A parliament member called for the beheading of a famous Lebanese pop star after the release of a song depicting the worsening situation of the country caused an outrage.
Speaking on a talk show on Sunday, Member of Parliament Hikmat Dib, a representative of the Free Patriotic Movement party founded by the current Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, said that the singer’s “head should be removed”.
In a comment on Ragheb Alama’s recently released song “Tar AL Balad” (The Country is Lost) Dib’s exact words were: ““His head must be lost. What does ‘the country is lost’ mean? What is this irresponsibility?”
He added: “[There is] irresponsibility in spreading negativity and despair between the people.”
The lyrics of the song released last week by Alameh were a shout of despair: “It’s time for the people to scream out loud. There is no time, the country is lost. Where is justice? Dreams are being put out. Our Awareness has gone to sleep and the situation is only getting more difficult.”
Hikmat Dib didn’t stop here but took to twitter after the show posting a sarcastic statement saying: “Ragheb Alama stick to songs about love and passion, what do you want in the country affairs?”
Dib’s comments on public TV were not well received by Alama and many Lebanese public figures including journalists, artists and civilians who took to social media to express their upset with the Parliament member and their utter support of the singer.
Alameh was the first to tweet a response. He wrote: “This is my country before it’s yours…. All the Lebanese people made me a famous star, [I] am always in their hearts and my name will remain for millions of years to come. But you, a small sign from your party president and you will be no one, so from now I tell you go join Daesh (same philosophy of beheading), shame on such parliament members.”
Hikmat and many parliament members of the Free Patriotic fight fiercely every day on talk shows and on social media to defend the failing state. Alamah, on the other hand, described the situation and the despair everybody feels in a song.
يا صديقي ما قاله هذا النائب يمثل أخلاقه.. ثم أنني أعلم بأن فخامة الرئيس لا يقبل ان يكون عنده نواب يطلبون قطع رأسي لأنني غنيت وجع الناس وجرح الوطن خوفاً على وطني.!!! لكن كلام أهل الحق جرح آهل الباطل. وتحية الى أصدقائي الشرفاء من التيار الوطني الحر https://t.co/VDJzWGQIHe
— Ragheb Alama (@raghebalama) December 9, 2018
Mona Abou Hamze, the famous host of Lebanese TV show “talk of the town” , tweeted in support of Ragheb as well. “Ragheb you’ve always expressed our pain and the pain of the people. And this is the ultimate message of art. We love you,” she said.
— Mona Abou Hamze (@MonaAbouHamze) December 10, 2018
Linda Meshleb, an anchor on NBN TV, posted “Not only the country is lost, it’s in ruins, our country was stolen and burned down. Let the[m] Behead us all. Ragheb we love you.”
— Linda Meshleb (@MeshlebLinda) December 10, 2018
And in another tweet Ragheb said: “My friends what this deputy said represents his morals. And I know that the President would not accept that he has deputies [for] asking [the] removal of my head just because I sang the pain of the people and fearing for my country. But the words of the right people wounds false people. And greetings to my honorable friends from the Free Patriotic Movement.”
Fadi Saad, a fellow Parlaiment member of Diab, tweeted: “All our solidarity goes to the friend Ragheb Alameh… Lebanon without art and freedom of speech is nothing.”
In an interview with Annahar newspaper Alamah said he called on the Head of Parliament to remove the immunity on PM Hikmat Diab, so he can sue Dib for incitement to murder.