J. Lo sued for ‘tarnishing women’s honor’ in Morocco
Jennifer Lopez is being sued by a Moroccan educational group claiming she ‘disturbed public order and tarnished women’s honor and respect’
Although she tells us her “love don’t cost a thing,” Jennifer Lopez may have been proven wrong.
The star’s dance moves during last month’s Mawazine World Rhythms International Music Festival concert in Morocco have landed her with a lawsuit after claims that her performance was “tarnishing women’s honor,” The Independent reported on Sunday.
Her performance, which was broadcasted on public television, has been highly criticized by conservative Moroccans who viewed her revealing clothing and suggestive dancing as highly offensive.
A lawsuit has been filed by an educational group in Morocco claiming that she “disturbed public order and tarnished women’s honor and respect.” If legal proceedings progress, the 45-year-old singer could face up to two years in prison.
The Moroccan minister of communications, Mustapha Khalifi, took to Twitter to express his views on the concert, describing it as “unacceptable and goes against broadcasting laws,” the BBC reported.
Khalifi has also been criticized for permitting the broadcasting of Lopez’s performance, with claims that some people are demanding his resignation, though it is unlikely.
Religious groups were already upset over the recent concert that they deemed provocative.
Government spokesman Mustapha Khalfi, a member of the Islamist Justice and Development party, strongly denounced the broadcast on state television.
"What was broadcast is unacceptable and goes against broadcasting law," Khalfi wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, local media criticized the pop star for her "suggestive poses" and for being "scantily" dressed.
Arrests and expulsions
Earlier this month, Morocco expelled two French women activists who bared their breasts and kissed each other outside an ancient mosque in a protest about gay rights in a country where homosexuality is illegal.
Last Thursday, two Moroccan men who kissed in public were arrested by authorities in the conservative Muslim kingdom and a Spanish feminist was expelled after a pro-gay protest.
And earlier in 2013, two teens in Nador, Morocco were arrested for publicly kissing. Soon after their arrest, Moroccans in support of them held a "kiss-in" in public.
Morocco has an Islamic-inspired penal code that bans sex outside marriage and forbids Moroccans from drinking alcohol, but a generally more tolerant approach gives young people more freedom than many other countries in the region.
That has partly helped Morocco attract tourists, especially from western Europe.
Despite the stringent laws, a recent government report has uncovered a thriving sex workers industry, following a film on the lives of prostitutes – which drew anger from Moroccan officials and conservatives.
The report, published in Moroccan newspaper Al Khabar, intended to address a problem that rights activists have long accused Rabat of ignoring. It stated that the Health Ministries in four cities — Rabat, Tangier, Fez and Agadir — said that there were 19,333 sex workers there in 2011.