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Egypt’s War on Elton John

Here’s hoping Elton John has a refundable airline ticket into Cairo. Because if the Egyptian Musicians Union has its way, Sir Elton won’t be playing music inside the country anytime soon. John was scheduled to give a private concert inside Egypt on May 18, adding Elton John to the long list of music performers arranging concerts in countries with rather shoddy human rights records. Still, there’s something to be said about having one of the world’s biggest gay celebrities performing in a country that isn’t all that gay-friendly. Egypt, after all, has a pretty dismal history when it comes to LGBT rights, locking gay people up in jails, and voting against UN resolutions calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. Perhaps Sir Elton’s appearance in the country might help soften Egypt’s hardline stance against all things related to the homos. But in this case, it looks like the sun might go down on an attempted Elton John concert. Mounir al-Wasimi, the head of the Egyptians Musicians Union, said that it would be unconscionable for the country to welcome someone who is known for promoting gay rights. “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,” al-Wasimi said. Of course, Egypt had no problems welcoming an act like Akon last year, with lyrics that talk about spanking women (so that they can “look back and watch me,” no less), or calling women “pussy for life.” This isn’t to pit Elton John v. Akon, by any means. But let’s at least point out the contradiction by Egypt in welcoming Akon and disavowing Elton John. The Guardian points out that Egypt’s crackdown on Elton John is part of a larger trend by the country in recent months to crackdown on the freedom of expression. They note that just last week, Egypt filed an obscenity case against an ancient collection of folk tales known as One Thousand and One Nights, and banned Sufi dhikr ceremonies from taking place inside mosques. “All these could be described simply as examples of intolerance (which of course they are) but the enthusiasm for banning things is also part of something else: the concept of a “properly” ordered society that prevails in Egypt and most of the Arab countries,” writes Brian Whitaker. “It is rooted in a fear of fitna — the social discord that would supposedly ensue if people were allowed to behave more or less as they liked.” Interestingly enough, there is a movement for change in Egypt, one that’s hoping to turn the government away from the “crackdown” manner of Egypt’s current dictator President, Hosni Mubarek, and push another candidate to run for President: Mohamed ElBaradei. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because ElBaradei was head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during the lead-up to the Iraq War, where he essentially rained on the parade of the Bush administration when it came to documenting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. ElBaradei said there was little evidence, and wanted IAEA investigators to continue to push for access in the country. Meanwhile, Bush just wanted to commence the impossible mission. That’s all political backdrop, of course, but it does illustrate something interesting about Egypt. While official authorities kvetch and moan about the potential of an Elton John concert, you can bet that everyday, ordinary Egyptians would more than likely welcome a chance to do the Crocodile Rock and/or feel the love tonight. Evidence? Elton John played in the United Arab Emirates a few years back, and while that country also has a shoddy record when it comes to LGBT rights (in 2005, the minister of justice said that there was no room for queer people in the UAE), more than 13,000 people showed up to hear Elton John play. Which just goes to show that when you get past authoritative regimes, everyday folks are much more interested in hearing someone’s musical talent, rather than making a big deal about their sexual orientation. Even in pockets of the world where you’d least expect it. (via Egypt’s War on Elton John | Gay Rights | Change.org
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Egypt’s War on Elton John

Here’s hoping Elton John has a refundable airline ticket into Cairo. Because if the Egyptian Musicians Union has its way, Sir Elton won’t be playing music inside the country anytime soon. John was scheduled to give a private concert inside Egypt on May 18, adding Elton John to the long list of music performers arranging concerts in countries with rather shoddy human rights records. Still, there’s something to be said about having one of the world’s biggest gay celebrities performing in a country that isn’t all that gay-friendly. Egypt, after all, has a pretty dismal history when it comes to LGBT rights, locking gay people up in jails, and voting against UN resolutions calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality. Perhaps Sir Elton’s appearance in the country might help soften Egypt’s hardline stance against all things related to the homos. But in this case, it looks like the sun might go down on an attempted Elton John concert. Mounir al-Wasimi, the head of the Egyptians Musicians Union, said that it would be unconscionable for the country to welcome someone who is known for promoting gay rights. “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,” al-Wasimi said. Of course, Egypt had no problems welcoming an act like Akon last year, with lyrics that talk about spanking women (so that they can “look back and watch me,” no less), or calling women “pussy for life.” This isn’t to pit Elton John v. Akon, by any means. But let’s at least point out the contradiction by Egypt in welcoming Akon and disavowing Elton John. The Guardian points out that Egypt’s crackdown on Elton John is part of a larger trend by the country in recent months to crackdown on the freedom of expression. They note that just last week, Egypt filed an obscenity case against an ancient collection of folk tales known as One Thousand and One Nights, and banned Sufi dhikr ceremonies from taking place inside mosques. “All these could be described simply as examples of intolerance (which of course they are) but the enthusiasm for banning things is also part of something else: the concept of a “properly” ordered society that prevails in Egypt and most of the Arab countries,” writes Brian Whitaker. “It is rooted in a fear of fitna — the social discord that would supposedly ensue if people were allowed to behave more or less as they liked.” Interestingly enough, there is a movement for change in Egypt, one that’s hoping to turn the government away from the “crackdown” manner of Egypt’s current dictator President, Hosni Mubarek, and push another candidate to run for President: Mohamed ElBaradei. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because ElBaradei was head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) during the lead-up to the Iraq War, where he essentially rained on the parade of the Bush administration when it came to documenting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. ElBaradei said there was little evidence, and wanted IAEA investigators to continue to push for access in the country. Meanwhile, Bush just wanted to commence the impossible mission. That’s all political backdrop, of course, but it does illustrate something interesting about Egypt. While official authorities kvetch and moan about the potential of an Elton John concert, you can bet that everyday, ordinary Egyptians would more than likely welcome a chance to do the Crocodile Rock and/or feel the love tonight. Evidence? Elton John played in the United Arab Emirates a few years back, and while that country also has a shoddy record when it comes to LGBT rights (in 2005, the minister of justice said that there was no room for queer people in the UAE), more than 13,000 people showed up to hear Elton John play. Which just goes to show that when you get past authoritative regimes, everyday folks are much more interested in hearing someone’s musical talent, rather than making a big deal about their sexual orientation. Even in pockets of the world where you’d least expect it. (via Egypt’s War on Elton John | Gay Rights | Change.org

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— 3 years ago with 1 note
#LGBT  #Equal  #Rights  #Elton John 
037-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

037-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

— 4 years ago with 2 notes
#LGBT  #Equal  #Marriage  #Rights 
036-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

036-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

— 4 years ago with 260 notes
#LGBT  #Gay  #Equal  #Rights 
034-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

034-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

— 4 years ago with 6 notes
#Gay  #Equal  #Rights  #Love 
059-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

059-Gay Marriage Rallies March-May ‘04 (via Violentz)

— 4 years ago with 4 notes
#LGBT  #Equal  #gay  #marriage  #rights 
PrideChicago2007- A Better Sentiment Could Not Be Said (via chicagokristi)

PrideChicago2007- A Better Sentiment Could Not Be Said (via chicagokristi)

— 4 years ago with 10 notes
#equal  #rights  #LGBT  #protest  #sign