PARIS (AP) – A French mayor has canceled a rap concert marking 100 years since the World War I Battle of Verdun after objections from the country’s increasingly influential far right.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are taking part in a ceremony May 29 to honor those killed in one of the war’s bloodiest battles. Separately, the town of Verdun planned a commemoration concert by rapper Black M.
But far-right National Front party members (as well as members of the G.U.D. & others) objected to the singer this week, citing a pro-Islamist song by his group Sexion d’Assaut referring to France as a country of “infidels.”
Verdun’s Socialist Mayor Samuel Hazard says Friday that city hall feared violence during the event because of “hate and racism” generated by the debate so he cancelled the concert.
The singer hasn’t commented.