Baghdad, Iraq (AFP) — A popular song of Iraqi Muslims, “Baghdada”, has caused an international uproar over its derogatory references to Westerners and has sparked a furious backlash among the country’s 1.6 million-strong population.
The song, which is popular among young people and is frequently performed at concerts, is a tribute to the ancient city of Baghdad.
It is sung in the lyrics: “Come and find me/Come and meet me/The only place you’ll find me” and “Bin Laden will be waiting for you”.
But while the lyrics may seem innocuous, the lyrics themselves are a deeply insulting portrayal of the region.
Baghdads Sunni residents have long complained that the song’s lyrics portray them as backward, ignorant and backward-looking.
Its been sung in a way that’s derogatory and disrespectful, said a young woman who has been a victim of hate speech from the song, who asked to remain anonymous.
I was really angry and really hurt when I heard the lyrics.
I’m a native speaker of English, and I was shocked that they were being sung in this way, she told AFP.
Some of the lyrics in the song are very racist.
They don’t represent the way Iraqis are.
It’s like they’re trying to paint Iraqis as foreigners.
The only way to understand Iraqis is to look at the past.
It’s not just the lyrics, it’s how the lyrics are being played.
Some of the songs are actually in English and used in songs that are sung in Arabic and English.
Many Muslims in Baghdad have long voiced opposition to the lyrics being sung by Westerners.
“It’s a joke.
You should listen to what they say and do what they do,” said Mohammed Mahmoud, a Baghdad-based political analyst.”
There’s a huge amount of anger towards the Westerners, and there are some very angry people in the streets,” he said.
Iraqi authorities are investigating the lyrics to the song and the songs association with a terrorist organisation.
The police have urged people to not participate in the show or play it in the city, and have announced that they are launching a crackdown on “inappropriate” acts.