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Malaysia terminates ‘un-Islamic’ vampire exhibition
By Ruth Elkins

Published: 15 April 2007
A Malaysian state has closed down an exhibition on ghosts, ghouls and supernatural beings after Islamic clerics declared it detrimental to Muslims’ faith.

The exhibition at the state museum capitalises on widespread fascination in Malaysia with other-worldly creatures from local mythology. Artefacts on display reportedly included alleged carcasses of vampires and a phoenix.

Abdul Shukor Husin, chairman of the fatwa council which advises the government on Islamic regulations, was quoted as saying: “We don’t want to promote a belief in tahyul [supernatural] and khurafat [superstition] which we do not know about. We do not need to focus on such things or play them up by having such exhibitions.” Some 60 per cent of the 26 million population are Muslims.

Last year, a three-month exhibition on “Mysteries, Genies, Ghosts and Coffins” drew tens of thousands of visitors to view, among other objects, a preserved mermaid, the shrivelled skeletal remains of a half-woman, half-snake, and a goblin in a bottle. Critics were divided between those who accused it of being un-Islamic and others who suggested the items could be fakes.


now, I know what you’re probably thinking – so what does something happening halfway around the world have to do with ME? Well, folks – this is one small step towards controlling the information that you and your kids are going to get to see in the next century.

allowing a religious group, ANY religious group to dictate what gets put into a public exhibition or museum is wrong. Yes, it may be distasteful to see that cross in a jar of urine or that huge chocolate Jesus but at least in North America you have the chance to just walk away and not look at it – not have the RELIGIOUS groups demand that it be torn down.

sure, it’s another country. But what’s happening over there can happen here if we allow religious extremists of any ilk to dictate public policy. This week it’s a harmless exhibit on vampires. Next week… who knows?

just something to chew on.


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