US singer Katy Perry, who has hinted she will return to New Zealand later this year, has upset Muslims with what they say is "blasphemous" imagery in her new music video.
In the promo for her hit Dark Horse, the Roar singer plays an Egyptian queen who has the power to zap her subjects with lightning and turn them into sand.
She has offended Muslims by killing a man who is wearing a pendant which says Allah in Arabic. The jewellery item is also zapped.
Members of the Muslim community have criticised the video, calling it blasphemous and demanding for it be removed from YouTube. The video has more than 31 million hits.
A petition on Change.org, launched by Shazad Iqbal of the UK, says "This petition is lodged In (sic) regards to Katy Perry's music video Dark Horse... The video is considered as highly controversial to its viewers as a result of its portrayal of blasphemy.
"At 01:15 (minutes) into the video Dark Horse; a man is shown being burned, whilst wearing a pendant (also burned) forming the word Allah, which is the arabic (sic) word for God. Such goes to show, that blasphemy is clearly conveyed in the video, since Katy Perry (who appears to be representing an opposition of God) engulfs the believer and the word God in flames."
On Wednesday the petition had 44,119 signatures.
Perry today tweeted that she will include a New Zealand date as part of her The Prismatic World Tour after announcing shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. She last performed in Auckland in 2011.
And don't worry, New Zealand... I'm coming to see you kiwis too! Dates announced soon! 👊
— Katy Perry (@katyperry) February 25, 2014
The singer may also be a married woman when she arrives for her tour after reportedly setting a June wedding date with John Mayer.
Speculation is rife the pair are engaged after the 29-year-old was spotted on Valentine's Day wearing a band on her engagement finger and Grazia magazine reports they are hoping to tie the knot in a few months time.
According to the report Perry has asked her father, pastor Keith Hudson, to officiate the union.
Neither Perry or Mayer, 36, have publicly confirmed or denied the engagement rumours.
Perry divorced British comedian Russell Brand in 2012.
- Sydney Morning Herald