Is Alf Poier xenophobic?

by Oliver Rau 190 views

The controversy about the lyrics of Alf Poier's song for the Austrian national final, Good old Europe is dying, continues. The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) demanded to withdraw the song from the contest. Alf Poier said he is just naming the facts, not judging them.

Tarafa Baghajati, vice president of the ENAR and founder of an Austrian Muslim's group, protested against parts of the song's lyrics, which reads: “Once the Christians wielded swords, once bombs fell on Berlin and because Mohamed bred so well, soon Muezzin will sing in Rome”. He denounced these lyrics as an “affront to all Muslims living in Europe”, because the song would connect the increasing number of Muslims in Europe with a disposition of violence. He asked ORF to stop the broadcast of the song and start a discussion if “something like this really could be distributed under the seal of the Freedom of Art.”

Poier responded that his song just names the facts. “It is nothing but a blank mirror. What people are seeing in it, they should interprete in their own name. Old Europe has to die, so that the new one can grow more easily. My song is not only a requiem, but also a jig of all nations and folks. Who does not want to dance along, should continue to shout 'scandal, scandal!' and stay a blockhead”, Poier said.

Poier's management added that the singer “does not assess in neither direction”. Edgar Böhm, head of entertainment at Austrian broadcaster ORF, also sees no problem.

The song Good old Europe is dying is one of the ten entries of this year's Austrian national final, song.null.fünf, to be held 25 February (21:05 CET). The winner of song.null.fünf will have to compete in the semifinal the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest in Kiev.

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