Mashrou’ Leila band misses performance in Jordan after being banned for gay singer

A band has said it is pleased at the decision of Jordanian officials to lift a bar to it performing in the country, but said the news came too late for a Friday evening concert.

Masrou’ Leila earlier this week got told that it could not perform in Amman on Friday evening.

The reasons officials gave to the band were that its songs, which deal with taboos in the Arab world such as homosexuality, were “contradictory” to religious beliefs in Jordan.

The band said it was pleased that the ban had been lifted, but said they were too late to get to the gig.

Writing on Facebook the members of the band thanked artists, musicians, intellectuals and activists from Jordan for “standing with” them.

They wrote that the decision by the Jordanian interior ministry’s decision to block the gig was “shocking”.

The ministry had said that the performances by Mashrou’ Leila had gone against Islamic and Christian beliefs in Jordan.

“What we see here is superficial cultural criticism, simple, reductive, and basing itself on the extraction of certain words from their structural context within their songs, and then from their figurative framework as metaphors,” they continued in the Facebook post.

“The critic then offers a simplistic analysis of the song, stripping the writer from his freedom to use metaphor within the texts, to conclude that the writer is a satanist.”

Going on the band “congratulated” the governor of Amman, Khalid Abu Zeid, for sending them a letter permitting the gig on Friday.

They added, however; that it came “too late” for them to make it to perform.

The band had performed in Amman in 2015, without incident.