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Svenska Islamiska Dagbladet, Or, Just The Last Few Weeks In Sweden
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Sweden is blessed with economic prosperity, political stability, and the physical beauty of a lacustrine landscape, with forests of fir, and spruce, and pine. For at least the last two hundred years, the country has been unravaged by war. But instead of gratefully accepting their lucky lot, the Swedes, or at least those in the political, religious, and media elite, seem determined to make things worse for themselves. For the Swedes have in recent years allowed in hundreds of thousands of Muslims. The population of Sweden is about 10 million, and the latest estimate is that there are already at least one million Muslims in Sweden — a figure that has been calculated by Tobias Hubinette (in Sweden, a unique far-left figure who is alarmed by Islam) on the basis of counting immigrants and factoring in the much higher fertility rates for Muslim as compared with non-Muslim women.
Sweden, like Germany, is a highly desirable place for Muslim migrants, for they can live quite comfortably on the many benefits offered by the most generous of Europe’s welfare states: free or highly subsidized housing, free education, free medical care, family allowances (the bigger the family, the greater the allowances) and support for the unemployed. That last benefit has certainly discouraged Muslims from trying to find work. In 2015, only 494 of 163,000 asylum seekers — almost all of them Muslims — were employed within a year of arriving in Sweden. That may have been an unusual year, with a sudden jump in the numbers of asylum seekers, but since then, the unemployment rate for foreign-born migrants has always been between three and four times that of native Swedes. Clearly, Muslim migrants are in no hurry to find work.
How have Swedes reacted to the sudden challenge of seeing their country transformed, within less than a decade, by a Muslim population that is now 10% of the total ?
First, in September 2015, Bishop Eva Brunne of the Lutheran Church in Sweden called for removing all Christian symbols from the Seaman’s Church, including all crosses, and also to mark the direction of Mecca for Muslim worshippers. She said this would make the church “more inviting” to sailors of other religions — by that meaning, everyone understood, Muslims. She did not address, for it did not even occur to her, that while Muslims would find the Seaman’s Church more inviting to them because the church would be stripped of all crosses and other Christian signs — for how could anyone expect Muslims to endure the sight of crosses? — at the same time, this Christian church would be far less inviting to the very Christians for whom the Seaman’s Church was built.
The Bishop claimed that her proposal was simply to make the church conform to what is done in common prayer rooms at airports and in some hospital chapels. Her proposal triggered protests. Patrik Pettersson, a priest in Stockholm, wrote on his blog:
“The church chapel can not reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time.”
And the Seamen’s Mission Director Kiki Wetterberg also disagreed with Bishop Brunne:
“I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque, I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It’s my choice to go in there,” she told the newspaper Dagen.
The past month has been a busy one for Islam-in-Sweden stories. In late January, the Swedes decided that the very best person to head the Swedish National Heritage Board was Qaisar Mahmood, a Muslim born in Pakistan. He was chosen for this position despite the fact that he has never studied — had not taken a single course — in Swedish history, Swedish literature, Swedish art, Swedish anything, and he proudly claims that “I know nothing about it [Swedish heritage].” What got him his initial job at the Swedish Heritage Board was that he claimed to have “participated in debates about culture and questions of identity,” had delivered lectures on the same theme, and he further stated how important it was to make the newest arrivals to Sweden, the Muslims, feel a “part of the culture,” which meant that the Swedish past should be scoured for evidence of early appearances of Muslims. Recently, in fact, a Swedish researcher, Anneke Larsson, believed that she had found, written in the Arabic script known as Kufic, the name “Allah” on some scraps of a Viking tapestry, a burial cloth. This caused great excitement in the archaeological establishment in Sweden, delighted at this “staggering” find that, if true, would have dated Islam, or Muslims, in Sweden, back to the time of the Vikings, that is, roughly between 800 and 1000 A.D. But then Stephennie Mulder, a researcher at the University of Texas, pointed out that the Kufic script only started to be used 500 years after the Vikings had disappeared. That put paid to that false story of the Islamo-Viking tapestry, but not to the eagerness with which some Swedes are still trying to backdate the Muslim presence in their country, in a display of what has correctly been described as “ethnomasochism.”
