A4 during a Kuala Lumpur fan event. (Yonhap/YouTube screen capture)

Malaysian Muslim girls may face arrest following physical fan interactions with K-pop boy band B1A4 during a Kuala Lumpur event, Yonhap reported.

Malaysia’s Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department, or Jawi, said Wednesday the girls would be investigated for violation of public displays of affection in Sharia law and that it would give the girls one week to come forward, according to local media.

On Jan. 10, a fan meeting was held during a mini-concert during which the five members of B1A4 hugged, held hands with and kissed on the forehead a group of fan girls who came on stage wearing hijabs.

A video of the interactions later surfaced on YouTube, attracting criticism from those who say K-pop is influencing young Muslims to act against Islamic teachings.

“JAWI seeking arrest warrant against the young girls in K-pop? That would traumatize them for the rest of their lives,” tweeted Ambiga Sreenevasan, a human rights activist.

WM Entertainment, the band’s agency, said in an apology that the fans had been pre-selected and asked for permission before the event — in which members reenacted scenes from Korean dramas with fans — began.

WM said it plans overseas events with local promoters who understand local culture.

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