Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Lars Vilks, the Swedish artist, controversial in certain circles because of his drawing of Mohammed as a roundabout dog, underwent yet another Muslim attack at a lecture at Uppsala University. On 21 February. Film clips can be watched here and here. Vilks held a lecture on freedom of speech in art. It was the Islamic Culture Society and Karlstad’s Young Muslims that on beforehand had objected to this lecture.

When Vilks showed a picture that was controversial for some of these persons in the audience, this group of them raised and started to scan “Allah akbar” and threw eggs and snowballs at Vilks. The police acted in a very lenient way, which you can see in the video clip. The control of the audience before the lecture was lax, no search of the attendants, according to an eye-witness. No policemen were even standing at the entrance door. Afterwards the public relations officer from Varmland’s police force stated: “We have identified all the persons, but have not yet made up our minds if the event will lead to a report”.

Another eye-witness: ”It was very alarming to see the police that gawky not doing anything with these assailants that assaulted Vilks. After the lecture the Muslims stood completely indifferent. The racist card did its job. One of the Muslims shouted ”you take us because you are a racist” and then the policeman ignored it all”.

As late as January three men of Somali descent, that had planned to kill Vilks, were acquitted. In the light of this, shouldn’t the police be somewhat more attentive?

Swedish media were very careful never to reveal that it was Muslims that interrupted the Uppsala lecture. The official video clip had been pixled to conceal the descent of the perpetrators. Vilks himself wrote about it on his blog (here, in Swedish, though) and an egg that wasn’t crashed was turned into Mohammed.

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Dear readers,

My long blog break does not mean that I have given up the idea of blogging. Not at all. My blog break has several reasons. But one reason is NOT that there is a lack of topics. On the contrary, there is more than ever because Sweden is getting increasingly insane. This has been too much to stand (combined with a general lack of time and a huge job burden) so it was time for me to take a break. One of my frequent commentators, an emigrated Swede and an active commentator on many blogs, had a correct theory about this. He usually has breaks himself every now and then from the bloggosphere in order to survive mentally.

I cannot make any commitments on my blogging frequency henceforth, instead I will try and do some summaries and shorter contributions every now and then. Thus I am alive and kicking.

Today it is time to post a film clip on Sweden’s crime rate as a reminder of the recent killings in Malmo. Malmo is Sweden’s third biggest city with the country’s highest crime rate. Five persons were shot to death in one week in this city around the new year. One of the killed persons was a 15 year old boy of Iraqi descent, who had just had his crimes written off a few days before his death because of the fact that he was too young to be punished.

His family staged a funeral procession in Malmo that was worthy of a king (you can see a film clip here). Nothing of the like has been seen before, neither for the Swedish family man in Ludvika, that was assaulted and killed unprovoked just before Christmas by a gang of Africans or the latest killed man in Malmo, a decent person who, one week before he was shot to death by accident, asked his friends on Facebook what will be the future of Malmo, his home town.

The next blog post, that will be posted shortly, will be a text written by another Swedish person. He wants to reach out to people outside Sweden’s borders in order to inform you about the prevailing situation and his despair on the untenable situation here. Don’t miss that blog post.

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Sunday 3 April was the day when one of Sweden’s largest cultural institutions, The Culture House (Kulturhuset) in Stockholm, was going to show the street dance performance “Celebration of womanhood”.

After the final rehearsal, one of the spectators felt offended went home and started a Facebook thread. He found the performance blasphemous and disrespectful since one dance was going to be performed to a prayer from the Koran set to music. So this person managed to incite many other persons as well in his thread.

The opposition on Facebook grew to a certain proportion that the production manager, Nina Röhlcke, found it necessary to act. Instead of omitting the controversial feature or changing it, she and Eric Sjöström, who made this decision, chose to cancel the whole show out of security reasons even though no threats had been pronounced.

Since the dance group is a feministic group, we can say that the inevitable clash between Swedish feminism (“Sweden ­ the Saudi Arabia of Feminism,” according to Julian

Assange) and Islamism shows that Islamism won by one nil. I have been waiting for this clash for a long time, particularly since the feminist groups have

been the most rapid ones to condemn criticism of the multicultural society and women’s subordinate role in Islam as racist and xenophobic.

Sjöström faced a very tangible choice. On one hand, the western freedom and rights for young girls to dance and to criticize patriarchal structures. On the other hand, the risk of being criticized, the risk of threats and violence. The first alternative was apparently not a weighty reason. It will be interesting to see what values Sjöström will have to compromise with the next time as the Islamists never seem to be satisfied.

This shows yet another (NB! not at all the first) step in the omnipresent Islamization of Sweden, and how Muslims are allowed set the agenda whenever they want. Was this the goal of the politicians’ so cherished multicultural society? How will they disentangle this outcome of their policy? Furthermore, we are all aware that every remark that is not positive to this social experiment is forcefully condemned as being racist …

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A parish within the Swedish Church (separated from the State in 2000) recently employed an imam, Othman Al-Tawalbeh, (Swedish link on him) to be stationed at a youth centre in Stockholm, Fryshuset, to help strengthen the multicultural work and counteract prejudices against Muslims and increase the cooperation between Christians and Muslims.

