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Within Temptation Cancel Gig in Lebanon to Protest Threats Against Local Band for Supporting Gay Rights

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Within Temptation will no longer be performing at Byblos International Festival in Lebanon in an effort to protest the disgusting threats leveled against local Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila.

Religious crazies claim Mashrou’ Leila, who are “known for [their] criticism of various social, religious and political issues in Lebanon, as well as support for the right to freedom of expression and LGBTI rights,” were “offensive to religious and humanitarian values and Christian beliefs,” and demanded the cancellation of the event lest it be terminated “by force.” This spawned a social media hate campaign against the band, and they voluntarily withdrew from the festival despite being encouraged to perform by Amnesty International.

To show solidarity against such outlandish bigotry, Within Temptation have also cancelled their performance and offered a statement on their position:

As you know, we were scheduled to play the Byblos Festival in Lebanon on August 7th. We have found out that another band called Mashrou’ Leila was pulled from the festival according to the festival committee due to security reasons after religious fanatics demanded their performance to be cancelled followed by violent threats. Apart from the fact that Lebanese authorities at this moment are not able to provide artists the security to perform in peace, we have decided to cancel our show in Byblos in solidarity with Mashrou’ Leila and in support of tolerance, freedom of speech and expression.

For you, our fans in Lebanon, it hurts to make this decision. Our last show in Lebanon is still very vivid in our minds and hearts. We are looking forward to better days on which we will return to you in Lebanon.”

We really shouldn’t have to be reporting on this kind of shit in 2019, but it feels like there will be no end to mankind’s stupidity. Onward and upward, I guess.

[via Kerrang!]

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