Thursday, April 15, 2010

Maldives stands firm with Akon concert despite complaints

The Maldives government is standing firm with the decision to hold the Akon concert as scheduled despite public “complaints” over the show.

“No one including the Islamic Ministry has to date submitted any valid reasons to stop the show and therefore the government would stand firm with the permits already issued,” Press Secretary to the President’s office Mohamed Zuhair told the Asian Tribune.

Zuhair said that the Islamic Affairs Minister himself has commented that there was no issue over the show.

“Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari was in Cabinet today [Tuesday] and has commented to colleagues that there was nothing wrong with the Akon show being held here,” Zuhair said.

However, State Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Ahmed Shaheem Ali Saeed has told Minivan news that the ministry has received “many complaints” from people concerned about the Akon concert scheduled for 23 April.

”We have received many phone calls and complaints from people asking why we are doing nothing when a person who sings explicit lyrics is about to perform in the country,” Shaheem was quoted as saying in Minivan news.

”Our opinion is that we do not like explicit singers to perform in the country,” Shaheem has said.

Zuhair noted that “the President has been advised on the all the issues that may be relevant to the show and is on the record as wishing the concert well.”

“He has today [Tuesday] reiterated his wishes that everyone attending the show to have a good time. These comments are seen as a signal that it has been weeks after the show was publicized,” Zuhair said adding that the Islamic Ministry has not complained to the government over the show.

“The government also takes notes that there is tremendous public support for the show to go on here,” Zuhair added.

Akon was denied visa to Sri Lanka for the show that was initially to be held there.

The Lankan government alleged that one of Akon’s videos dancing around a Budha statue disrespected Buddhism.

Subsequently, the show was shifted to Maldives.


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