As Qaisar Mahmood moved steadily up the bureaucratic ladder at the Swedish National Heritage Board, he gave no signs of becoming interested in, or even of having decided to study, the Swedish national heritage. For him, culture was part of a narrative, and multiculturalists had to “create the narrative” that best promoted their interests. As a Muslim, he wanted to fashion a “national heritage” for Sweden that would reflect the “inclusivity” of the present. The Viking tapestry turned out to have nothing to do with Arabic script, or Islam, but archaeologists getting with the program have not given up hope. Their appetites have been whetted; the search goes on for an early appearance of Islam, no matter how brief or how bloody, in Sweden.
Mahmood sees as a main part of his task finding “how to make these people [Muslims] part of something.” But they already feel “part of something” — that is, Islam itself. And that faith keeps them from taking a sympathetic interest in the Swedish past or, indeed, in any pre-Islamic or non-Islamic culture which, for Muslims, belong to the “jahiliyya” or “time of ignorance” that exists before Islam arrives and comes to dominate.
Still in the first week of February, the four “center-right” parties in Sweden, known as the “Alliance” parties— the Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberal Party, and the Christian Democrat Party — proposed that newly arrived Muslim migrants be enrolled in Sweden’s volunteer home defense organizations. This, they claimed, could “contribute to the integration process.”
What would the Muslim migrants learn that would “contribute to the integration process” by being part of Sweden’s “home defense organizations”? In those defense organizations (there are 18 of them) they would not be taught the Swedish language, nor Swedish history, nor about the Swedish political system, nor about Swedish laws, including freedom of religion and equality of the sexes — in short, nothing about the culture of the country they had been allowed to settle in. They would learn how to use and take care of weapons. And, of course, they would also have access to such weaponry.
In a bill to the Swedish parliament, the four parties in the “Alliance” proposed that the ”newly arrived” Muslim migrants should be engaged in any of the 18 volunteer defense organizations:
“The volunteer defence organizations have a long history of social work and responsibility. We therefore believe that they can in a good way contribute in the integration process. Like many Swedes before them, the newly arrived could take part in meaningful activities and education and at the same time feel that they contribute to their new country.”
The purpose, according to those who introduced the bill, is to provide these migrants access to “important networks into the Swedish society and also prepare a way into the labour market.” The volunteer organizations have a “long history of social work and responsibility,” by which they surely mean that these organizations have historically taken in Swedes who are economically or socially marginalized, and who, working in these home defense organizations, regain their societal footing, gain access to “important networks” — that is, make contacts that might lead to gainful employment, possibly receive vocational training as well, and “learn to take part in meaningful activities” (following orders, working well in groups). And in addition, they learn how to handle whatever weapons are made available to the members of the “home defense organizations.”
But those Swedes who in the past were taken in by these home defense organizations were very different from the new Muslim migrants. They were not inculcated to feel only hostility toward non-Muslims, for they were non-Muslims themselves; they had no Qur’an to command them to take part in violent Jihad; they were looking to re-enter the world of work, not to rely for as long as they could — as so many Muslim migrants in Sweden now do — on the myriad benefits offered by the generous (to a fault) Swedish welfare state.
Muslim migrants are quite different. They do take to heart the Qur’anic commandments to conduct Jihad against the enemy, that is, all non-Muslims, not necessary through violence, but using whatever means that at the time are both possible and effective; they are not desperate to prepare themselves for gainful employment, and they have given every sign of wishing to remain contentedly dependent on the benefits of the Swedish state for as long as they can. Some of them will, on the other hand, be extremely interested in becoming part of the home defense organizations, where they will learn to handle weapons, and perhaps even be allowed to take the weapons home, as members of a “home guard” might ordinarily be permitted to do.
What makes the pollyannas who wrote this bill think that Muslim migrants have any need, or desire, to “feel that they contribute to their own country?” Their truest country is Dar al-Islam. They are Muslims in Sweden, not Muslim Swedes. The idea seems to be that training alongside Swedes will make them more willing to integrate, but the obstacles to integration are all on the Muslim side, to be found in the immutable Qur’an, which instructs Muslims “not to take Jews and Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other” (5:51) and furthermore, to regard non-Muslims, it bears repeating, as “the most vile of creatures” (98:6).
