To say that the Saudi Arabian government is problematic might be putting it lightly. The crown prince and his cronies were recently behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They are behind a plethora of war crimes in Yemen and members of the LGBTQ community can face death just for being who they are. On top of that their record on women's rights is abysmal.
According to U.S. News and World Report. Saudi Arabia is one of the worst countries to be a woman. The kingdom practices strict sharia law and women are considered inferior. Women have male guardians called "mahrams" which could be a father, husband, brother or even their son.
They need their mahram's permission to get a passport, get a job, leave prison, or even get married. In some cases, their mahram is also their abuser, but any attempt to leave could result in serious punishment.
With this backdrop, it is shocking and disappointing that world-renowned rapper, goddess, and provocateur Nicki Minaj has decided to headline Saudi Arabia's Jeddah World Fest (JWF).
The JWF is a one-day music festival that is said to be "one of the biggest music events ever staged in the Middle East." Artists and concert-goers from around the world will flock into the coastal city where they will be able to dance, sing, and party until the wee hours of the night listening to music by world-famous artists. So why would Nicki Minaj — a woman who, in her own words has said she is an advocate for women's and LGBT rights and speaks to the importance of sexual liberation and female independence in her lyrics — headline a concert in a country that doesn't believe in any of that?
The JWF is a sham concert, being used by the Saudi Crown Prince and the Saudi government as a way to clean their image after they got caught red-handed in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. They need good press to bury the piles of bad news they have received over the past year. But don't be fooled. The fact the country has invited western artists to play for one day does not mean they plan on changing their ways. In fact, if JWF is a success, it will likely mean they will continue to behave as usual, knowing they can distract the rest of the world with fancy concerts and events — all the while discriminating against, punishing and killing women, homosexuals, and dissidents.
Nicki Minaj must recognize that she is being used and not for good. Her concert would send a disastrous message to the world and it must not take place.Sign the petition and ask Nicki Minaj to back out of the Jeddah Music Fest.
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