A mosque in Sweden that was hit by arson on Christmas Day is the latest warning that we cannot stand idly to the ever-rising tide of Islamophobia and far-right violence griping Europe these days. Words are not regular bullets that kill instantly but are time bombs that can explode anywhere and anytime.
The attack against the mosque that injured five in Eskilstuna, a city with a large immigrant population located west of the capital Stockholm, came after Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder claimed over a week ago that Jews, Kurds and the Saami cannot be considered “true” Sweden unless they assimilate into Swedish society.
Anti-immigration parties support assimilation, or one-way integration of migrants and minorities, while in theory at least the adaption process should be a two-way street (integration).
Read full story here.
Söder’s statement doesn’t only expose his issues with racism but a whole mindset of hostility towards cultural diversity.
In other words, the Sweden Democrats, which brought down on December 3 the minority government of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, since the far-right party holds the balance of power in the country, believe that migrants and minorities must become white Swedes like him in order to be accepted as “true” Swedes.
What is a true Swede anyway? All Swedes migrated many generations ago to this part of Europe. The Garden of Eden never existed and is only a myth used in nativist ultra-nationalistic discourse.
In such logic we find as well the seeds of hatred and the failed assimilation policies of anti-immigration parties.
Is it only a question of time when such parties – if they ever get enough power – will start drafting modern Nuremberg Laws to stamp out cultural diversity? Can we afford to wait passively to see if this will happen?
Any sensible person can tell that the classification of who is a “true” Swede, or “true” European, is more than problematic. Nazi Germany found this out when it enacted the Nuremberg Laws and Reich Citizenship Law of 1935 to classify partial Jews, or Mischlinge.
Here’s how Nazi Germany classified Jews: full Jews and Jewish Mischling first or second degree. What these types of classifications revealed was anti-Semitism than anything else. Source: www.neztratitviru.net
What does a European anti-immigration party mean when it classifies itself as ethnically pure and the rest who are not like it as a threat? What do the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* and far-right Muutos 2011 of Finland mean when they claim that Muslims won’t integrate, Muslims are destroying our way of life, and Muslims are violent? What code does the National Front of France signal to its followers when it makes an anti-kebab statement, or when Jobbik of Hungary, Golden Dawn of Greece and Ukip openly target Jews and immigrants?
Rob Owen Bell wrote on a recent opinion piece claims that Islamophobia in the UK (and in Europe) is code for race-hate and religious bigotry:
While it is only right that we feel pity for the rare victims of this bizarre condition, we cheapen their suffering by continuing to tolerate the use of the term as code for race-hate and religious bigotry. How much longer are we going to give a platform to thugs in suits struggling to keep a straight face for the cameras as they state they’re “not racist, just against radical Islam”, while their mates swill Stella and chuck Nazi salutes in the background?
One matter is for certain: Things will get worse as long as politicians continue to accept such intolerance by remaining silent and treat racism with bandaids. We need more radical steps are needed to challenge the threat to Europe imposed by fascist, crypto-fascist anti-immigration parties.
Change will not take place as long as migrants and minorities are kept out of the decision-making process.
Why does a country like Finland, which has so few migrants when compared with other European countries, voted in 2011 for an anti-immigration party like the PS that become the third-largest bloc in parliament?
In my opinion it shows that most politicians in Finland, as well as our institutions and society, are still very much in the dark about the threat of fascism and nativist nationalism.
Finland’s xenophobia has its roots in the difficult relationship it had with the former Soviet Union in the last century. Everything was acceptable back then, even becoming an ally of Nazi Germany in the Continuation War (1941-44), as long as your reasoning was hatred of the USSR and communism.
We cannot effectively challenge intolerance in Finland as long as we continue to teach at our schools and homes that immigration and cultural diversity are illnesses. We should be teaching the opposite: inclusion and respect for difference and cultural diversity. Acknowledging that over 1.2 million Finns emigrated between 1860 and 1999 is a good starting point.
If Finland has many unanswered questions about how it went to bed with Nazi Germany during the Continuation War, Europe too has a serious issue with its colonial past and which still continues to bolster racism in all forms and shapes.
