French Muslim rapper cancels his shows at the Bataclan after protests | France
A French rapper known for his provocative pro-Muslim lyrics canceled two concerts at the Bataclan, where 90 people were shot dead when gunmen stormed the hall in the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.
Medine, a singer of Algerian origin of French origin, had come under fire from right-wing politicians as well as some families of the victims after announcing the performances in the historic concert hall.
Tickets for the October shows sold out quickly when they went on sale a few weeks after Medina released an album featuring the song Bataclan, where he recounts years of dreams that he would someday perform there.
Although he has denounced Islamic fundamentalism since the attacks in the city three years ago, in which 130 people were killed and more than 350 injured, critics have clung to songs such as Don’t Laik, where he denounces the secular policy of France as discriminatory towards Muslims.
The song, released just a week before the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January 2015, includes lyrics calling for âcrucifying the laityâ and putting âfatwas on the heads of these idiotsâ.
A statement from the Bataclan states that the concerts were canceled “out of respect for the victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015, and their families”.
He said the aim was to “ease tensions”, while Medine posted on social media that he would perform at another Parisian concert hall in February after making a “painful decision”.
âAll I wanted was to play the Bataclan,â he wrote, echoing the chorus of the song released this year.
Right-wing lawmakers have said the concerts would have been a “sacrilege” for the victims, with the far-right National Rally party organizing an online petition to have the concerts banned.
More recently, far-right movements called for demonstrations outside the Bataclan to disrupt concerts.
On Friday, the 35-year-old singer accused them of “exploiting and rekindling the pain of the families of the victims.”
Life for Paris, one of the main groups of Bataclan victims, had also denounced attempts to attack the rapper on their behalf, defending the right of the concert hall to cede its stage to whomever it wanted.
But the critics of Medina were quick to claim victory.
Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Rally called these cancellations “a victory for all victims of Islamic terrorism”.
However, many Medina fans reacted angrily to the news.
“I hate this France that shouts ‘Je suis Charlie’ in the name of freedom but prevents an artist from performing,” wrote a Twitter user identified as HDG, adding the hashtag “Je suis Medine”.