Los Angeles: Singer Elton John will be performing at Morocco’s biggest music festival despite calls by the country’s main Islamist party to shelve the British singer because of his homosexuality, say organisers.
"We deal with artists and intellectuals for what they do, without taking into account their private life," accesshollywood.com quoted Mawazine Festival organizer El Hassan Neffali as saying.
"Somebody’s private life is one thing, and their art or creative activities are another," Neffali added.
Other singers performing during this year’s May 21-29 festival include Sting, Mika and Carlos Santana, along with a host of Arab music stars.
The public spat between organisers for the Mawazine Festival and the Justice and Development Party, or PJD, the country’s largest authorised Islamist group, illustrates the growing rift between Morocco’s Western-leaning authorities and the more conservative Muslim movements that are on the rise in the North African kingdom.
"This singer is famous for his homosexual behaviour and for advocating it. We’re a rather open party, but promoting homosexuality is completely unacceptable," said Mustapha Ramid, a leader and spokesman for the PJD, the biggest opposition party with 40 lawmakers in parliament.