Lebanon: The legal adviser of the largely Christian Lebanese city of Zouk Mikael has called on authorities and local people to censure and boycott the concert performance of a local band whose lead singer is openly gay.
“We will have our movement on the ground to stop this band from entering our town. Lebanon is a land for traditional families, not a land for faggots,” Fouad El Adem wrote on his Facebook page, according to dailyxtra.com.
By the time watchdog group Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor picked up on El Adem’s post, it had been liked by 120 of his followers. Facebook removed the objectionable post shortly thereafter.
The band Mashrou’ Leila said it will perform at the Zouk International Festival on Aug 2 and declined to comment on the matter, saying they prefer to concentrate on music.
El Adem continues to be virulent in his opposition. “You’re free to do whatever you want with your bodies, as long as you know that I’m disgusted by you, no, I’m repulsed by you” he wrote after his Facebook’s removal of his first post.
He said he blames “the silly officials” who allowed the band to come” to my dear town.”
Hamed Sinno, the lead singer of the local band is an icon in Lebanon for his singing and bold lyrics and for being openly gay.
At Mashrou’ Leila’s 2010 concert at the Lebanese Byblos International Festival that was attended by then-Prime Minister Saad al-Harriri, Sinno waved the rainbow flag, a rare and courageous gesture in the Arab world that criminalizes same-sex relations.
He openly sings in Arabic about his gay experience and his song titled “Shem al-Yasemin” (Smell the Jasmine) for example is about his longing for his male lover, wishing that he could introduce his lover to his family.
Sinno has even been featured on the cover of French gay magazine Têtu not only for being the only openly gay Arab singer, but for his and his band’s work, that have released three acclaimed albums.
However, El Adem is not alone in his opposition.
A Facebook page, run by a local youth group, posted, “Our town is now the Zouk of Mashrou Leila” and “Zouk of the gays, what a shame” while another by a townsperson vowed to fight against the band and “such people” because “our culture, society and religion reject them.”
Another resident even went on to be abusive saying things such as he is “spitting” on Sinno and “You’re garbage.”
The Lebanese LGBT Media Monitor says it is not surprised to see such homophobic reaction. “To be honest, we still have a lot of homophobia in Lebanon” it said but added that it also received dozens of comments supporting the band.
Source: dailyxtra.com; glamroz.com