Politically correct do-gooders have not succeeded in preventing an animated debate within and outside the Church, though. The Swedish Church has worked hard for decades to integrate female ministers and to marry homosexuals. Many people ask what will be of this work now. Some debaters mean that the islamization has gone too far when the Swedish Church pays for being driven out of competition. But no threats have been pronounced.

The debacle has now taken another turn, when the Swedish Security Service, SÄPO, have contacted Tawalbeh after newly having found published texts on him on Arabic sites written by another Swedish Muslim, the chairman of the Swedish Muslim Association (the Swedish branch of the Muslim Brotherhood), Mahmoud Aldebe.

SÄPO got worried about Tawalbeh and regards the texts on the Internet as threatening. The texts are written in Arabic and Tawalbeh is reported being an apostate, having poisoned the Islamic faith, trying to christen Muslim youngsters and defending the rights of women. SÄPO have offered Tawalbeh protection. They fear that a fatwa will be proclaimed in the Muslim world.

Now Mahmoud Aldebe also alleges having been threatened by Tawalbeh and his medial network in Sweden after Aldebe’s contribution. Aldebe is known for being the person that in a long and thorough letter demanded Sharialaws to be introduced in Sweden in 2006.

To work for a Christian church is haram, according to the Swedish Fatwa Council. And the fact that this piece of news has spread to the Arab press is problematic. Sweden already has a negative report (Lars Vilks, the cartoonist and Taimour Abdulwahab, the suicide bomber) and Tawalbeh can become yet another target. Even those who harass Vilks here in Sweden could start attacking Tawalbeh.

The Swedish Church’s desire to improve the dialogue seems to be counterproductive, particularly when the prevalent interpretation of Islam does not seem to embrace the same flexibility. Perhaps the Church should have studied Islam more closely before launching this project?

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Here in Sweden, a lot has been written and said about the artist Lars Vilks this very last week. With his caricature, he almost stirred the whole world in 2007. The debate then was very much about how insulted the Muslims felt. This time, the international police have arrested seven persons in Ireland and one woman in the USA (Jihad-Jane) for planning the assassination of Vilks.

The debate here immediately revived and Vilks has participated in lots of radio and television debates. At first, the debate immediately relapsed to the same level as last time, i.e. about the insult of the caricature itself. Nalin Pekgul, a Muslim party member of the Social Democrats, as well chairwoman of the Social Democrats’ women’s federation, a prospective minister in a future socialist government, has, loud-voiced and on the verge of tears, attacked Vilks in all their debates (here is one) saying that he did the worst thing possible when he portrayed Mohammed as a dog, because “dogs are impure”. She has also drawn the conclusion, based on this incident, that freedom of speech should not be absolute. “Just because something is legal, is not necessarily advisable”, she says after about 10 minutes in this programme)

In another TV-program, Debatt (“Debate”), the Muslim Mohannad Yousif participates and alleges that he and 1,5 billion Muslims have been offended. He continues to state that this offence is worse than making fun of the Holocaust. A number of publicists also take part and one of them actually questions the fact that Mohannad Yousif sees himself as a spokesman for 1,5 million Muslims. Only Vilks contradicts Yousif for his statement by saying that there actually is a distinction between fiction and facts, and that religions at bottom are fictitious but that the Holocaust is a fact, so that there is no relevance in Yousif’s description.

Why did Vilks do this caricature? He notices that there is a restriction in society as regards freedom of expression within art. It is possible to criticize and taunt all the religions but for Islam. He sees this as a problem that Muslims are treated like children in society. He presumes that the goal is that they must become grown-up members of society and learn to bear other opinions that their own without reacting like insulted children. Here is an English interview with Vilks where he explains his function as a catalyst without taking any political standpoint, even though he admits that what he has done is most politically incorrect.

Now the discussion has more and more changed direction into dealing with freedom of speech. In 2007, the publicists were more inclined to compromise with our freedom of speech. This time, it is possible to discern a less tactful attitude. There are less “buts” this time than last time (“We must of course have freedom of speech, but ….” a standpoint that Pekgul adheres to, though).

In yet another debate program, Agenda, sent 14 March, Jan Guillou was one of the invited debaters. Guillou is, nota bene, a former KGB-agent. Guillou doesn’t seem to understand, or support, what this process with the Mohammed caricature is about: to teach people coming from other cultures that we in the west have our freedom of speech and that it means that what you don’t like yourself is permissible. And that you have to learn to live with people who have other views without having to threaten them or try to murder them.

Kurt Westergaard (the Danish cartoonist) and Lars Vilks do what politicians and journalists don’t do: they teach western culture and civilization to new minorities. Satire becomes an enormous explosive force when other ways of communication are closed because of taboos, fear and cultural clashes. That is when satire opens up the eyes of those who try to shut them, breaks through the sound barrier of those who refuse to listen.

There is a lack of Muslims today that openly defy the Islamic agenda. But there are a few. Mohamed Sifaouis is such an uncommon person. When watching this film (in French with Swedish text, though) it is not difficult to understand why.

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