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Russell Brand scraps Mideast shows over security

The Associated Press, Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:48am (PDT)

LONDON (AP) -- British comedian Russell Brand says he has cancelled Middle Eastern dates on his forthcoming tour after promoters said they couldn't guarantee his safety.

Brand had planned to take his "Messiah Complex" tour to Abu Dhabi and Lebanon.

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Brand has said the tour focuses on icons including Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X and Jesus, and examines "the importance of heroes in this age of atheistic disposability."

But Brand told BBC radio Thursday that the Mideast venues "contacted us to say we can no longer guarantee your safety."

Brand said he thought organizers were wary of the sensitive topic and the poster, which "does depict me looking a little bit Christ-like" and wearing corporate and religious insignia.

The tour starts June 12 in Chicago and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Dec. 9.

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