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Fundamentalists charge that pop star is part of Western gay plot to corrupt Morroco.
Authorities in Rabat reported no protests or disruptions during the performance — a testament to tolerance or, perhaps, to the thousands of Moroccan police, soldiers and plain-clothes officers who mingled watchfully with the crowd.
Between songs, John himself confined his patter to apolitical concert fare, saying “It's a pleasure to be here, thank you for everything,” in French near the close of the show.
For Halim Radi, 38, a pharmacist standing at the back of the crowd with two friends, the big-name, big-money concert represented a step forward for a nation where people still on average make only $6 per day. “For an emerging country, I think it’s spectacular,” Radi said.
Next to him on the trampled grass, Yassir Naji, a 37-year-old engineer described himself as a longtime Elton John fan.
As for Moroccan conservatives who objected to hosting a gay icon, Naji said, "It's their problem, not ours."