Xavier Naidoo

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Xavier Kurt Naidoo (born October 2, 1971 in Mannheim) is a German singer and radical Christian. He meanwhile pursues a solo career but used to be with the band Söhne Mannheims [Sons of Mannheim], of which he is also one of the founding members. He also is a conspiracy theorist and a supporter of the Reichsbürgerbewegung [Reich Citizens' Movement]. He is one of the few celebrities to publically represent such views, thus giving them a corresponding scope. Naidoo further stood out with homophobic comments, e.g. in his song titled Wo sind ["Where are], in which he characterises homosexuals as child molesters.[1]

Activities

Naidoo represents views characteristic of the Reich Citizens' Movement which denies the existence of the Federal Republic of Germany as a state; they view Germany as a "limited liability company" [GmbH] and hence use the label of "BRD GmbH". He furthermore supports and spreads various conspiracy theories, like about 9/11 and about an alleged financial crisis.

He raised attention with the Reich Citizens' Movement for the first time in October 2011 with an interview in "ARD Morning Magazine" [ARD is a public German TV station], during which he said: "... we are not free, we are still occupied, Germany has no peace treaty and thus Germany is no genuine country".[2]

In August 2014, Naidoo came forward with similar views at a spontaneous gig in Mannheim during a so-called "Peace Vigil" which are being organised by a broad right from Third Position supporters, Reich Citizens, to the extreme right, united e.g. in anti-Americanism and a rejection of mainstream media which they characterise as a "gutter press forced in line". This gig got covered in DER SPIEGEL by columnist Georg Diez who also addressed Naidoo's affinity to conspiracy theories, his hostility towards democracy, his nationalism, anti-Americanism, and anti-capitalism.[3]

Naidoo gave further reason to suspect his proximity to extremist right Reich citizens with appearances at "revolutionary" events with Rüdiger Klasen (from Prussia Free State) and at a "Third Position" protest march together with Jürgen Elsässer on October 3, 2014.[4] These activities caused more media to report further similar appearances of Naidoo.[5] According to Naidoo, resp. according to his management, the contributions made during the protests were spontaneous and emerged on the basis of his ideal, Jesus, as he approaches people. Naidoo alleges he had no idea who the protesters were.[6]

Legal action with Foundation Amadeu Antonio

In July 2015, Naidoo applied for a cease-and-desist order against Amadeu Antonio Foundation[7] with which the foundation was to agree to refrain from several statements published in an article on a German-language indymedia project "Xavier Naidoo: Telegramm für X oder wie bringe ich Reichsbürger-Inhalte ins Fernsehen".[8] Apparently the Foundation did not sign the declaration.

In July 2015, Naidoo pursued further legal action against the Foundation in front of Mannheim district court, presumably refering to a presently still non-final judgement of a Munich court in a lawsuit instituted by populist, editor, and Third Position activist Jürgen Elsässer. Previously, the Foundation had refused to sign the declaration which covered several passages in the text, particularly these:

„On October 3rd, Mannheim soul singer Xavier Naidoo, at a protest of Reich Citizens, called the audience to jointly overturn the system.“

As far as this aspect is concerned, the Court did not follow the author and the Foundation in their argumentation that Reich Citizens were spreading this analogously, so that it was not just an interpretation by author and Foundation, but in fact the interpretation given by Reich Citizens themselves. The Court hinted it was going to view this as a wrongful statement of fact as it was unable to interprete Naidoo's statements accordingly. Had it come to a verdict, the court most probably would have followed Naidoo's petition.

„Five years after Naidoo told members of the Federal Parliament "Get out of Reichstag", he supported a protest in front of Berlin Reichstag on the German national holiday - together with former National Democratic cadre Rüdiger Klasen who has a criminal record, Klasen's group "Staatenlos" [stateless], as well as with "members of government" of fantasy state "Prussia Free State".“

This view was shared by the Court, and the chief judge explained Naidoo in depth that he of course did promote the protest in its outreach. Had it come to a verdict, the court would have decided in favour of author Roland Sieber and Antonio-Amadeu-Foundation.

„There was another appeal to storm Reichstag and violently overthrow the federal government.“

This sentence was not part of the original article, in which the author instead described that there had been appeals among the social environment of the protest to storm Reichstag and violently overthrow the federal government. This is in accordance with facts. During a usual editorial revision, the original rather long sentence was split into two sentences which caused the statement Naidoo incriminated. In this respect, the court also followed his petition, therefore author and Foundation were interested in an out-of-court settlement.[9]

Foundation and author refrain from the sentence: "Someone spreading songlines as Xavier Naidoo does in his album 'Alles kann besser werden' [All can get better], is probably an anti-semite". The lyrics themselves may still be characterised as anti-semitic. An article published in the internet provides a very pointed comment:

