J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Friday, September 01, 2006

No Crazy Little Thing Called Love in Zanzibar

If you were planning on attending the Freddie Mercury birthday celebration in Zanzibar, I hope your tickets are refundable. The local Islamic enforcers successfully pressured the organizers to cancel. Yahoo News’ AFP report tries to whitewash the homophobic bigotry of the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation (UAMSHO), “who complained the flamboyant Queen lead singer’s lifestyle was offensive to many on the overwhelmingly Muslim archipelago.” UAMSHO’s Sheik Azzan Hamdani makes his "complaints" pretty clear later in the article stating: “we were ready to join forces against the party because we had information that a number of gays from abroad had come to take part.” An All Headline News piece spells out UAMSHO “complaints” pretty clearly:

UAMSHO chief Abdallah Said Ali adds that the singer was known to have been gay, died of AIDS and had lived a wild life many Muslims would condemn, saying, "Allowing such a function for a person known outside Zanzibar as a homosexual tarnishes the name of Zanzibar."

There doesn't seem to be much reaction from the entertainment industry, although some on the Queen fans’ bulletin board seem to be upset. Imagine if a town in Alabama cancelled a tribute to a gay native son. It would at least occasion a stern letter from George Clooney. So far: deafening silence.

If you can’t work up much outrage for a cancelled tribute party for a rock star in Zanzibar, that’s somewhat understandable. However, it shows the nature of Islamic extremism. Their problem with Mercury wasn’t that he advocated the liberation of Iraq or supported Israel. This case is all about Islamic Fascism’s virulent intolerance for homosexuality. It shows that everyone has a stake in the fight against radical Islamic fascists and the terrorists allied with them.