Madonna has said she was being deliberately “ironic” when she erroneously referred to President Barack Obama as a “black Muslim”.

The Material Girl made the gaff while also praising Mr Obama’s commitment to gay rights during a speech to her fans at a concert in Washington on Monday.

“Now, it’s so amazing and incredible to think that we have an African American in the White House … we have a black Muslim in the White House … it means there is hope in this country, and Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man,” Madonna said.

The Guardian reports that Madonna issued a statement on Tuesday through her spokeswoman saying her reference to Obama’s religion was facetious.

“I was being ironic on stage. Yes, I know Obama is not a Muslim – though I know that plenty of people in this country think he is. And what if he were?

“The point I was making is that a good man is a good man, no matter who he prays to. I don’t care what religion Obama is – nor should anyone else in America,” she said.

Before taking office and throughout his presidency, right-wing conservatives have repeatedly accused Barack Obama of lying about his Christian faith.