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Rock Band Claim Banned From Jordan Because Of Gay Singer


A Lebanese rock band, famed for its promotion of gay rights, gender equality and political and religious freedom, claim they have been prevented from performing in Amman, Jordan, because their lead singer is gay.


Mashrou’ Leila were due to play the concert on 29 April, before embarking on a US tour. They have released four albums, and lead singer Hamed Sinno’s mother was born in Jordan. The band expressed disappointment at not being able to reach their Palestinian fans since the cancellation of the gig, and posted a message to their Facebook page, explaining the situation.


“The written justification officially provided is that the performance would have been at odds with what the ministry of tourism viewed as the ‘authenticity’ of the site, despite the fact that we had the chance to perform for you at the same specific site three times in the past and had followed the same permit procedure before the competent authorities.


“Informally, the story is much more problematic. We have been unofficially informed that the reason behind this sudden change of heart, [a] few days before the concert day, is the intervention of some authorities. Our understanding is that said authorities have pressured certain political figures and triggered a chain of events that ultimately ended with our authorisation being withdrawn.


“We also have been unofficially informed that we will never be allowed to play again anywhere in Jordan due to our political and religious beliefs, and endorsement of gender equality and sexual freedom.”


Should Mashrou’ Leila be allowed to play in Amman? Should they consider playing in Iraq?

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