Zanzibar Relies on Freddie Mercury Tourism

At the same time, the country authorities are condemning his lifestyle.

Zanzibar Relies on Freddie Mercury Tourism
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Zanzibar Authorities has built a tourism industry out of the country status as Freddie Mercury's birthplace. But, as Vice points out (via Ultimate Classic Rock), however, it's more than a little hypocritical.

As Vice reporter Eleanor Ross points out in her piece, Mercury's homosexuality - and overall flamboyant lifestyle - stood in direct opposition to the cultural limits Zanzibar's government seeks to impose. Of course, that hasn't stopped its residents from actively reaping the economic benefits of their association.

"I like Freddie Mercury very much. He brings much money to this island, because many Americans and British people come to visit his birthplace," one tour company employee told Ross. "This is good because it means I can buy my sons a television that they want. But in my religion it is not good to be a man with a man. The new laws in Uganda are right. These people should be punished because what they are doing is ungodly."

As the article points out, Mercury - born Farrokh Bulsara - only lived in Zanzibar until 1964, when the future Queen frontman, still bring a teenager, moved to England with his family and never went back. Tours dedicated to his time there are still popular, however, and they continue to draw an increasing number of visitors, many of whom don't care to follow the local customs, possibly helping set the stage for a brewing culture clash between traditional and Western values.

"Although I love the tourists coming, I do worry about the way of life here," another tour guide added. "Will it become the West? Who knows."

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    onetonryan
    What's your favorite dish? I'm not gonna cook it, but I'll order it from Zanzibar.
    Izzy-Sweet
    Here's an idea: Stop taking your moral senses from a book that's over 2000 f*cking years old. Literally, get with the times.
    pavedickey
    The religion in Zanzibar is Islam. Hence the concern of 'Western' influence. So your real concern should be directed towards a 1500ish year old book that, well, I guess current events pretty much spell out what it stands for.
    Akkeli
    Well, the fundamental values of christianity are good. However, I wish people would stop interpreting Bible literally. There are always conservatives who elevate their old narrow-minded views over human rights.
    Ultach
    Weeeeell if you want to get technical the Bible is only around 1600 years old. Unless you're talking about Leviticus specifically in which case it's 3400 years old. Though then I guess "over 2000" holds true.
    RATMfan420
    I'm always down for Team Slayer on Zanzibar, 4V4, no shields. CTF is a possibility
    XYL
    Ignorance is strong in the UG community. What do you believe constitutes right and wrong if not religion then? If it's the individual, then why is a person wrong for judging another if he truly believes ignorantly and blindly judging people is right? Why is Manovvar wrong for saying such insensitive comments? If it's the society, then what gives us as a UG community the right to judge the community in Zanzibar for being hypocritical? Zanzibar has its flaws and, hell, so does the UG community, but if these flaws are ingrained in society, then what makes them wrong if society sets the moral standards? What gives us the right to hold our moral standards to be superior to all other societies? Look at yourselves— so adamant to blame Christians for everything that you don't even bother to do your research and find that Zanzibar is a MUSLIM country. You guys are so If it's science, then what's stopping us from going all the way to eugenics? Survival of the fittest, right? Oh wait, Hitler tried that already. Third Reich. Where did he go wrong then? Science is based on observation, and therefore can only tell us How everything happened, but not Why. People who crown science to be their religion just take this one step further and assume that there just cannot be a Why. Religion is not a scientific problem, it's a personal one. Billy Collins— do your googling. One of the most important scientists of our time, he mapped out the Human Genome, went to church the next day to praise God. Fred Hoyle— do your googling. Decorated atheist scientist from Cambridge, discovered that the chance of the 2,000 enzymes needed to make life coming together in that one exact order is 10^40,000 — evidence of the universe's creation points more to a divine creator than to random chance. Hoyle refuses to let go of atheism, cops out and suggests that aliens put us here. Rest of atheists look at evidence and ignores common sense, says that since we are here the random chance must've happened anyway. Go figure. The only way to peace is for all humans to search for truth that is timeless and true (oh wait. 2000 year old books? NO WAYY). Once we realize that we are flawed by selfishness and therefore cannot possibly define our own morality, we will start reaching out to religion. Other people turn to religion after they realize that there is nothing everlasting on this earth that we can live for that would give us purpose. Your job, my dear friends, is to stop being so bigoted and ignorant by calling these people names and perhaps accept the very mere possibility that your stupid way of life is not the only right one out there. The argument cannot end at religion, however, and people of different faiths do need to come together to discuss it all out and figure out the complete truth. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" — Voltaire. Good man, he was.
    theclassicrock
    Right = helping people Wrong = hurting people Everything else = neutral "Decorated atheist scientist from Cambridge, discovered that the chance of the 2,000 enzymes needed to make life coming together in that one exact order is 10^40,000 — evidence of the universe's creation points more to a divine creator than to random chance." That doesn't actually point to a divine creator at all. Humanity just has an inflated ego. "Your job, my dear friends, is to stop being so bigoted and ignorant by calling these people names and perhaps accept the very mere possibility that your stupid way of life is not the only right one out there." Are you even trying? "The only way to peace is for all humans to search for truth that is timeless and true (oh wait. 2000 year old books? NO WAYY)." Old =/= timeless.
    Manovvar
    fags n dykes want their lifestyle to be respected, so they too have to respect other's life choices, even if it's religious bigotry. besides, gays get enough attention anyways...they make sure of that themselves. gays want equal rights? stop acting like super-flamboyant adhd clowns and start acting human...otherwise, normal people will always be sick of you annoying queers.
    SleepFan
    You hate gays, but your username comes from Manowar, right? You know, those guys on the cover that are mostly naked dudes. That band yeah?
    HitmanJenkins
    Have you even met a gay person in real life? Most of them don't act like "super-flamboyant adhd clowns" you describe. Like jaybrink said, you could've phrased your argument better. That said, I don't see the point in respecting bigotry (I'm talking bigotry in the classical sense), because it clearly doesn't respect the views it opposes.
    jaybrink10101
    I get what you're trying to say. And if you had phrased it as "Some people hold gay rights as important, for other people their faith is the turning point of their life. Like it or not, both opinions are pretty valid" I may have even agreed. But frankly, you're just an arsehole.
    MaidenisGOD89
    While you're language is absolutely atrocious, you do make a good point. We have war going on in many parts of the world right now, homosexuality is still the hot topic? really? Don't we have better things to focus on? shit...
    HitmanJenkins
    People probably made similar comments during the civil rights movement. You do realise that you can look at multiple issues right?
    XYL
    @theclassicrock Right = helping people Wrong = hurting people Everything else = neutral If only life were that simple. What constitutes helping people, then? That doesnmt 2. I'm sorry for telling people that their 3. Timeless truths stand the test of time. That's what it means to be timeless.