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Palestinian Activists Ban Concert for LGBTQ Community in Ramallah

Palestinian activists shut down a concert for the LGBTQ community that was scheduled to take place in Ramallah over the weekend. East Jerusalem singer-songwriter and video artist Bashar Murad was supposed to perform at the concert, which was scheduled to be held on Friday night.

The homophobic activists, led by Yaman Jarrar, the son of prominent Hamas preacher Sheikh Bassam Jarrar, who famously predicted on YouTube that Israel would cease to exist in 2022, told people at Ramallah’s Al-Mustawda3 Cultural Center, “There’s a guy called Bashar Murad who’s supposed to hold a party here today. Bashar Murad is gay. This person is banned from holding a concert. He does not represent us or any of our free people. We came here to advise you in a respectful manner. We are talking to you in a nice way; don’t test our patience. Anyone who dares to harm our religion will be crossing a red line.”

Jarrar later wrote on Facebook, referring to the killing of three Palestinian gunmen in clashes with the Israeli military in Jenin last week, “While the young men of Jenin are sacrificing their lives for the beloved homeland, a suspicious group tried to hold a gay party in Ramallah. A group of young men who care about their religion and homeland went to the place of the concert and informed the suspicious party’s organizers of the need to evacuate the place and respect the blood of the martyrs.”

Organized activities for the LGBTQ community have been banned in the West Bank since 2019. Luay Zreikat, a Palestinian Authority spokesperson, was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying that such activities are “harmful to the values and ideals of Palestinian society” and that unnamed “dubious parties” are working to “create discord and harm civic peace in Palestinian society.”