The head of Egypt’s musician’s union, Mounir al-Wasimi, is trying to ban a private performance by the “Rocket Man” according to the Guardian. He and other Egyptian authority figures are afraid that Sir Elton John will promote fitna, or the social discord they believe to be derived from freedoms in society. Al-Wasimi cites the fact that John is openly gay, has previously criticized organized religion and has said he thinks Jesus was gay.
Egypt has strict laws governing media and music based on Muslim morality codes. Last week, a group of lawyers even moved forward with a case to have the classic Middle Eastern collection of folk tales One Thousand and One Nights labeled as obscenity. Other Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran have similar boards that determine if and when foreign musicians can perform in their countries. Western musicians, especially females, have often had trouble booking shows in Muslim countries. Mariah Carey’s show in Malaysia faced stiff opposition in 2004.