JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - New Korean comedy-drama Man Who Dies To Live has caused an uproar among netizens who have accused it of misusing Islamic values and portraying a false image of Muslims in its scenes.
According to yonhapnews.co.kr, the drama, which has been broadcast on MBC TV since July 19, tells the story of Jang Dal Goo who travels to a fictional country in the Middle East, gets rich, receives a "count" title and then becomes a citizen under the name of Saeed Fahd Ali.
He later returns to Korea to reunite with his long-lost daughter and her husband.
The actor who plays the main character of Jang, Choi Min Soo, appears as a stereotypical Arab man by wearing thawb, headscarf and black robe.
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In one scene, Saeed Fahd Ali is greeted by women wearing revealing swimsuits and donning hijab near a swimming pool. There is also a scene in which Saeed Fahd Ali drinks wine for breakfast.
In one of the drama's promotional posters, Saeed Fahd Ali poses in front of an open book that looks like a Quran, with his foot raised beside the book.
"That drama is sharing the wrong image of Islam and Muslims in general. It's a total piece of garbage," wrote Twitter user @mayssemgh, who also created a series of tweets on why MBC should not air the drama.
"It's literally just ruining Islam's image and making fun of Muslims."
Another netizen, @Sarw_Dope, wrote: "Never place the Quran that way next to a man's foot. Stop disrespecting Islam and Arabs."
Protests could also be found on Instagram, where many of its users x-marked the drama's poster as their way of boycotting it. The #JusticeForIslam hashtag has also been circulated on social media.
MBC soon apologised on its official social media accounts, saying that all the characters, names and places were entirely fictional.
"MBC has no intention in distorting any particular religion, culture or people," its statement said in Arabic, Korean and English. "And we sincerely apologise for any harm that may have caused to the viewers in regards to the drama."
MBC said it would take "extreme caution in production from now onwards".