The Swedish channel TV4 has stirred some strong reactions by inviting Muslim food blogger Zeina Mourtada to star in its Midsummer holiday morning show.
The program remarkably eschewed the staples of the traditional Swedish Midsummer celebration, informing the audience on how to cook shish kebab and traditional kebab in the oven.
When asked by the host whether Midsummer is celebrated in her culture, Mourtada, who wore a hijab for the occaston, answered the following: "No, we don't typically celebrate it, but I do it for the children's sake. We watch the Midsummer pole and dance."
The TV-program evoked a plethora of reactions in the social media, both positive and negative. While some perceived the kebab sequence to be a multiculturalist attack on the traditional way of life, others hailed the veiled cook.
"Herring and potatoes for Midsummer? No, TV4 instead offers "traditional" kebab today, cooked by a food blogger in headscarf," user MickeK tweeted.
"TV4 celebrates midsummer with kebab! Wondering when this s**tty channel will start broadcasting in Arabic and at best, text in Swedish!" Thomas Möller tweeted.
"Obviously, TV4 will proceed with showing how to roast an entire pig during any major Muslim weekend… Oh, wait, it will never happen," user Socialförvaltare concurred.
Självklart kommer @TV4 visa hur man gör helstekt gris under valfri muslimsk storhelg… oh wait, det kommer aldrig att ske 😂— Socialförvaltare (@TungKungPung) June 23, 2018
"Alright. I'm taking notes. Next Easter, TV4 can run a feature on how to make Gefilte fish. An on Yom Kippur, TV4 will celebrate with Christmas ham with a lot of exciting party tips. Next Christmas, I'll ask TV2 to show me how to cook Christmas food from insects. Trendy, and the Greens will love it," user MYlexander wrote.
Ok. Jag noterar. På nästa påsk kan TV4 ha inslag om hur man lagar Gefiltefich. Och på Yom Kipur hyllar TV4 Julskinkan med massa spännande fest recept. På nästa jul så ber jag TV 4 visa mig hur vi lagar julmat av insekter. Trendigt och MP kommer älska det. Bajsnödiga TV4.— MYlexander (@RealityCheckSWE) June 23, 2018
While some users perceived the kebab recipe on the traditional Nordic holiday as a token of "Islamization going on at pace previously unseen," others hailed the program as progressive.
"Yes, it's important to erase everything old. Like Swedish traditions," user Anna countered.
Ja det gäller att radera bort allt gammalt.. som svenska traditioner.— Anna E 🇸🇪🇺🇸🇫🇷 (@Anna1849) June 23, 2018
"She's amazing, this woman Z, she went to Facebook and asked her followers what they wanted her to make. That's why it turned out to be kebab. She makes the best food from all corners of the world. A great source of inspiration," Anna Grönberg tweeted.
Hon är fantastisk, denna kvinna Z, hon gick ut på Facebook och frågade sina följare vad de ville hon skulle laga. Därav kebaben. Hon lagar det bästa från alla hörn av världen. Riktig inspirationskälla ❤️— Anna Grönbäck (@Ricottaan) June 23, 2018
"I would like to stress a lot more kebab is being eaten on Midsummer than salted herring and turnips," user Vrång-Johan tweeted, adding that he was more afraid of "closed-minded idiots with tin foil hats who have been imagining stuff about our country."