Europe needs today a totally new discourse on our identity in the new century and strong anti-discrimination laws that have teeth. As long as we teach the same myths and social constructs of the past, we are only delaying such a crucial debate just like the US delayed and continues to delay black and minority rights.
By delaying that important debate we permit ourselves to be chained by our intolerance.
Racism has always been Europe’s greatest threat.
It’s high time we understand this unless we want to commit the same disastrous mistakes of the past.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We therefore prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings.
Ghost attack apparently because no one saw anything.
“What is a true Swede anyway? All Swedes migrated many generations ago to this part of Europe. The Garden of Eden never existed and is only a myth used in nativist ultra-nationalistic discourse.”
if by “many generations” you mean something like 100 to 400 or so then ok or are you again mixing things with USA?
“Finland’s xenophobia has its roots in the difficult relationship it had with the former Soviet Union in the last century. Everything was acceptable back then, even becoming an ally of Nazi Germany in the Continuation War (1941-44), as long as your reasoning was hatred of the USSR and communism.”
Ah, sorry! I thought we fought for survival. We of course should have accepted our faith as soviet republic of finland and transfers to siberia and gulags like baltic states http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Baltic_states
wow, where do we need police investigators when you have it all figured out? How about you wait and see if it really was arson and not just an accident? How about you wait and see if it really was white racist motivated attack and not something else?
Now you are just jumping to conclusions and victimizing whites once again! Disgusting!
Sapo is investigating the case, which means that it has a political dimensions. One matter is for certain: it was arson and there’s been an intense anti-immigration debate instigated by Sweden Democrats.
is it certain? This news would claim otherwise:
They are not ruling anything out yet. They do not know who is the witness that saw the claimed arsonist.
Yossie, add up the following components: mosque, arson, anti-immigration debate. The only thing we know is that it was arson against a mosque. While not conclusive yet, those two matters are highly suggestive. The media is treating the attack in the same way. They are not stating outright that this is directly linked to Islamophobia but an attack against a mosque in an extreme anti-immigration and anti-Islam climate in Sweden. Get it?
Like I said, it is not even certain that it was an arson attack!
More news: http://www.thelocal.se/20141228/no-breakthrough-for-police-after-mosque-fire
Some picks from there:
“However, despite questioning more than 50 people over the past three days police have yet to identify a suspect and are unable to confirm whether the fire was even started on purpose.”
“Among the methods used by the police was to bring in sniffer dogs who could identify flammable liquid potentially thrown at the mosque, but this has yet to yield any results.
The police have also tried unsuccessfully to track down the witness who claimed to see a burning object being thrown.”
So it is NOT a fact that it was an arson attack. Quit calling it like that until we know more.
“add up the following components: mosque, arson, anti-immigration debate”
Like I said, arson is still questionable, but lets go with it for a moment. I have some other components for your mix:
add up the following components: mosque, arson, sunni-shia clash
add up the following components: mosque, arson, moderate-ISIS fanatic debate
While not conclusive yet, those matters are highly suggestive.
I really think police and media dropped the ball with claiming it to be arson without much evidence and victimizing whites for it.
So how you feel now when its clear there was no arson attack?
Yossie and Hannu, aren’t the both of you simplifying matters about what happened in Paris? What happened was saddening and should be condemned.
If you want another view that argues that what happened had nothing to do with “freedom of speech” and good versus evil, check out this link:
Right, so nothing to say about the so called arson that has nothing to prove it was arson?
Anyhow, about the link. Is that what agree, you think the writer got it right? It was all whites fault after all? Horrible oppressing whites were oppressing muslims by applying them same standards as they do for everyone else, and that makes them legitimate target? That the actual culprit here is Bush and Blair and their war(conveniently forgetting 9/11 and what started it all)?
Yossie, I think the main message of the story is – and it does not condone what happened in Paris – that we are at war. Europe has a long history of colonization and oppression of the Arab world and look at the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The issue is more complex and should strive to look at it from many angles. That, I believe, is the message of the article.
Story seeks to justify the killings and blame whites for it. I should not be surprised that is the angle you wish to seek. Why have you not explored this “we are at war” angle when something has happened against muslims?
Also, arab world has a long history of colonization and oppression of Europe.
