“Satanic music” regarded a security issue
Composer of Dark Ambient music called in for “investigation” at the headquarter of the General Security Department in Beirut, had to sign a paper promising that he will never send or receive any packages that contain “dark”, “harsh” or “weird” music
Osman Arabi, 24 – also known as Xardas – is a composer and producer of Dark Ambient music. Recently he has been warned against producing or importing this style of music which the Lebanese authorities categorise as “satanic” and “offensive to people’s morals”.
On 2 June 2006 the General Security Department interviewed his mother for several hours because Osman Arabi had been receiving packages with CD-albums from abroad on her address. The following day they interviewed Osman Arabi himself, and told him to sign a paper in which he promises never to send or receive any packages that contain “dark”, “harsh” or “weird” music. Such music genres are categorised as “Satanic”, he was told, and he was warned that should he be caught in doing so again, he will be arrested and jailed with no trial.
“I had no choice but to sign this paper. If I refused, well… then a trial would take off, and lots of other stuff. And who knows what might happen then? I don’t want to risk my future and interrupt my studies for such a matter… because no matter what I say they will never understand,” says Osman Arabi in response to his experience at the headquarters.