After a wave of outcry, a Lebanese singer accused of writing homophobic and misogynistic lyrics has agreed not to perform those songs during three planned performances in Canada.
Mohamad Eskandar, a popular pop star, has been the subject of past protests over songs like “Ded El Enf.” According to the Montreal Gazette, that song was meant to “ridicule” LGBT activists in Lebanon. In 2012, Eskander’s visa to enter the Canada was denied after protests over his lyrics.
He’s scheduled for three performances in Canada this weekend — one on June 12 in Mississauga, one on June 13 in Laval, and another June 14 in Ottawa.
Rémy Nassar, the president of Helem Montreal, a Lebanese LGBT advocacy group, told Daily Xtra in an email that after public and media attention was drawn to Eskandar’s planned performances, Nasser was able to negotiate a deal with the promoter of the events ensuring the singer would respect Canada’s laws, refrain from any hate speech and not perform two of the songs considered most offensive. Nasser provided Daily Xtra with a copy of the agreement, signed by the promoter, Ali Dia.
“We are satisfied because it was already too late to cancel his visa,” Nassar says (Eskandar reportedly landed in Canada on June 11). Nasser feels that now Eskandar will not be able to voice hate speech in Canada.