Muslim Rapper’s Plans to Play at the Bataclan in Paris Prompt Furor

Source: The New York Times

By Alex Marshall


In March, the French rapper Médine released “Bataclan,” a song about how, ever since he was a boy, he had dreamed of playing the Paris music venue, where 89 people died in a deadly terrorist attack in 2015.

When he announced a show there in October, it quickly sold out. A second date was added.


On Saturday, however, a member of the far-right National Rally party — previously called the National Front — launched a petition calling for the concerts to be canceled. The petition says it would be “the height of indecency” for Médine to perform at the Bataclan, adding that the Muslim rapper was known for “violent lyrics in the name of Islam.”

The petition, which had over 15,000 signatures on Monday morning, cites Médine’s 2015 song “Don’t Laïk,” which includes the line “I put fatwas on the heads of idiots.” The petition also mentions photographs of Médine wearing a T-shirt that features the word “Jihad,” the name of an album he released in 2005. While the lyrics of the song itself are not threatening, the petition acknowledges, wearing a T-shirt with that word is “shocking and aggressive.”

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