Far-Right Protesters Are Trying to Stop a Muslim Rapper from Performing at Le Bataclan
Published Jun 11, 2018It's been nearly three years since Parisian concert venue Le Bataclan was targeted in a deadly terrorist attack during an Eagles of Death Metal show. Since then, the venue has reopened and maintained a steady stream of shows. But a planned concert is ramping up tensions with France's far right.
Rapper Médine is set to perform at Le Bataclan in October of this year. In fact, his first show at the venue sold out so quickly that a second show was added. The performance is riling up France's National Rally (previously known as the National Front), however, because Médine is Muslim.
According to the New York Times, the controversial group has launched a petition urging Le Bataclan to cancel the show, calling his booking "the height of indecency."
The far-right group claims that Médine has utilized "violent lyrics in the name of Islam," citing his song "Don't Laïk," which includes the line "I put fatwas on the heads of idiots." In an interview in 2016, Médine explained that the song was about French secularism.
Further, the far-right group has pointed out that Médine previously sold a T-shirt that had the word "Jihad" on it — the name of an album he released in 2005.
It's not just the far right taking issue with Médine's performance. Caroline Wassermann, a lawyer representing nine victims of the Bataclan attack, told the Times that she also wanted the shows cancelled.
"We cannot be silent about this," Wassermann said. "This guy, Médine, can sing every song he wants elsewhere, but in the Bataclan — it's a sanctuary — it's not possible because of the subjects he sings about."
Though Médine has yet to comment on the current turn of events, he has previously been outspoken in his condemnation of Islamic fundamentalism. Earlier this year, he released a tribute song to Le Bataclan, which you can stream below.