This post is the second of a multipart article where I interview a subject named "Reinhard". Reinhard is a member of FOMI - Svenska Forum Mot Islamisering (information in English; FOMI in English).
Questions are numbered and in italics, and Reinhard's responses are in plain text. Some of these questions refer to questions and answers found in the first part of the interview.
14) Regarding your answer to Question 5, is it fair to say then that you, personally, make a distinction between a) Jews and Jewish beliefs on the one hand, and b) Israelis and Israeli politics on the other? Is it accurate to further say that the government does not share in making this distinction? Finally, what are your impressions about other Swedes -- do they make a disctinction between "Jewish" and "Israeli"?
I make a distinction between Jews in general, Judaism as a religion, and Israel as a state whose policies do not necessarily have anything to do with either of the first two factors. The problem is that certain segments of the Swedish population, including some left-wing politicians, as well as many Muslims and neo-Nazis, do not clearly make such distinctions. Criticism of Israel bleeds into anti-semitism, and little is done on the part of police and the government to hinder this. The general populace makes the distinction at least in theory; those who are anti-semites, do not state this, since it is not politically correct to harbour such thoughts.
15) Regarding Questions 4-6, is it accurate to say then that the government and Swedish society in general are very permissive of free speech regarding Judaism and Israel, going so far as to tolerate inciteful speech, but are very sensitive concerning what is said about Islam and the Islamic world? Please elaborate.
The main problem concerning Israel is that it is perfectly acceptable in Sweden to view Israel as an apartheid state which is engaging in ethnic cleansing and genocide. Basically anything can be said about Israel, except for pure anti-semitism. Criticism of Jews and Judaism as such is seldom expressed, since that would be seen as touching on anti-semitism. Hateful speech against Jews and Judaism is taboo, but these prohibitions are rarely enforced when Israel as a state enters into the equation. The situation concerning Islam and the Islamic world is very much different. Criticism of Islam, Muslims, or Islamic states is often seen as Islamophobic hate-speech. Even criticism of Islamic theology (jihad, sharia etc.) can be seen as hate-speech directed against Muslims. Muslims are so to speak even more protected than Jews by political correctness and laws about hate-speech. Muslims are fast becoming a group which it is impossible to criticize, which is a direct result of their conscious efforts to portray themselves collectively as victims.
16) Also regarding Questions 4-6, is it accurate to say that Christians who expound beliefs that are very much in contrast with what is accepted in Swedish culture are condemned, while Muslims who expound beliefs that are very much in contrast with what is accepted in Swedish culture are tolerated? In other words, there is tolerance for Islamic extremism, but not for Christian extremism? Why? Can you give any examples?
This is correct. We tolerate from Muslims what we do not tolerate from anyone else, since Muslims are ”protected”. Christians are the mainstream, and the mainstream is never a minority; all minorities, however, are seen by the rules of political correctness as victims who need protection. One example is when a famous (but often ridiculed) evangelical preacher, Runar Sogaard, called Muhammed a pedophile. There was general outrage against this, including from a Kurdish Muslim journalist, Kurdo Baksi, who defended Muhammed by saying that he wasn’t a pedophile, since pedophilia according to Baksi is limited to buying sex from children. In essence, Baksi said that Muhammed wasn’t a pedophile since he was married to the child he had sex with. If someone like Runar had made this argument in public, he would have been severely criticized. However, no one reacted against Baksi’s argument.
17) Following up on Question 8, would this mean that the government guarantees the freedoms of its citizens, but does not necessary act to protect their rights? Please explain your answer and give any examples you can think of.
A guarantee is worth nothing if it is not enforced. During the past few months several attacks have been made against politicians active in the Swedish Democratic party. Members of the extreme left anti-fascist group AFA for instance attacked a meeting held by SD:s members. The editor of SD:s party magazine was hospitalized. No one has been charged with this attack. SD works within the democratic system, and are often attacked by leftist agitators who work outside of this system and commit political violence. The government has done very little to stop this recent trend. Slightly less serious is the ruling system of political correctness, which can effectively end the career of anyone who speaks out against multiculturalism. Nothing whatsoever has been done by the government to combat this system of virulent censorship and self-censorship.
18) In Question 10, you mention women's rights. Can you define what is understood to be women's rights? Why are women's rights an issue?
Women’s rights are mostly defined as a woman’s right to equal terms and pay as men on the job market, and an underlying conviction that women are in every way worth as much as men. There has also been an increase in questions regarding honour killings during the past few years, mainly because of highly publicized cases of honour killings among immigrant families. Many feminists are loathe to stand up against oppression of women when it is caused by immigrants, since that could be seen as racism. Again, this could be caused by the view of immigrants as protected from criticism. If I were to point out in public that female genital mutilation has strong support in Islamic jurisprudence, I would be labeled as an Islamophobic racist and be shunned by polite society.
