Lebanon

International music festival in Lebanon has cancelled a planned concert by popular Mideast rock band whose lead singer, Mashrou’ Leila is openly gay, caving to pressure [#MusicFestival #Lebanon #MashrouLeila]

An international music festival in Lebanon has cancelled a planned concert by a popular Mideast rock band whose lead singer is openly gay, apparently caving to pressure after weeklong calls by some Christian groups to pull the plug on the show, as well as online threats to stop it by force.

Festival organizers released a statement saying the “unprecedented step” of canceling the performance by Mashrou’ Leila was done “to prevent bloodshed and maintain peace and stability.”

“We apologize for what happened, and apologize to the public.”.

Some church leaders and conservative politicians set off a storm of indignation on social media this week when they demanded that the Mashrou’ Leila concert be canceled, accusing the Lebanese group of blasphemy and saying some of its songs are an insult to Christianity.

The band, known for its rousing music and lyrics challenging norms in the conservative Arab world, soon became the center of a heated debate about freedom of expression.

Lebanese Rock Show Cancelled After Christian Uproar, Death Threats:
Bloomberg