Arts & Culture
10:35 am
Mon June 8, 2009

African singer criticized by Muslims plays in NYC

NEW YORK – NEW YORK (AP) - An African singer who ignited worldwide controversy among Muslims has performed before an enthusiastic crowd in New York City.

Youssou N'Dour played for about an hour Saturday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of an arts festival aimed at spreading a deeper understanding of Islam. The
audience gave him a frenzied dancing ovation.

N'Dour calls Islam a religion in which people "can dance, even enjoy." He says people "don't have to associate Islam with fear and sadness."

The singer was boycotted for years by fellow Muslims who accused him of desecrating Islam by "tainting" it with secular pop culture.

A documentary film about his mission will play in theaters across the United States starting June 12.