M.I.A. in her new video, "Bad Girls." (PHOTO: Screen Capture / M.I.A. / Mercury Records).

A music video by popular singer M.I.A. showing a crowd of Arab-dressed women driving cars and dancing across the desert has gone viral on Twitter, sparking mixed reactions.

The Sri Lankan-British singer shot the video, entitled Bad Girls, in Morocco in support of Saudi women who want driving restrictions on women lifted.

In the video, the girls, armed with machineguns, dance provocatively across the desert, watched by men. Many saw the move as a "massive f**k you to the government", Lucy Jones told the Daily Telegraph.

But some activists and commentators flocked to Twitter to complain. "I'll just say it all feels very stereotyped and cheap," wrote blogger Savannah on her site leftygirl.com. She also reported the words of a Saudi friend, who said that M.I.A. "is actually perpetrating stereotypes about Arabs".

Activist Fatimah Shah said: "Men covering their faces to look like girls is odd and not Arab and almost reinforcing the gender stereotyping. #MIA video #saudi #drift" she wrote on Twitter.

The video was directed by Roman Gavras, who won major support for Born Free in 2010, another shocking video of the rapper.