Oman opera house faces backlash over Quran reading

US jazz group irks locals with live reading from Islamic holy book

Up to 100 protesters gathered outside Muscat’s opera house to demonstrate against a recital of verses from the Quran during a recent performance, it was reported.

According to local daily Times of Oman, a member of US jazz group Jason Moran and the Bandwagon read out verses from the Islamic holy book while performing at the venue on February 28. The protesters claim that this violated Islamic values.

"We are not against ROHM (Royal Opera House Muscat) and cultural programmes. But our demand is that it should not violate religious values," an anonymous protester who took part in the Thursday demonstration told the newspaper.

In an earlier statement, ROHM apologised for the live Quran reading, saying it “deplores the incident”.

The 1,000-seat ROHM, only the second of its kind in the Middle East, opened in the Omani capital in 2011.

At the time the project attracted considerable controversy, with some Omanis claiming that the venue’s lavish cost could instead have been used to create jobs in the Sultanate.

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