India-origin singer withdrawn from contest over anti-Semitism

Berlin, Nov 24 (IANS) Germany has withdrawn its decision to select an Indian-origin singer for next year’s Eurovision song contest following accusations that he uses anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs in his songs.

Xavier Naidoo (44) was chosen as Germany’s representative for next year’s contest on Saturday following a public vote.

However, the German press reacted negatively to the announcement, forcing the state broadcaster to make a U-turn on Monday, the independent.ie news website said.

Anti-Semitism is prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group.

“Xavier Naidoo is a wonderful singer who is not racist or homophobic in my view,” said Thomas Schreiber, state broadcaster ARD’s executive.

“It was clear that he is someone who polarises but the ferocity of the reactions surprised us. We misjudged,” he added.

Naidoo, who is of Indian and African descent, was criticised for lyrics in his song “Wo Sind”, released in 2012, which linked homosexuality and paedophilia.

Schreiber assured fans they will choose an alternative artiste as soon as possible.

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