Even if one believed that there was something Muslim migrants could participate in that would make them feel more a part of Swedish society, teaching them skills that can only make them more dangerous to Swedish non-Muslims is surely the worst way to do it. Instead, let them be “integrated,” if such is possible, by offering them the chance to show their willingness to work at menial tasks, as a sign that they have no intention of simply pocketing benefits without doing anything in return. Imagine seeing Muslim immigrants sweeping the streets, picking up litter, clearing roads of snow, helping feed the homeless, or even working in the fishing, lumber, and construction industries — work that needs doing, and that Muslim migrants should be willing to do (for pay) if they wish to be integrated into Swedish society. And if they refuse such tasks then it should be clear that they have come not to work but to pocket what benefits they can, and intend to drag out this parasitical existence for as long as possible. That should help change Swedish attitudes as to the wisdom of letting in large numbers of Muslim migrants. It is madness to encourage, as this bill sponsored by the “Alliance” does, the enrolling of Muslims, as soon as they arrive (and even before any vetting), in Swedish volunteer defense groups, where they will be taught the use of weapons of all kinds, and conceivably have access to such weaponry outside of the official training. It’s a preposterous idea, that could only be dreamed up by those who refuse to understand the threat of violent Jihad posed by Muslim Believers. Unfortunately, there seem to be quite a few such people among the Swedish political elite. Of all the jobs that the Swedish state should encourage Muslims to take, the least desirable, from the viewpoint of Infidels, is for them to become members of one of the Swedish Home Defense Organizations.
Still another sign of Swedish disarray is the response to a recent application by the Växjö Muslim Foundation to be allowed to broadcast the Call to Prayer. The Muslim application mentions as a reason why this should be granted is that Muslims should “feel at home” and “be proud of their culture.” Now the bishop of the area has declared his support for the claim. Bishop Fredrik Modéus writes on Facebook that it is “natural” that “different traditions and religions are heard” and that he “hopes to hear both church bells and prayer calls in our city.”
But the Muslim prayer call comes five times a day, beginning in the very early morning, waking non-Muslim inhabitants long before they would wish. And the last “call to prayer” is usually very late, between 10 p.m. and midnight (the time for all five prayers varying, of course, with the time of year), again waking many people who have just gone to sleep. For non-Muslims, the Call to Prayer is a noisy nuisance. Few would agree with Barack Obama’s claim that the Call to Prayer “is one of the prettiest sounds on earth at sunset.” And the Call to Prayer five times a day can now be obtained from hand-held devices properly programmed. Believers can wear on their wrists, or keep in their smartphone, their own personal muezzin. So there is no longer any need for broadcasting a muezzin’s amplified azan. The request is being made because Muslims, who know perfectly well they do not any longer require a muezzin to call them to prayer, want to be sure that non-Muslims are forced to hear the muezzin’s call. They want the Muslim presence to assert itself. They are intent on seeing just how far they can go in imposing their ways on the Infidels. To judge by Bishop Fredrik Modeus, they can go very far. Why Swedes need to discommode themselves, quite unnecessarily, by allowing this raucous Call to Prayer is unclear. The good bishop thinks it will allow Muslims “to show they are proud of their culture.” What kind of “culture” is this of which they should be proud? Isn’t it the “culture” of those who travel to distant lands and settle among those they are taught, by the Qur’an, to despise and to kill, convert, or subjugate? And is it really “pride” that they will feel if the Call to Prayer is loudly broadcast in Swedish cities and towns, or is it something else?
It is not “pride” that Muslims will feel but, rather, the triumphalism of underscoring the Islamic presence, through the quite unnecessary imposition of a loudly-broadcast Call to Prayer. Triumphalism is not the same thing as pride. Triumphalism is the insistence that “our God is greatest.” Imposing the Call to Prayer five times a day, reminding Swedes that we, the Muslims, are here, is fully consonant with the Qur’anic verse (3:110) that tells Muslims they are “the best of peoples” and the verse (98:6) that tells them that non-Muslims are the “most vile of creatures.” Bishop Modeus may be unfamiliar with those verses, and with much of the rest of the Qur’an, including the 109 Jihad verses; he may be unaware of when the first and last calls to prayers are made, and just how disruptively cacophonous they can be. Finally, he may not realize that the muezzin’s wail is unnecessary in the age of apps for smartphones that keep daily track of the proper prayer times, and alert the bearer. He ought to be made more aware of how Muslims view the meek acceptance of their demands by non-Muslims, regarding such acceptance not as a sign of ecumenical goodwill but, rather, as a sign of submission to the “best of peoples” by the “most vile of creatures.”
And that is Sweden today, with its political and religious elites still determinedly unwilling to recognize the meaning and menace of Islam, and instead responding in a way that can only be called — see the latest issues of Svenska Islamiska Dagbladet — unhinged.
First published in Jihad Watch.