I Mosh Therefore I Am: The Lebanese Media’s Witch Hunt

(Photo: Alia Haju)
Boxes & Briefs Guest Post

The Lebanese media recently resurrected the crusade against the metal community, a community that yours truly is still a proud member of and has been for the past decade. This witch hunt has harmed hundreds of innocent people over the past 15 years and has targeted metal-heads all over the country for the shallowest of reasons; persecuting us for wearing black, growing our hair, getting tattoos and even wearing spiked arm bands, categorizing us as Satanists, drug abusers and going so far as calling us necrophiliacs. Just as it did in the years of 1996, 2001, 2004 and 2006, the Lebanese media continues to target metal-heads claiming that there is something wrong with them, that they are outrageous and should be looked upon with the utmost vigilance. Yet the media has failed, continuously, in researching metal music, and has never even taken the time to listen to the bands they claim are ruining the fragile youth of the country. The sad thing is that the reporters that have spearheaded this campaign, MTV’s Joe Maalouf and al-Jadeed’s Dalal Bazzi, have displayed an agonizing lack of knowledge that does more harm than good, choosing, instead, to redefine terms such as head-banging, mosh-pits, and even metal-heads, in an attempt to gain ground in a field congested with newbie reporters trying to make a name for themselves.

In a typical TV report broadcast this week, Dalal Bazzi unearthed a topic that was thought to have been long forgotten – a scoop which, in her view, is something that she will be remembered for. Bazzi mishandled the case of a metal concert happening at a school in Lebanon, focusing her attention on the graffiti on the wall, particularly a pentagram. She interviewed local people who saw the concert as a Black Mass. In her two minute report, Dalal did not interview any metal-heads, instead focusing on the people of the community where the concert took place as they bemoaned what they considered the loss of their youths’ innocence. Bazzi’s amateurish report paved the way for other reporters and presenters to try to outdo each other, victimizing a group of people already under suspicion and surveillance.

In his show “Enta Horr,” TV presenter Joe Maalouf picked up the torch where Dalal left off. Sounding like a concerned parent, Maalouf, after showing a short clip from concert, welcomed a caller, Eddie, who was allegedly at the event. The witness described the concert as a Satanic gathering, filled with drugs and devilish rituals, claiming that the people engaged in mosh-pits were high on hallucinogens. Maalouf was nodding in agreement and chimed in with his sole witness to assure that the drug intake was obvious and clear, although the claim cannot be proven with the seconds of footage that was broadcast. Eddie went on to talk about the Satanic lyrics that accompanied the heavy metal music. Maalouf meanwhile chose to focus on the location of the event, claiming that the venue was a convent. Eddie picked up where the host left off and in a confident tone revealed that it was chosen on purpose, claiming that the event’s place and timing was chosen on purpose by the “Satanic Church.” All that was missing is a claim that Free Masons orchestrated the whole thing. The witness known only as Eddie spoke in a manner that left one to presume that he held some sort of grudge towards the metal community. There was no proof whatsoever that the witness was present at the concert except for his word.

To not appear unprofessional, Maalouf opened the air to a rebuttal from Bassem Deaibess, a lead-singer for a local metal band. Deaibess, whose band Blaakyum was part of the line-up for the gig, was given little time to deliver his rebuttal; instead he was constantly interrupted and hassled by the host, unlike the purported “witness.” Maalouf, fearing to be proved wrong by a person who was “actually” there, stood his ground and fought Deaibess on every statement. Deaibess tried tirelessly to get his message across, amid the ridicule and childishness of the host. Joe went on and on about the drug intake of the audience, while Deaibess found himself arguing with an opponent rather than a moderator. Joe steered the conversation towards moshing, which he referred to as “unnatural,” mocking any attempt by the caller to explain the phenomenon.

A little simple research by the host, making use of the popular site Wikipedia perhaps, would have provided him with a definition. According to Wikipedia, “Moshing, in a strict sense, is a style of dance where participants push or slam into each other.” A deeper search would have lead to an award-winning university study from the University of Alberta, Canada, where a student won an award for researching the subculture that are mosh pits. Joe relied instead on the words of his colleagues, who he claims are avid metal-heads, who guaranteed him that mosh-pits are not common at metal concerts. Yet in my humble experience it is very rare for a metal concert, locally or globally, not to have a mosh-pit. It is part of the atmosphere.

