Malaysian officials have banned the Jimi Hendrix Experience’s 1967 album Axis: Bold As Love because they don't like the cover.
The album has been available for decades in Southeast Asian nation, but now censorship chiefs have threatened to seize any existing copies and punish dealers importing the release because the cover art features images resembling various forms of Hindu god Lord Vishnu, according to the Malay Mail.
An unnamed official at the Malaysian Home Ministry’s Publication Control and Quranic Text unit tells the publication, "We don’t care if Jimi Hendrix albums without cover art featuring Lord Vishnu come in, but if it uses Lord Vishnu’s image, then of course we won’t allow it. We’ll definitely take action against anything that violates religious sensitivities, whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism or Islam. We must respect each other."
According to UltimateClassicRock.com, the decision follows controversy at a book fair in March (14), when sales of a poster of the record’s cover art upset a Hindu group.
Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism in America, has saluted the Malaysian authorities for banning the artwork, telling Wenn, "No faith, large or small, should be ridiculed and the inappropriate use of Hinduism concepts and symbols is not Ok.
"The entertainment industry should not be in the business of trivialising Hindu deities, who are meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely on Cd covers."