GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
December 1999: A Lebanese court acquits Marcel Khalife, one of the Arab world's most popular musicians, of insulting Islam.

Marcel Khalife is a Christian Lebanese composer, most famous in the Arab world for the nationalist songs he composed during the 15-year Lebanese civil war. Religious authorities accused Khalife of including Koranic verses in a song -- based on a poem by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish -- about the plight of the Palestinians. His trial is seen as a test case for freedom of expression in a country perceived as one of the most liberal in the Arab world. Similar trials in Egypt convict numerous authors and publishers.

NPR Arab Singer Accused of Insulting Islam
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Arab singer and songwriter Marcel Khalife is accused of insulting Islam by singing a verse of the Quran.


NPR Jadal
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Banning Eyre reviews the latest recording by the Lebanese composer Marcel Khalife. The work features the Arabic lute, the oud.