Lady Gaga‘s latest album, Born This Way, stirred a small storm on Lebanese social networks. An article published by the Sun on 4June 2011, and commented on by one of the Los Angeles Time blogs, stated that Lebanese authorities had banned the album. Lebanese fans immediately mobilized against this decision forcing the Sûreté Générale (National security) in Lebanon to deny the ban.
It all started with the lyrics of the song entitled Judas, alledgedly considered by authorities as offensive and blasphemous.
I’m in love with Judas
When he comes to me I am ready
I’ll wash his feet with my hair if he needs
Forgive him when his tongue lies through his brain
Even after three times he betrays me
A Facebook Page We Want Born This Way, in Lebanon – Stop The Lebanese Media Law in Lebanon was created on the spot. Some members even called for a protest by way of a flash-mob in Beirut.
Lebanese had reasons to believe this piece of news [fr] reminds blog Libanaiseries. Article 75 of Lebanese law on the distribution of media has been often used:
Au Liban, toute œuvre qui critique donc un tant soit peu la religion est automatiquement censurée. Comme me le disait un ami, dès que les censeurs entendent le mot “God” et/ou “Sex” dans un film ou une chanson, ils censurent…
The ban was denied on June 9 by Lieutenant Colonel Kamal Safa, head of the publishing control department of Lebanon’s Sureté Générale. Lebanese and foreign netizens had already expressed their opinion about this issue, some hailing the decision, other showing fierce opposition.
Elie Fares explained on his blog why he considers the Sureté Générale ban useless:
Simply because most Lebanese have either listened to the album already or have very simple ways to purchase it, or listen to it: YouTube, illegal downloading, etc…..
Seif [en], a Lebanese-Canadian, although a Muslim, expressed his shock at the song and the video-clip where Lady Gaga appears in a Virgin Mary outfit.
There are limits to how much religion should be played in a video and Gaga my dear, your video had no limits.
However, he states his opposition to the ban, which goes against his principles:
Let's un-ban this lady, and give people the choice who they want to listen to – after all Lebanon does have a lot of Gaga’s “monsters”.
Dizzy Rumklit [fr], a Lady Gaga fan wasn't pleased at all :
The double standards in Lebanon have got to stop. Lebanon tries to portray the idea that we have more freedoms than other countries in the Middle East, but clearly we have a long way to go to becoming a civil state. In the meantime, I will enjoy my Lady Gaga album on iTunes.
Below are some tweets on the issue [fr]:
@isleymm Islem อิสแลม ไทย : Lady gaga interdite au Liban je dis OUI
@CoralieFenty L'album de Lady Gaga interdit à la vente au Liban. C'est méchant si je rigole?
@NicolasMC_ Don't call my name †Le Liban ainsi que La Malaisie censurent le nouvel album de Lady Gaga. Bah dis donc, le monde avance..
@MonsterChoclate Le Liban a interdit l'album de Lady Gaga ? Ok, là, j'ai honte d'une partie de mes origines…