The New York Post is reporting via The Jerusalem Post that Elton John has been banned from performing May 18th, in Egypt due to his “anti-religious sentiments.” Well, that and his gayness.
A quote from the head of the Egypt Musician Union, Mounir al Wasimi, says it all.
“How do we allow a gay, who wants to ban religions, claimed that the prophet Eissa (Jesus) was gay and calls for Middle Eastern countries to allow gays to have sexual freedom.”
“Allow a gay…” Isn’t that like the equivalent of “You people…”?
Anyway, some may say Sir John had it coming with his past controversial statements:
“I don’t know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East — you’re as good as dead…”
He also claimed Jesus was a “super-intelligent gay man” who “understood human problems.”
I have mixed opinions on this story. I don’t know if what Elton said about being a gay woman in the Middle East is true or not. I haven’t read any first hand accounts from Middle Eastern lesbians (I guess that’s why I’m a blogger and not a journalist). Some of the people I work with in my office are Egyptian, and I’ve asked them what being gay in Egypt would be like. They seem to think it’s perfectly safe, although, they are straight so they probably don’t have first hand knowledge either.
I’m all for respecting other people’s cultures and believes. If you don’t think homosexuality is correct, I can try and convince you otherwise, but as long as you don’t try and interfere with my rights as a human being you’re allowed to think whatever you want. Countries like Canada and the US are supposed to have separation of church and state. That’s not necessarily always the case, but that’s what a good majority of us are striving for. Middle Eastern countries seem to allow the opposite. I’m going to be careful what I write here so I don’t come off as a bigot, but when the government is knotted so closely with the teachings from any certain religion, you end up with the restrictions of basic human rights. It should be the job of the government to respect and protect society’s minorities. Not to take advantage of their majority.
In any case, banning a musician seems a little ridiculous. Elton may have said some controversial things, but it’s shows how insecure the Egyptian government is by refusing to allow him to perform.