STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – Gina Dirawy and Sarah Dawn Finer, who performed Swedish folk songs in Arabic and Hebrew during the fourth semi final of Melodifestivalen, have seen a backlash from the Liberal People’s Party.
Frederik Malm, a member of parliament, accused the executive producer of the competition, Christer Björkman, of propaganda and added that Dirawy could have closed the act with the chant “Allahu Ekber” (God is Great in Arabic).
Furthermore, the show was scorned for an apparent change in lyrics during a short performance of the Swedish national anthem, where “I want to live, I want to die in the North”, was instead presented as “I want to live, I want to die in the World”.
The controversy comes at a time when Sweden is increasingly struggling to accommodate migrants and refugees coming from the Middle East. The final of the Swedish national selection will be held on March 12.