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Elton John wows Morocco despite Islamist protests

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."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/morocco/100527/elton-john-wows-morocco-despite-islamist-protests