A concert by US rapper Akon in Kuwait has been cancelled after lawmakers warned they would take action if the stage performance planned for Saturday went ahead.
“If the US singer who is well known for his terrible lyrics is allowed to perform, we will not hesitate to move against anything that touches our religion and our morals,” MP Humood Al Hamdan said, quoted a local daily on Saturday.
The lawmaker said that the ministries of information and interior should run a thorough check of any singer or person planning to enter Kuwait.
“We need to protect our children and make sure they are not influenced by negative people,” he said. “There must be a zero-tolerance policy towards such matters.”
MP Mohammad Tana said that he contacted the information minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud as soon as he heard about the concert.
“He responded positively and accepted my request not to allow him to enter Kuwait,” he said.
However, Bashar Al Sayegh, the secretary general of the National Coalition, criticized the decision.
“The information ministry allowed the concert, the interior ministry supported it and the youth ministry sponsored it,” he said. “Then, the interior ministry cancels it under pressure from lawmakers. The government should not have given in to the forces that have caused an ominous deterioration of freedom,” he said.
He said that all the permits for the concert had been secured, but it seemed that some forces are more potent than legal and correct procedures, he added.
The performance was planned at the SIRBB Circuit, Kuwait’s latest go-karting facility.
According to a local daily, the concert was part of the “I Respect Life” campaign launched by a group of young people to promote awareness among drivers about safe driving.
Campaigners said its main objective “is to raise awareness against using mobile phones while driving” and that the message it is spreading is that it is not cool not to care.
The campaign was launched following a noticeable increase in the number of traffic accident victims.
The decision to cancel the concert, planned to feature 12 local singers, was communicated to the organisers on Thursday.