Banned by the Kroc Jay Allen Sanford 10.17.7
Marcel Khalifé - sometimes called "the Dylan of Lebanon" - was supposed to perform at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center l ast month. However, the concert was canceled after venue operators decided Khalifé and the presenting organization al-Awda are too controversial. Many of Khalife's songs are about the Israel-Palestine debate , such as the plight of Palestinian refugees. The Theater is owned by the Salvation Army, a Christian organization.
Khalifé says the Salvation Army considered letting the concert go on, if an Israeli performer would also appear. "[It] never occurred to us that our show of clean, innocent entertainment, free of ill intentions, would be judged, in absentia , contrary to our intentions," says Khalifé on his website, "and that Defenders of the Faith, protectors of morality and public decorum, would interpret our work as a violation of Islamic law and public morals.What is being targeted is the culture of liberty itself, that refuses to be acquiescent."
In a written statement, the Salvation Army said the booking was denied because al-Awda, a pro-Palestinian group, is "divisive and unbalanced," and they were worried about angering local Jewish organizations. The Birch North Park Theater agreed to host Khalifé's concert at a later date, reportedly selling out all tickets for the October 14 performance.
Born near Beirut in 1950, Khalifé has aroused the ire of Jews, Muslims, and Christians. His music was denounced by the Bahrain parliament, banned from state-controlled media in Tunisia , and he once stood trial in Lebanon for quoting a passage from the Koran in one of his songs.