Leaving Islam



 Norwegian journalist and member of Human Rights Service Hege Storhaug puts it this way: "Is Swedish culture worth keeping?" I put this question to Lise Bergh, the Swedish government representative of immigration policies, on the Nordic conference on immigration in Stavanger [Norwegian city] April 7th. "What is Swedish culture? And then I suppose I have answered the question" answered Berg without trying to conceal her cultural-self disparagement in either words or facial expressions. As you make your bed so you lie [what goes around comes around] as they say. In Sweden, the leadership seems to show Europe's most extensive cultural self-denial, or rather -- a deeply felt self loathing, which many feel is the perfect recipe for driving a peaceful nation to destruction. My question to Lise Bergh was far from randomly formulated. Half a year ago, from a pulpit in a Mosque belonging to the Kurdish Organisation, and "respectfully" veiled, the former minister for integration. Mona Sahlin, said that many Swedes are envious of the immigrants because they, unlike the Swedes, have a culture, a history, something which ties them together. The Swedes only have some foolish anniversaries and such folly. As the former Danish minister for integration, Karen Jespersen, commented: "Cultural self-denial hardly gets any more disgusting or scary"

During the second half of the 20th century Sweden used to be called "the middle way". This meant something between capitalism and communism, a controlled market economy, a welfare state with social security for all its citizens. It also stood for certain values, like democracy, peace and solidarity. Now there is no more of that. All of its neighbours are in a better position than Sweden. They have stronger economies, a higher standard of living, better social security and less crime. This includes Finland, a country that was devastated by war. Sweden today is still remarkable - though in quite a different way. Today Sweden might rather be called "the extreme way". In both Scandinavian neighbouring countries there are big opposition parties, but none in Sweden. How come? Norway has Fremskrittspartiet, headed by Carl I Hagen. Denmark has Dansk Folkeparti, headed by Pia Kjersgaard. Both have quite a few seats in their respective Parliament. In the Swedish Parliament there is no such party. Still Sweden has had, all through the 90's, roughly twice as much immigration - even per capita - as Norway or Denmark. Consequently problems connected with this immigration have shown up in Sweden to no less an extent than in Denmark and Norway. Today, out of a population of 9 million people, about 1 million are born outside Sweden. This constitutes 11% of the population. If we also include their children born in Sweden, the figure rises to nearly 20%. This goes for the country as a whole. As the immigrants tend to concentrate in some areas, like Stockholm and Malmö, the percentage in those areas is considerably higher. Added to this is the fact that fertility is high among new immigrants. The effect of all this is that in some schools and in many classes native Swedes are in a minority. There are even cases where almost all the children have foreign background. Swedes are now in many ways treated as second-class citizens in their own country. The very word "Swede" has been given a negative connotation. This kind of project has now been introduced all over Western Europe. Sweden is still a special case. In no other country has it gone that far. One factor may be Swedish mentality, connected with a long period of peace and welfare. This has bred an urge to be good and at the same time a notion of being able to achieve anything. Part of the Swedish mentality is also an unwillingness for conflicts, we rather step aside.

An important part of the explanation is the role of mass media in Sweden. Not a single TV-program, radio program or big newspaper would give space to critics of the multicultural project. "Sverigedemokraterna" - a party outside the Parliament - can seldom hold meetings without being hassled by political hooligans, who make noise, destroy equipment or even resort to violence. There are no reactions to this in mass media, nor from the police. As Helle "Hamas" Klein, political editor of Sweden's largest newspaper Aftonbladet, boasts: "If the debate is going to be about whether there are problems with immigrants, we don't want it". Welcome to Sweden, the country where the media doesn’t even pretend to champion freedom of speech, but openly brags about censorship. At the same time, leading media figures could even voice sympathy for the terrorists who slaughtered at least 150 innocent children in Beslan. Hans Bergström, former editor-in-chief of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, worries that Sweden has become "a one-party state". An examination of the selection of books bought to Swedish libraries showed that literature with a leftist perspective outnumbered books with a conservative or right-wing perspective four to one. The Nyköping branch of the Swedish National Labour Market Administration, the catchy English designation for the dreaded job centre, decided it would get its job-seekers out of the house for a while. Using an old trick beloved of authoritarian states such as Cuba, the Administration told unemployed construction workers that if they did not attend a demonstration in favour of collective agreements, it would assume they were in gainful employment and their benefits would be duly withdrawn. "Attendance at the meeting is compulsory. If you do not attend, I will take it for granted that you are fully occupied and no longer seeking employment through the Labour Market Administration. You will be removed from the unemployment register and your unemployment benefits will cease."

