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The New Arab

Mashrou' Leila banned from performing in Jordan...yet again

The five-member band's songs challenge various established norms in Arab societies [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2017

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A scheduled Mashrou' Leila concert has been banned by Jordan's interior ministry, local reports said on Monday, after a similar ban was put in place last year against the band.
A Lebanese rock group known for endorsing gender equality and sexual freedom has been banned from performing a gig in the Amman later this month, according to reports.

Mashrou' Leila's upcoming concert in the Jordanian capital has been cancelled, Interior Minister Ghaleb Zuabi said, claiming the ban will avoid "the exploitation of such performances for the implementation of certain agendas that may lead to internal disagreements".

Local reports said a number of ministers signed a petition to block the event.

Hamed Sinno, the group's lead singer, is openly gay, and the band have addressed some subjects considered taboo by conservatives in Jordan.

The five-member band's songs challenge various established norms in Arab societies, such as gender roles and sexual and religious freedoms.

In 2010, Sinno raised the LGBTIQ flag during a concert in Lebanon in support of the region's queer community.

Mashrou' Leila, which has a considerable fan base in Jordan, have not yet commented on the ban.

Last year, another concert for the band was blocked by Jordanian authorities, but the decision was later reversed following uproar from young fans and rights activists.

Although Mashrou' Leila were finally granted approval for the concert at Amman's ampitheatre, the group were unable to perform due to the short notice.

They were instead scheduled to hold a concert at the Amman Exhibition Park on 27 June.

Since reports of the new ban emerged, fans took to social media to voice their frustration at yet another ban for the rock group Jordan authorities.

"The banning of Mashrou' Laila once again proved how ignorant people still judge without knowing a thing," a Twitter user said.

"What's with Jordan's obsession with Mashrou' Leila, let my boys play their music and leave," another user said on Twitter.

"We are with you! We love you and we want you here in Jordan! Your concert was the only thing i was looking for this summer," one user said on the group's Instagram page.

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