Singer Wishes Muslims Happy Ramadan, Screams 'F****** Jews' at Unity Concert


I have enough experience with “unity concerts” or similar events in my short 30-something years on earth to realize they’re generally not contentious affairs. Artists get up, sing their best-known songs, almost always with uncontroversial themes, and engage in uplifting banter with the audience that few humans could possibly disagree with. In other words, it’s hardly a Public Enemy show.

If you ever have to say that something you said or did at a “unity concert” was “taken out of context,” let’s face facts here: you’ve screwed up. For Norwegian-Muslim rapper Kaveh Kholardi, however, that doesn’t even begin to express just how deep the screw-up goes.

According to the Times of Israel, the 23-year-old Kholardi could face legal action after taking the stage and cursing the “f****** Jews” during an Oslo event meant to celebrate diversity.

Kholardi — known professionally by his given name Kaveh — had been hired by the city of Oslo to play at Gatematfest 2018. The event took place on June 15, which was just as the month of Ramadan was ending.

“Kholardi wished Muslims ‘Eid Mubarak,’ a greeting in Arabic for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that on Friday marked the end of Ramadan,” the Times of Israel reported. “He went on to ask if there were Christians present, smiling upon hearing cheers. Then he asked if there were any Jews, adding ‘f****** Jews… Just kidding.’”

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Yeah, that’s not really one you want to do a “j/k” on.

Organizers complained to Kaveh, somewhat unsurprisingly; one of the organizers said that the “point of the event was diversity and inclusion” and that this sentiment was “exactly the opposite of what the organizers wanted to promote.”

According to Norwegian site VG, Kaveh had initially posted an apology on Facebook.

“The statement I made was in a context related to one of my most controversial songs ‘Shamener,'” Kaveh wrote, according to a computer translation.

Do you think this rapper shouldn't have been invited to his event?

“Before the song I used this opportunity first to congratulate my fellow believers for well over with Ramadan it was, after all, our holy day.

“After getting response from both Muslims and Christians to my question about any of them were present, there was no response to the same question about Jews. In this vacuum, I followed that up with a statement that has now been taken out of context. This was intended as irony and I followed thereafter up with ‘Oh no, here we are all God’s children regardless. Shamener.’

“Taken out of context appears this as wrong. I’m not a racist nor an anti-Semite,” Kaveh concluded.

Perhaps it’s the translation, but I’m not even sure what the context was supposed to be. It’s also worth noting that five days prior to the concert, the rapper had also tweeted that ““f****** Jews are so corrupt.” I’m not quite sure what other context that can be taken in, but I don’t think it involves the song “Shamener.” That tweet has since disappeared from the rapper’s Twitter account and his Facebook account has become completely inaccessible.

Ervin Kohn, one of Norway’s Jewish leaders, has demanded an apology from the rapper and has said he’ll file a complaint to police for incitement to hate if he doesn’t get it. The Facebook post was apparently supposed to be Kaveh’s response; it remains unclear whether or not Kohn was satisfied, but I have my assumptions.

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There are questions regarding free speech here, although Europeans aren’t exactly as keen on absolute freedom of expression as Americans are. Either way, here are a few tips. Firstly, “taken out of context” usually doesn’t work as an excuse. Secondly, it really doesn’t work when it involves the statement “f****** Jews.” And it especially doesn’t work when you’ve tweeted essentially the same thing five days prior.

Of course, maybe it might behoove the city of Oslo to do their due diligence regarding the people they invite to promote “diversity and inclusion.” But I digress.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture