The French Muslim woman, Mennel Ibtissem, has quit The Voice, a TV singing competition in France, amid criticism of comments she posted on Facebook after Islamic extremist attacks in 2016.
Ibtissem drew nationwide attention for a moving performance Saturday on The Voice of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” A French-born woman of Syrian origin who wears a turban, Ibtissem notably sang one passage in Arabic.
In the ensuing days she drew criticism for Facebook messages posted after deadly attacks in Nice and Normandy in 2016. In one, she wrote “the real terrorist is our government.”
She apologized, saying she was shaken by the attacks and by French authorities’ failure to prevent them. But criticism continued, and she announced Friday that she quit the TV competition.
Supporters say Ibtissem is being unfairly targeted because she is Muslim.