RELIGION

Jordan lifts ban on performance by popular Lebanese band

  • Lebanese Hamed Sinno, second left, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Hamed Sinno, second left, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lebanese Hamed Sinno, second left, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Hamed Sinno, second left, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lebanese Hamed Sinno, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

    Lebanese Hamed Sinno, lead singer and song writer of the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila or "Leila's Project" band, speaks during a press conference with his band musicians, in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Jordan has banned a performance by a popular Lebanese rock band on religious grounds, spurring criticism of the Western-allied kingdom, which portrays itself as an island of tolerance in a turbulent region. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)  (The Associated Press)

Jordan is permitting a popular Lebanese rock band to perform, lifting an earlier ban imposed amid claims the group's songs promoting religious and sexual freedom violate local customs and religious beliefs.

Khalid Abu Zeid, a regional politician who initially announced the ban against "Mashrou Leila," or Leila's Project, said in a new statement that "we don't mind if this concert takes place." He didn't elaborate.

The indie band, known for songs about controversial subjects, says the reversal comes too late for the Jordan show to take place as scheduled on Friday.

The initial ban sparked criticism of Jordan, which presents itself as an island of relative tolerance in a turbulent region where religious fundamentalism is on the rise.

The group's detractors apparently included both Christian and Muslim clerics and officials.