Lebanon: Authorities ban song on grounds of offending God

17 May 2016

bashar mar-khalife
The censorship bureau of Lebanon’s General Security Directorate has banned Bachar Mar-Khalife’s song ‘Kyrie Eleison’ because it “contains offenses to God as the singer talked to God in the song saying, ‘have mercy on us and leave us alone’”, reported CNN Arabic on 12 April 2016.

The authorities further stated that if Bashar Mar-Khalife wants to promote his album in the country then he must delete the song from the album. Authorities also said in their statement that the song included words that could be interpreted as sexual innuendo.

In a statement posted on his personal Facebook page on 13 April 2016, Bashar Mar-Khalife said:

When I was writing this, I was in the train back from a concert in Switzerland where I performed solo at a temple under the cross. I said to myself what a great irony to be back there the next day when the case was made public. Was this a chance that God gave me to repent? I sang Kyrie Eleison, and more powerfully as ever, exactly as I sang it in Beirut and as I will sing it wherever I want to scream at the political and religious institutions who want to govern our lives as if we are still living in the Middle Ages.

Bashar Mar-Khalife’s father, famous Lebanese singer and musician Marcel Khalife, posted a picture of the directorate’s statement concerning his son’s song on his personal Facebook page.

In November 1999 Marcel Khalife himself was in the same waters as his son when he was accused of blasphemy for his song ‘Oh Father, I am Yusuf’. A month later a Beirut court found him innocent.


Photo from Bachar Mar-Khalife’s Facebook page


» CNN Arabic – 12 April 2016:
Lebanon Marcel Khalife son song not allowed

» Al Hayat – 12 April 2016:
Lebanese censorship authorties ban Bashar al-Khalifa song

» Mo5tar News – 11 April 2016:
Public security bans Bashar al-Khalifa song on pretext of insulting religion

Related information

» — December 1999:
Marcel Khalife – The Blasphemy Trials

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