Northwestern University in Qatar cancelled a media discussion featuring a popular Arab band whose lead singer is openly gay for “safety reasons”, the institution said Tuesday, amid social media furore.
The American university said it invited the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, one of the most popular music groups in the region, to a talk at its Doha branch about Middle Eastern media revolutions this week but then moved the event to its Evanston, Illinois campus.
“The decision to move the discussion to Evanston was made mutually between Northwestern and members of Mashrou’ Leila,” Jon Yates, director of Northwestern University-Qatar’s media relations, told AFP.
“The decision was made out of an abundance of caution due to several factors, including safety concerns for the band and our community.
“Because Northwestern firmly believes that the band’s ideas, their art and their voices are important for the world to hear, the university is working to bring them to our home campus in the US.”
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