Joe ended the segment by blaming the government, as is usual when any problem arises. Beseeching the public to use their brains, he went on to say that this is not over, as his show will attempt to infiltrate such events in an attempt to further investigate this “unnatural” phenomena. Investigating it with blind eyes will cause further harm. We are members of this community, we are bankers, doctors, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers.

We are not a tumor.

A sickening lack of professionalism was the reason why so many people were wrongfully accused in the past. So many metal-heads have been interrogated, harassed and beaten, all thanks to media outlets that have failed to research a community, which is celebrated in other areas of the world. Their crusade is a blatant attack on the freedoms of a group of people who listen to metal music, a music genre that is wrongly seen as a call to satanism. That is appalling and sad. Metal-heads are called satanists in a show of ignorance and arrogance. TV presenters should be objective and should research every word they say, instead of shouting fanatically about things they know nothing about, allowing their personal beliefs and values to blind their objective position. Metal music has been around for decades, and has been fought by every faction of our society – that doesn’t mean it shall cease to exist.

Comments

Joe Maalouf is a hypocrite

For God sake Metal is not Anticrist, I guess the Lebanese media is running out of topics:D
This is true basically, we love being dark and criminals. Just shed the light on events with millions of dollars extacy and drugs sponsorship like Tiesto and Armin PVD and the rest of the bullshit events, we love the lord we do go churches we are citizens just like you, we only head bang and moshpit, the things you have no balls to do.

Rock On

Thumbs up! Perfetto!

Joe is not an idiot

Despite the image he is giving out, the guy is not an idiot. he knows exactly what he is doing and what he is saying. he knows the metal scene is not that bad but hey, this will stir up some controversy in the country so why the hell not. now that he's done it, all we hear about is this damn Joe Maalouf, so he basically got what he wanted.

What bothered me most was that he and Tony Khalifeh kept insisting on the drug issue as if drug intake only happens in underground parties, because in high-profile clubs people are only drinking, SURE! But hey let's face it, they will not go inside a Biel trance event or in a club and talk about the drugs there, knowing that darak are right outside watching people knowing that they're on drugs. It's called Wasta. and the funniest thing is that Joe actually said that people in moshpits might be on ecstasy, I think he should google the effects before talking.

Also, the moshpit in Massacore, am sorry to say, was too friendly!! From what I remember, people were smiling and helping each other if somebody falls on the ground. They made it seem like there was blood all over the place and goat heads being passed along.

I have too many points to talk about and I wasn't even there so to keep it short.. Ma l7a2 3a Joe, l7a2 3al MTV 3am betkhalli yetla3 y2oul hek w ya3mol hek bel 3alam. 3ayb!!

This is embarrassing for all of us as Lebanese. Whether you like the music/scene or not, you should not accept what the media is doing! As for the older generation, I don't expect them to understand any of this but I expect the media to respect the scene and leave it as is.

This is embarrassing, the

This is embarrassing, the singer was talking logically and calmly and was completely bullied by Joe Maalouf. Metal and Rock concerts have been around for ages. Maalouf's replies were RIDICULOUS and underlined his super ignorance. Bahdaleh... Learn to listen mr journalist, not to hear yourself talk nonsense. Shou hel bully, he criticizes Lebanese and he is the WORST example of them , talks without listening. Narrow minded. No place for this in journalism-

Tfeh

i do not even...

Sorry, I had to vomit after reading this.

Tfeh

Meanwhile, prostitution and publically done drug abuse witnessed in high profit clubs like BO, Pier7, White, Skybar, etc..

Sign this petition against such matters so we can move forward

Sign this petition against such matters so we can move forward in educating the media on the matter
http://www.lebaneserockers.com

The Lebanese Media’s Witch Hunt

I guess the Lebanese media is running out of topics:D

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