A Norwegian television show that staged five teenage girls' mock "conversion" to Islam for a chance to win concert tickets is not apologizing for the prank.
With free tickets to a concert by superstar Justin Bieber as their incentive, the Ann-Kat Hærland comedy show asked the teenagers to remove their make-up, put on hijabs and recite Islamic creed in Arabic.
They were also told to repeat: "Justin Bieber is impure and probably gay."
"We wanted to find out how far Norwegian ‘Beliebers’ are willing to go for tickets to one of Bieber’s concerts," the show's host, nicknamed Anne-Kat, said.
The communications director for TV Norge, Svein Tore Bergestuen, told Dubai-based newspaper 7DAYS that the network would not apologize in the name of "freedom of expression."
"In Norway we have freedom of speech and expression," Bergestuen said.
"The reaction we got in Norway was as expected — that everyone understood this was a sketch and humor."
The prank comes only weeks after Bieber himself was called insensitive after leaving a questionable message in a guestbook at the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.
"Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a Belieber," the teen pop star wrote.
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Bieber was not believed to have been involved in the sketch. The pop star is visiting Norway as part of his current world tour.