The Dutch symphonic metal group Within Temptation announced the cancellation of a concert in a festival in Lebanon by “solidarity” with the Lebanese rock group Mashrou’ Leila.
Second deprogramming for the Bybos festival. The Dutch group Within Temptation announced that it would not play while the performance of the group Mashrou’ Leila was deprogrammed after virulent criticism from Christian groups. On Tuesday 30 July, the organizers of the Byblos International Festival, a seaside resort north of the capital Beirut, said they were “forced” to cancel the concert of the alternative rock band “to avoid bloodshed”
With an openly gay singer and committed texts dissecting social issues and addressing LGBT issues, the group Mashrou’ Leila, formed in 2008 by students from the American University of Beirut, was accused of violating the sacredness of Christian symbols.The Dutch group, which was to perform on Wednesday in Byblos, deplored on its Facebook page the “violent threats” made by “religious fanatics” against Mashrou’ Leila.
“We decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression,” the group stressed in a statement.
At the origin of the controversy around Mashrou’ Leila, an article shared on Facebook by the leader of the group, Hamed Sinno, illustrated by a photo-montage where the face of the Virgin Mary was replaced by that of the American star Madonna. But also two songs, Idols and Djin, offending according to the Church the “religious and human values”.