19) Also in Question 10, you mention immigration as a big issue for those in power. Later in Question 12, you mention that most Swedes feel too many immigrants have been welcomed into Swedish society. Do you feel then that immigrants have been welcomed faster than they can assimilate, and that this is a source of problems? What served to start the policy to welcome so many immigrants? Why does the government continue the policy of welcoming so many immigrants, if so many Swedes are against the policy? I have the impression that some situation caused the government to suddenly bring in many immigrants, but that this influx caused problems, and that the government and other of society's "elites" are now in a state of denial and cover-up regarding the problems they have caused. Is this accurate?
It is my opinion that the problems caused by immigration can be subdivided into three factors: we have welcomed too many immigrants; we have been unable to integrate those we have welcomed; and we have accepted immigrants from cultures which are radically different than our own (I am specifically thinking of Muslims), without asking ourselves if this could pose any difficulties. The first part has to do with economics and society: immigration is expensive, and can cause friction between immigrants and ethnic Swedes and resistance on the part of the latter. The economic difficulties can be overcome, but the shift in attitude is harder to come to terms with, since it often brought on by real or imagined differences in culture. I believe that everyone has the right to question immigration, and I will never call someone a racist simply because he or she prefers to live among members of his/her own culture (but all ideas about immigrants somehow being in any way worse people than ethnic Swedes I totally reject). I would prefer allowing people to dislike immigration, if the alternative is a society where "wrong thoughts" are punished.
That said, the resistance against immigration is a relatively recent phenomenon. Large-scale immigration to Sweden was unheard of until we welcomed many Italian immigrants during the 60’s, to remedy a shortage in the work force. Germany had the same problem and welcomed Turks; the difference being that we welcomed members of a culture not far removed from our own. It was only during the 1990’s that we accepted large numbers of Muslim immigrants, following the Balkan war. We have since welcomed Iraqis, Somalis and members of other Muslim nations who have fled from conflicts and poverty. This influx is recent and began when multiculturalism was already an established ideology. That being said, there has never been any referendum on whether or not we should accept any immigrants at all; politicans during the 60’s simply decided for immigration, and no one in power has ever challenged the multiculturalist ideology which followed. To question this ideology is seen as racist, and therefore it continues, despite its having lost much popular support. Your analysis is also correct in this regard: today’s Swedes are suffering from the consequences of a choice made by the political elite of the previous generation. There is a strong opposition towards immigration today, which also explains the successes of SD.
I should also add that no real effort has ever been made to integrate the immigrants we have accepted. We have tended to allow them to settle in ethnic enclaves in low-cost suburbs outside our major cities. I believe that ethnic enclaves always cause problems, but when those enclaves are inhabited by Muslims, the problems increase manifold. (The unofficial European capital of Syrian Christians is in Sodertalje, south of Stockholm; this enclave causes much less problems than Rosengard, the largest Muslim enclave, in Malmo.) It is seen as racist to demand that immigrants accept Swedish values and traditions; instead we allow them to retain their connection to their previous countries to a high degree. Since we see them as victims who have to be helped by us, we refuse to demand anything from them. Combined with the Swedish welfare state, which ensures that anyone can receive enough money to live on, regardless of whether or not they even try to get a job, this encourages a lack of integration. We basically tell immigrants that they do not need to conform to how things are done in Sweden, and then give them money with no expectation of them doing anything in return. This failure of the integration policy – the failure in effect being that there exists no real integration policy – has created an untenable situation which only SD will discuss in public (and therefore they are of course labeled racists).
20) Some more pointed questions now... You mention in Question 13 a shift in public debate regarding Islam and Muslims in Sweden. Do you feel Sweden (as a nation-state with a culturally identifiable people) is dying? If so, is the presence and continued influx of unassimilated immigrants a symptom of this, or is it the disease? Why? You also state: "This shift does not bode well for the future." Do you feel Sweden is on the brink of civil unrest? Is Sweden headed for civil war?
I do not think that Swedes or Sweden are in danger of being eradicated anytime soon, but there is a strong sense that we have to be ashamed of our cultural heritage. We are so afraid of being called racists that we refuse to take pride in our heritage and display that pride in public. Swedes are told that we have no culture (even by our politicans), and that to insist that we do is racist. Immigrants, on the other hand, naturally have an identifiable culture; to say otherwise would be considered racist. This is of course untenable.
I believe that we have to restrict the influx of immigrants, regardless of origin, in order to give those we have already welcomed a chance to be assimilated. Muslim immigration is in part a separate question; I welcome immigrants from all cultures (in manageable numbers), but am totally opposed to all further Muslim immigration, since I believe that an unreformed Islam has no place whatsoever in the West. Continued Muslim immigration, violence perpetrated by jihadists, and the demands put forth by ordinary Muslims as well as Islamists to limit freedom of speech and impose sharia, are dangerous factors which are already causing considerable civil unrest. I don’t believe that Sweden is headed for civil war, since we do not have nearly the same amount of ordinary or radical Muslims as countries like France and the Netherlands. But it is entirely possible that the situation will deteriorate and approach that of those countries, if nothing is done about the rise of Islamism and jihadism. I believe that Western civilization is headed towards civil war, but I believe that Sweden (a country which is generally loathe to partake in armed conflict) will try to stay out of such a war as far as possible.
There will be further information on The Valhalla Exchange -- stay tuned to Stop Islamic Conquest!