Immigration minister criticised for letting homophobic artist into Canada

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Campaigners against anti-gay “murder music” artists have accused a government minister in Canada of giving Jamaican star Buju Banton “a platform to incite murder” after he was allowed into the country.

The Stop Murder Music (Canada) campaign is a coalition of more than 20 organisations that promote human rights.

The international Stop Murder Music campaign has targeted dancehall stars who perform songs advocatng violence against gay and lesbian people.

Last year a New York radio station cancelled a reggae concert as planned after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation protested because homophobic performers Buju Banton and Bounty Killer were to perform.

Banton’s notorious 1990s hit Boom Bye Bye appears to incite the burning, shooting in the head and pouring acid over the faces of gay people.

In October 2006 two of his concerts in the US were cancelled after pressure from gay activists.

In July 2007 he signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act, promising not to perform songs that advocate homophobia, in a deal brokered by Stop Murder Music activists.

He later denied that he had made any such commitment.

Canada’s immigration minister Diane Finley has been accused of being more concerned about getting re-elected than addressing the concerns of the LGBT community. The country is in the middle of a general election campaign.

“The Minister has abdicated her duties by allowing Buju Banton into the country and as a result has provided him with a platform to incite murder,” said Akim Larcher, spokesperson for Stop Murder Music (Canada).

“Buju Banton has continued to perform ‘murder music’ whilst on tour in the Caribbean and has recently said that gays and lesbians are part of social decay.”

The group want him to be deported.

The Stop Murder Music campaign spearheaded by UK gay activist group OutRage! has brought about the cancellation of hundreds of concerts and sponsorship deals, causing income losses estimated in excess of $5m (£2.5m).