BTS’ RM has experienced both ends of the fan reception spectrum in recent weeks. During an August Weverse livestream, RM confirmed that BTS will ends its hiatus and “be joining together again” in 2025. BTS Army were predictably thrilled. But, around the same time, RM faced backlash for posting Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange track “Bad Religion” to his Instagram Story because some felt it perpetuated Islamophobia.
On Wednesday, August 30, RM defended himself during yet another Weverse livestream (as captured by several fan accounts).
“OK, guys, I know what you’re talking about,” RM said. “You just keep telling me that I insulted a religion. But I didn’t. There was not any intention or purpose to insult a religion. I respect every beliefs and religions. That’s all I could say. So, please don’t — I know what’s going on in my Instagram. I can see, but I never — there was no such any purpose or, like, at least one percent of my heart or intention to insult a religion, OK?”
TELL THEM JOONIE, I LOVE HIM SM,RM ON WEVERSE IS ON FIRE
#RM was no any intent,or purpose to insult a religion.I respect evry beliefs&religion,It’s just a Song.
Kim Namjoon addresses the song “Bad Religion” by Frank Ocean on his Ig
OUR FOREVER ARTIST NAMJOON#방탄소년단RM pic.twitter.com/gT2teHNHO6
— annanicole19/HalfGoddessHalfHell (@annanicole8888) August 30, 2023
Per Billboard, RM continued, “Guys, it’s a song, OK? I’m not apologizing. I’m just saying. I have my own soul. I’m 30 years old. I can express my true thoughts. Please! The word is the word. It is what it is. Please believe my words from myself. Not just guessing, pretending and assuming, OK?”
In the chorus of “Bad Religion,” Ocean sings, “He said, ‘Allahu Akbar’ / I told him, ‘Don’t curse me’ / ‘But boy, you need prayer’ / I guess it couldn’t hurt me / If it brings me to my knees / It’s a bad religion.”
In 2017, CNN contextualized the meaning of “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is greater,” as “a powerful declaration used by Muslims on many occasions and in many prayers.”