"Thus every one of you may legally spread the comment "Who, like Xavier Naidoo does in his album 'All can get better', employs such lines in his lyrics, is probably to be regarded as an anti-semite" - just Foundation Amadeu Antonio and the author may not, due to the "voluntary" out-of-court settlement with Xavier Naidoo, so that Naidoo agreed to a favourable arrangement of court fees. Ergo the settlement has been brought about by Naidoo using financial pressure."[10]

Controversy about Naidoo nomination to participate in Eurovision Song Contest

On November 19, 2015, public TV station ARD announced their decision to have Xavier Naidoo represent Germany at the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden. Contrary to most recent procedures, the audience would not be required to vote in an artist from a number of performers, but only be able to make a decision regarding the actual song. Since Naidoo's political and Christian fundamentalist views have been discussed publically for several years as of now, this decision raised some fierce opposition among the audience and caustic comments published via Twitter and in media comment sections ("Deutsches Reich - zero points"[11]). Commenters e.g. wondered how Naidoo could convince himself to represent a country which, according to his views, does not exist. Others pointed to the fact that ARD's decision will estrange the contest's most loyal fans, the LBGT community, because of Naidoo's homophobic notions. By November 20, there were already two online petitions against the choice of Naidoo to represent Germany at the ESC. On November 21, the nomination was withdrawn by the TV station.

Special Awards

In 2014, Naidoo received an award for his views and activities as a conspiracy theorist: the satirical "Das Goldene Brett" [Golden Board; the original term implies a substantial amount of stupidity in a nominee resp. a decorated person].[12][13] The prize is awarded by a large German-language sceptics' organisation who nominated Naidoo for spreading the most prizeworthy hogwash in the field of conspiracy theories. His nomination was also based on the fact that Naidoo, due to his publicity, acts as a multiplyer introducing a wider audience to these theories.

In 2015, Naidoo was bestowed with another satirical award for his role in the Reich Citizens' Movement. "Der Goldene Aluhut" [Golden Tinfoil Hat] appreciates the most influential proponents of conspiracy theories.

Quotes

  1. "Before I do something good for some animals or foreign citizens, I prefer doing something for Mannheim. I am a racist, although regardless of skin colour."
  2. "No Christian is allowed to ever date the day of the apocalypse. It has been discovered, though, that Armageddon started in 1992. I'm convinced it did. For this was the year when I first started to read the bible."
  3. "Let me explain what I can read from the bible: America will perish. Not just America. Frankfurt, too, is Babylon, and London and Tokyo. Babylon is everywhere. But America and Tokyo are right on the top of the hit-list. I've got my knowledge. I see myself as someone whose mission it is to say such things. It's not my message, it's God's message. It's not my seed. I am just the servant applying it. I simply want to achieve one thing: that nobody will be able to pretend they did not know."
  4. "The trees don't die from my Benz or your Benz. How can we dare to claim we're destroying the earth? That's never going to happen. Earth would be in this shape anyway, because we are in this shape. Even the automobile gets described in the bible. There are several passages which describe the cherubim. For me, these angelic creatures are the automobiles."[14]

Articles in newspapers and online

Versions of this article in other languages

References

  1. Fabian Weissbarth: Xavier Naidoo beim Aufmarsch der Reichsbürger Zeit Online, 4. Oktober 2014
  2. Xavier Naidoo- Wir sind kein freies Land immer noch besetzt! Youtube video of his appearance at ARD on October 24, 2011
  3. Georg Diez: Der Kritiker: Vom Popstar zum Populisten Xavier Naidoo auf Montagsdemos über Deutschland und Pädophile Spiegel Online, 22. August 2014
  4. Xavier Naidoo spricht vor „Reichsbürgern“ Bild.de, 8. Oktober 2014
  5. Xavier Naidoo bei Verschwörungsdemo B.Z., 3. Oktober 2014
  6. Andreas Borcholte: Xavier Naidoo: Jesus bei den Reichsbürgern Spiegel Online, 7. Oktober 2014
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amadeu_Antonio_Foundation
  8. Xavier Naidoo und die Amadeu Antonio Stiftung einigten sich auf Vergleich vor Gericht
  9. Reichsbürgeraktivist Xavier Naidoo erpresst Medien und antifaschistische Stiftung auf indymedia.org
  10. Reichsbürgeraktivist Xavier Naidoo erpresst Medien und antifaschistische Stiftung at indymedia.org
  11. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/medien/eurovision-song-contest-xavier-naidoo-beim-esc-ist-ein-schlechter-scherz-1.2744477
  12. Xavier Naidoo als Verschwörungstheoretiker "geehrt". derStandard.at, 26. November 2014
  13. Naidoo wird für abstruse Theorien ausgezeichnet. Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine HNA.de, 27. November 2014
  14. All quotes from a 1999 interiew with Musikexpress: http://www.musikexpress.de/xavier-naidoo-im-interview-ich-bin-ein-rassist-aber-ohne-ansehen-der-hautfarbe-150829/