LGBT group urges boycott of Mohamed Eskandar's Laval concert

A group representing LGBT members in the Lebanese and Arabic-speaking community is trying to block the performances of a touring musician whose songs, it says, are offensive and misogynistic.

HELEM Montreal successfully lobbied in 2012 to have Ded El Enf stricken from singer's set list

A still from the Mohamed Eskandar's video for Ded El Enf. LGBT groups say the song is offensive. (YouTube)

A group representing LGBT members in the Lebanese and Arabic-speaking community is calling for a boycott of performances of a touring musician.

The group says the lyrics of several songs by Mohamed Eskandar are offensive.   

The Lebanese singer is planning a tour through three Canadian cities, including a show in Laval on Saturday.

The president of HELEM Montreal, a group representing Lebanese Arabic-speaking LGBT members, says one of Eskander's songs, Ded El Enf, is particularly hateful toward gay and effeminate men.

"He says that men have to be macho and if your child is not macho enough, beat him so you'll make him a real man," Remy Nasser said. 

"Most of us left Lebanon because of that kind of speech we had to endure on a regular basis, on a daily basis. To come here in a country where our rights are protected and have that speech follow us here is unacceptable for us."

In 2012, HELEM Montreal lobbied to prohibit Eskander from performing Ded El Enf at a Montreal concert. In the end, he was denied a visa before he left Lebanon. 

This time, HELEM only learned of the performances a few days ago. Eskandar is expected to arrive in Toronto today. 

The promoter behind Eskander's latest Canadian tour has confirmed that he will not perform the song at any of his shows.

Eskander has also promised to give an interview to a Toronto Arabic-language television station where he will issue an apology for songs that have offended people.


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