After a nine-year absence from the music world, Lebanese singer-turned-extremist militant Fadel Shaker has released a new song that has sparked controversy on social media.
The Military Court in Lebanon had previously sentenced Shaker to two prison sentences of 22 years with hard labor and stripped him of his civil rights on charges of “interference in acts of terrorism,” referring to his support for militant Islamist extremist groups that participated in battles against the Lebanese army.
Shaker had managed to evade capture by hiding after the battles with the Lebanese army. He is publicly known to be residing in Ain al-Hilweh’s refugee camp.
The newly-released song topped YouTube’s chart reaching nearly a million views in less than 24 hours.
Through an audio recording released by a local TV channel, Shaker considered that it is “shameful” that the Lebanese state issued a prison sentence of 22 years “against an artist like him.”
“Go ask Fairouz on my behalf, and the great artists who know my value,” he added.
The audio recording broadcasted by the local channel received backlash from users on social media who criticized it for offering a platform to someone they described as “an extremist.”
A Twitter user said that the local channel “left everything in trouble in the country and is busy opening a way for a terrorist to see his page whitened while he is drowning in the blood of soldiers from the Lebanese army!”