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Serj Tankian asks if Imagine Dragons would play Nazi Germany

System of a Down singer Serj Tankian has once again criticized Imagine Dragons for their concert in Azerbaijan last September. In response to the band's recent defense of the show, Tankian even compared the concert to a performance in Nazi Germany.

Last month, Tankian said Imagine Dragons were “not good people” for playing in Azerbaijan, prompting Dan Reynolds of the band to respond in an interview with Rolling Stone: “I think this is a really sensitive issue,” he said. “I think once you start doing this, there are corrupt leaders and warmongers all over the world. Where do you draw the line?”

On Thursday (July 4), Tankian answered Reynolds' question in a lengthy social media statement. “With all due respect, I draw the line at ethnic cleansing and genocide,” he wrote. “Azerbaijan's popularly supported dictatorship was already in a nine-month starvation blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, imposed by the former [International Criminal Court] Prosecutor [Luis Moreno Ocampo] when they decided to play against Baku.”

He continued: “Would they play in Nazi Germany? Why don't they want to play in Russia? Because it's not popular there? They support Ukraine but not the Armenians of Artsakh? The only 'trick' is the farce of moral equivalence that underlies this hypocritical attitude. I have nothing against this guy or his band. I just hate it when artists are used to whitewash genocidal dictatorships.”

Tankian remained staunch in his criticism of Imagine Dragons for their performance in Azerbaijan, writing an open letter to the band ahead of the concert accusing the country of “crimes against humanity” for their military actions, which he described as impending “genocide.”

It's worth noting that every member of System of a Down is of Armenian descent. In 2020, they reunited for their first new songs in 15 years to raise money for the “serious war that Azerbaijan is waging against our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia.”