How does the Swedish political elite respond to their largest cities breaking down? By pretending there is no problem. The media elite shares the same contempt for and fear of the common people, and has largely played along. Some Swedes have compared Swedish media to Pravda in the old Soviet Union. Cracks are beginning to emerge, though. This article in the newspaper Expressen about Prime Minister Göran Persson's visit to Malmö during May Day is brimming with sarcasm, presenting him as a modern Swedish version of clueless Marie Antoinette:

Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, surrounded by a dozen body guards, took part in the May Day demonstrations in the city of Malmö. "It is a splendid celebration, a manifestation of freedom and security", Persson says. Meanwhile, a couple of blocks from there, a handicapped man is beaten to the ground by a group of thugs. The victim was about to demonstrate under the slogan "Welfare is most important". Now he is kicked in the face and the chest. When two of the assailants are finally taken into police custody, the man is terrified and suffering from severe pains. "This is one of Sweden's finest meeting places," says the Prime Minister as he enters the platform after listening to Socialist anthem The Internationale. "In a Malmö I love. Sweden's face to the world." Persson doesn't notice that the police are taking action against a neo-Nazi counterdemonstration nearby. "Open to the winds of the world lies my fair country," says Persson. "There is no greater freedom than security. A society with clean air, clean water and safe people, open to the world.". It's 3.3o pm and a police patrol is cutting down a doll resembling a politician being hanged, carrying a photo of Malmö's Mayor Ilmar Reepalu. The Prime Minister has just promised improved dental care for young people, and concludes: "Look up! The fabulous fact is that the sun is breaking through." The police and the fire department get an alarm. The Örtagård school in Rosengård, an area of Malmö with close to 100 % Muslim immigrants, is burning yet again. Several police patrols are called out. But Prime Minister Persson has already been escorted by special security police into his bulletproof Volvo, on his way back to the Cabinet's private jet and out of Malmö.

Rumor has it that Socialist PM Göran Persson is pondering a premature exit, at a time when his Social Democratic party is struggling on the opinion polls ahead of the national elections in 2006. Likely successor and thus potential PM may be senior member of Cabinet Mona Sahlin. She is known for gems of wisdom like this one: "A concerted effort that aims at educating Swedes that immigrants are a blessing to their country must be pursued, said Sahlin, stressing that her compatriots must accept that the new Sweden is multi-cultural, and that discrimination must end. "Like it or not, this is the new Sweden".

Only a couple of generations ago, Sweden was talked about with respect, and the "Swedish model" referred to as an example to follow by other countries. Some of this may have been an illusion. A significant number of the problems we are witnessing now have their roots in the ideology of the all-encompassing state, the generous welfare system and the long period of Socialist dominance that has crippled a genuine political debate. Education teaches people to respect the consensus, and not sabotage it. As Roland Huntford demonstrated in the book The New Totalitarians, Sweden is a "peaceful utopia" totally controlled by a bureaucracy which actively discourages all signs of individuality and dissent. Sweden hasn't been involved in war since Napoleonic times. It managed to stay out of both world wars, was neutral during the cold war and has never experienced invasion or occupation in modern history. In short, there are few if any Western nations less suited intellectually to deal with the Islamic challenge than Sweden. It shows.

Sweden is already a banana republic, perhaps on its way to becoming an Islamic republic. Swedish culture is disappearing with astonishing speed in front of our eyes. If the trend isn't stopped, the Swedish nation will simply cease to exist in any meaningful way during the first half of this century. The country that gave us Bergman, ABBA and Volvo could become known as the Bosnia of northern Europe. The "Swedish model" will no longer refer to a stable and peaceful state with an advanced economy, but an Eurabian horror story of utopian multiculturalism, Socialist mismanagement and runaway immigration. Sweden has national elections in 2006. This will be one of the last opportunities the country has to resolve its towering internal tensions in peaceful and civilized ways. Some fear it's already too late.

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