Mennel Ibtissem conquered the judges of “The Voice” contest last Saturday with her rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah in English and Arabic, singing “Ya Ilahi.”
The 22-years-old singer was born in the eastern French town of Besançon to a Syrian-Turkish father and a Moroccan-Algerian mother. She’s very active on social media and supports the Palestinian cause.
After the airing of “The Voice” on Saturday, her internet posts about Palestine and the Nice terror attacks were targeted, due to her popularity online.
“It’s good it became a routine, an attack a week! And to always stay fateful, the ‘terrorist’ had his identity PAPERS with him. It’s true that when preparing a dirty move, one doesn’t forget to take its papers AT ALL” tweeted Mennel on July 16, 2016, just after the police announced they had identified Mohamed Lahouaiej as the man who killed more than 84 with a truck in Nice during the Bastille Day celebrations.
The tweet was heavily criticized on social media, and circulated along with others claims such as “the government is the real terrorist.”
Ibtissem answered to her critics through her Twitter account shortly after the controversy began, saying her posts were taken out of context, expressing ideas that are not hers and don’t reflect her actual point of view.
— Sarah ZOUAK (@SarahZOUAK) February 5, 2018
“I was born in Besançon; I love France, I love my country. I obviously condemn terrorism firmly. That’s the reason for my anger. How would you defend the indefensible!” tweeted Ibtissem yesterday.
Islamophobic internet sites criticized her for supporting the French Muslim feminist organization Lallab, liking Tariq Ramadan’s writing, condemning Israeli occupation of Palestine and sharing post from the BarakaCity association, claiming they finance terrorist movements.
— Peter Speetjens (@PeterBeirut) February 6, 2018
A Pro-Israel European site said Ibtissem had a “biased” view, calling her a radical, anti-France, far-right Muslim who denies Islamic terrorism. “Mennel Ibtissem has a beautiful voice but must review her ideologic foundations before making vibrate the hearts of the people. A minimum of morality is expected from the French public,” wrote the site Europe-Israel.
I preach a message of love, peace, and tolerance. The evidence is my choice of singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah,” tweeted Ibtissem, “this song perfectly illustrates the message I hope to transmit as an artist.”
“The Voice” is a singing contest show in which four judges sit with their backs towards the contestants, so they’re not biased by looks and focus only on voice. It originated in the UK, but it was later adapted and mimicked in different countries.
(teleSUR, PC, Social Media)