Elton John Banned From Playing in Egypt

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com May 04 2010 7:40 AM ET

Sir Elton John has been banned from playing a private concert in Egypt later this month because music officials object to his recent comments in support of a gay Jesus and against Middle Eastern countries' treatment of gay people.

The Jerusalem Post reports from German Press Agency DPA.

“The news agency quoted Mounir al-Wasimi, the head of Egypt’s Musician Union, as saying that his country could not allow ‘a homosexual who wants to ban religions, claimed that the prophet Issa (Jesus) was gay and calls for Middle Eastern countries to allow gays to have sexual freedom’ to perform there.”

John was scheduled to perform on May 18. The Music Union claims to hold authority over what foreign performers are allowed to play in Egypt.

As the Post recalls, “John drew controversy earlier this year when he intimated in an interview with the American Parade magazine that there was no tolerance for homosexuals in Arab countries. ‘I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East — you're as good as dead,’ he told the magazine.

“Also in the February interview, the performer stated that Jesus had been a ‘super-intelligent gay man,’ a conclusion he reached after reading about the Christian savior’s compassionate and understanding nature.”