Two concerts that Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo planned to hold in the Turkish provinces of Bursa and Konya have been canceled.
The move came after Namjo was targeted by pro-government Turkish media and Islamist figures. The media claimed that Namjoo was “ridiculing the Quran by turning verses of the Quran into lyrics”.
After Namjoo was targeted, ticket sales for his concerts in Bursa on December 3 and Konya on December 8 were suspended on ticket sales platform Biletix.
Tickets for the singer’s other concerts scheduled for Ankara and Istanbul in December are still on sale.
The chairman of the Defense of Islam and Union of Religious Employees and Foundations, which previously targeted singers and music groups to cancel many events, Mustafa Çopursuz has launched a campaign to cancel the Namjoo concert.
“The traitors who plan a concert for this infidel, laughing at the verses, touch the nerves of this holy nation. Insulting Islam is not an art, it is intellectual prostitution. If the lawyers won’t speak today, when will they. If they don’t stand up for the Quran, what will they stand up for?” a popular pro-government Turkish cleric, İhsan Şenocak, tweeted on September 15.
Ayetlerle alayeden bu ZINDIĞA konser planlayan hainler bu aziz milletin sinir ucuna dokunuyor.İslama sövmek sanat değil,fikir fahişeliğidir.Bu KAFİRİ çağıranlara haddini bildirecek hukukçular bugün konuşmayacaksa ne zaman konuşacak;Kur’anı müdaafa etmeyecekse neyi müdafaa edecek? pic.twitter.com/ewCeQjqO8r
— Ihsan Şenocak (@ihsansenocak) September 15, 2022
Namjoo denied the claims and said, “I have never ridiculed or humiliated the Quran, which has always been my inspiration.”
“My love for Turkey and the Turkish people is as great as my love for my homeland, Iran. I say this because my audience in Turkey and the Turkish people have always treated me as one of their own. Ever since my first concert ten years ago, I have organized more than five tours in Turkey. I have always been greeted with love and respect, and responded in kind,” Namjoo said in a letter.
“I would like to state urgently that this is a serious accusation without any foundation, not only for my fans but for all believers. This accusation, this terrible gossip not only jeopardizes my artistic career, but also hurts deeply. It makes me very sad when people of the same faith as me say that I have turned my back on my faith. Therefore, I ask the media not to spread these rumors.
The truth is this: I, Mohsen Namjoo, grew up in a religious family in the holy city of Mashhad. I took a course on the Koran until I was 20 years old. I have often lectured at universities, especially in the United States, where I have described how classical Persian poetry adopted the rhythms of the Arabic language. In these lectures, I drew attention to the fact that in addition to the obvious sacred content of the Quran, it also has the miraculous and poetic rhythms of the divine word, which have attracted musicians and poets like me through ages. In other words, the Quran became my musical basis.
My love for Turkey and its people is endless. I am neither atheist nor impious. I am a Muslim and have never considered myself to belong to another religion. I have never ridiculed or humiliated the Quran, which has always been my inspiration. I have not changed any verse of the Quran. This is a serious and baseless accusation. Contrary to the slander that is spreading, I recommend that you listen to my song Mojir 2016, which I pray to God,” he added.