Your main message was yelling about arson, what you think about new news Tessieri? There was no arson.
And Arab world has long history of colonization, slave trade and attacking on europe and others. Learn history.
Arab-Africa slave trade was longer than american and they raided blue eyed slaves from europe. Look who stopped slawery. You dont know history.
In finland slawery was outlawed from 13??. So stuck your USA apologies where sun doesnt shine. Last major slave raid in, YES IN, finland was 1700-1721.
We do have about 100-200 years of “oppression”, (i wold call it to keeping idiots in check) against arab world but thats against their 1000 years of attacks what sparked crusades in middle ages when they were conquered most of Spain and attacked everywhere and europe had either to reply or submit under their rule.
Check when and why arab world outlawed slavery and did they really.
And i know you romantize their rule but it was segregation by extreme where south-africa would look like school boy and caused/did first large scale massacre. Armenian cristians.
So you should learn who started and who stopped slave trade, who thought about equality and who made it happen.
So kindly… fu.
Offtopic but your forefathers fled when real question about what we would be like started, not academic “yhyy facist” what you use now. I lost few and yours probably would be shot in russia…. Thanks to my forefathers we werent and arent Russian federation of Finland….
1 KIA 1WIA from close family shitload of our small city.
And now i will show you what happened because you SDP and your SDP relatives.
What does this have to do with the topic? Explain. You can do so in Finnish if you wish.
Really? You claim in the title of your post: “Arson attack against mosque in Sweden is another red light flashing in the roaring silence”
Then you say: “One matter is for certain: it was arson and there’s been an intense anti-immigration debate instigated by Sweden Democrats.”
The article is about arson. Yet, no arson took place. Your feigned ignorance and bewilderment shows that you’re incapable of taking responsibility for being wrong.
Ask the BBC to put out a “corrects” on that story. Get in touch with expo.se about their estimate that a number of mosques were attacked last year.
As it turned out, it was not an arson but just a fire caused by cooking equipment. Are you now going to update the stories you have made up about this case to reflect the new information and apologize for the racial tensions you have tried to flame up with your prejudiced commenting? As you said yourself, words are time bombs. Maybe you want to take these ones back.
Could you provide the link that claims otherwise. There is a word in English that journalists use before an attack. The word is “suspected” or “suspect.” That’s different from saying that the person is guilty before proven guilty.
What we write here is another world from Hommaforum, where they never heard of the word “suspected” or “suspect.”
“What we write here is another world from Hommaforum, where they never heard of the word “suspected” or “suspect.””
Are you kidding me? In this piece you have shown no hint of knowing anything about “suspected”. You went all out claiming it was arson. You took no reservations when you kept blaming people you imagined doing an arson. Let me quote you:
“One matter is for certain: it was arson”
So what are you going to do now?
Turun Sanomat uses the term “ilmeisesti,” which isn’t conclusive. They aren’t claiming anything but possibly another factor could be at play. Like suspected. Moreover, write to the BBC about this as well as to Expo, which claim that 13 mosques are SUSPECTED of being target attacks of arson last year.
In this story below we use “suspected.”
There is nothing backing up the arson story, yet you want to stick to it. Why? Also I can’t see you making any “suspected” in this ones. Your comment reveals what you think.
What does it reveal? That I am concerned about Islamophobia? True.
It reveals that you are a hypocrite. You claim you are taking reservations by using terms like “suspected” when in fact you are not. You are clear cut saying the arson was a certain fact. You are claiming words are time bombs, yet you are not at all concerned about making wild accusations with no evidence. It reveals the familiar pattern how you see everything bad happening to a minority as racism without knowing any facts.
Why ask the BBC when I can appeal to your integrity and intellectual honesty? Either you stick to your claim that this mosque was the target of arson or you do not. If the latter, your article’s title is in contradiction with what you believe happened.
Sorry, this is a response to your last comment, I do not know why it appeared 4 posts up. I’ll just paste it here so that it goes in last and doesn’t confuse the timeline.
“Why ask the BBC when I can appeal to your integrity and intellectual honesty? Either you stick to your claim that this mosque was the target of arson or you do not. If the latter, your article’s title is in contradiction with what you believe happened.”