Singer Elton John (Pic: Richard Mushet)

Openly gay pop legend Elton John will perform in Morocco despite threats by the Islamic country’s politicians to ban his concert because of his sexual orientation.

Organisers of the international Mawazine festival confirmed that John’s appearance will go ahead as scheduled.

The event’s artistic director, Aziz Daki, told AFP: “At the Mawazine festival we invite artists on the basis of the quality of their performance on stage and according to their artistic career. [Elton John is] one of the world’s top pop singers and composers…. [He has] many fans in Morocco. His private life is none of our business.”

Last week, the country’s Justice and Development Party issued a statement calling for the singer to be banned because his performance would “risk encouraging homosexuality in Morocco”.

The news comes after John was barred by Egypt’s musicians union from performing in that country in a concert that was set to take place later this month.

“How do we allow a gay, who wants to ban religions, claimed that the prophet Eissa (Jesus) was gay and calls for Middle Eastern countries to allow gays to have sexual freedom,” the head of the union, Mounir al-Wasimi, told the German Press Agency DPA.

In February, John was slammed for a comment he made in an interview saying that he believed that Jesus could have been a gay man.

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