Jordan is permitting a popular Lebanese rock band to perform, lifting an earlier ban imposed amid claims the group’s songs violated local customs and religious beliefs.
Khalid Abu Zeid, a regional politician who initially announced the ban against Mashrou’ Leila, or Leila’s Project, said in a new statement that “we don’t mind if this concert takes place”.
He did not elaborate.
The group’s detractors in Jordan apparently included both Christian and Muslim clerics and officials.
The initial ban sparked a storm of online criticism from fans and supporters in Jordan and the wider Middle East.
The five-member rock band, known for songs promoting religious and sexual freedom, was formed in 2008 as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut.
The indie band says the reversal comes too late for the Jordan show to take place as scheduled on Friday.
On Thursday, the group thanked its fans for their support via its Facebook page: “We, Mashrou’ Leila, would like to express our gratitude to the global media, and the band’s audience in Jordan, and around the world, for their support throughout the past two days. We take pride in playing music for an audience like ours.”
“We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the great number of artists, musicians, intellectuals and civil society activists from Jordan and around the world for standing with us.”