In August, there have been some controversies about negative and sometimes hateful expressions addressed to our Muslim population here in Sweden. I will give a brief recap of these events, as well as the rhetorics from the militant movement. I will also include some words from a professor of social anthropology on multicultural society and segregation. After that a recap from the verdict against Anders Behring Breivik. Watch for the note on the interesting term “Pinkwashing” later on in my article. At the end I also add an update on Lars Vilks’ Muhammad pictures and the extremist anti-Muslim and counter Jihad organizations “EDL” and “SION” and a link to “Qeers Against Pinkwashing” with a video from the counter Jihad events in Stockholm in August 4. At the end, also a review on a new published book on racism. I also want hear from you, my readers, to tell me if you have experienced this types of events.
Finally in my article, how we can create personal networks to bridge the differences between the peoples of our country.
UPDATE OCTOBER 28, 2012 WITH MORE ON EDL
A young man who died entered heaven shaking his fist at G-d.
– “Why didn’t you do something about all the suffering in the world I just left?”
– “I did,” replied G-d. “I created you.”
FIRECRACKERS AND SLOGANS MET RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS
With reinforcement from two different police districts, the police in Stockholm managed to separate right-wings and counter-demonstrators from each other.
The Norra Bantorget square in central Stockholm was detained for several hours on Saturday before the anti-Muslim organizations would hold what they called its first global meeting against Jihad and radical islamism.
The square was full of police officers on foot, in vehicles and on horseback.
The approximately 200 counter-demonstrators were kept outside the barricades in one of the corners of the square, while a dozen right-wingers, among others “Stop Islamization of Nations” (SION) and the “English Defence League” (EDL) was building a speakers podium.
Several fireworks and firecrackers were thrown across the square while counter-demonstrators chanted. One police officer were slightly injured.
– “We are here to protest against the Nazis, stop the EDL,” shouted one of them with a megaphone.
When the police dispersed the counter-demonstrators, they tried to get closer to the podium through an alleyway, that quickly became cordoned off. At 5 pm, the audience were bussed from the square, while counter-demonstrators and police began to withdraw.
[Source: TT, Swedish news agency, August 4, 2012]
RANCOROUS ATMOSPHERE FOR ANTI-MUSLIM DEMONSTRATION
Saturday’s anti-Muslim demonstration at Norra Bantorget square in Stockholm became spiteful. The security was strict when spokespeople for the Counter Jihad movement arrived early in the afternoon.
Police helicopters circled over Stockholm city when hundreds of police officers, a number on horses, formed a barrier between the Counter Jihad supporters and counter-demonstrators. The afternoon started messy and hateful when a group of aggressive counter-demonstrators attacked the police with firecrackers and fireworks. Two policemen were injured by firecrackers and went to see a doctor for examination.
Just before 13:45, first speaker Pamela Geller from Stop Islamization of America, took the stand on the temporary podium mounted on Olof Palmes gata at Norra Bantorget. Other speakers during the day except Geller was among others, her colleague Robert Spencer, Stephen Lennon of the English Defence League and Anders Gravers from Denmark. In contrast, no Swedish speakers were represented.
Isak Nygren, a spokesman for the Swedish Defence League, said before the demonstration that he could not say how many Swedish members would attend. Nor could he say how many members there are in the Swedish Defence League. He argued that the link to Stockholm Pride parade, which ran simultaneously in Stockholm, was a “pure coincidence.”
– “Pride participants are the most vulnerable in Muslim countries. But those who think it is about so-called pink-washing is naive. The demonstration, by contrast, has to do with the suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwhahab in 2010,” Nygren said.
At 6 pm, police said that some ten counter-demonstrators were arrested during the afternoon for rioting and further arrests may be made days ahead. The demonstration had at least finished calmly. According to police, the mood calmed down a bit when the speakers began. Some smaller groups tried to disrupt the speakers, but the rest of the afternoon flowed pretty quiet.
200 demonstrators were registered as participants from Counter Jihad’s side but the number turned out to be considerably less. Police estimate that the number of protesters was about 100, while the number of counter-demonstrators far exceeded that figure.
[Source: Expo, August 4, 2012]
My note: Pamela Geller is the leader of the organization SION; Stop Islamization Of Nations (Also involved in the movement Stop Islamization of America; SIOA,) read more in my Update, at the end of my article. There is more!
A “coincidence” that they were present at Stockholm Pride? It may relate to membership recruitment! There have been allegations that members of the EDL and SION have tried to infiltrate the Swedish gay community and particularly the Stockholm Pride parade in August 4, 2012 with deceptive claims that they, as a non-racist organization, supports the homosexual’s cause, this in order to gain support for their racist views. Thankfully, through similar incidents in the history of the Swedish gay movement, the gays in Sweden have learned the treacherous methods and rhetoric that these racist groups are using when trying to take advantage of the gay movement. Attempts to infiltrate the gay movement have through the history been carried out by, for example, extremist political and religious groups as well as pedophiles. “Islamization” and “homosexualization” of society. We know this demonizing rhetoric all too well! They have the same discriminatory origin. No further comment is needed.
Facts about English Defence League (EDL)
The counter Jihad movement English Defence League is an international network which believes that there is an ongoing Islamization of the West. English Defence League was formed in the summer of 2009 in Luton, UK. The organization is believed to have a core of a few thousand people, with a significantly larger number of sympathizers.
EDL describes itself as a non-racist organization, but pointing out the “Islamization” of English society as the major threats they contravene, mainly through demonstrations that often degenerated into violence. EDL is also represented in Sweden with a group of members.
The organization is usually described as a right-wing extremist with the roots of soccer hooligans. The leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who uses the pseudonym Tommy Robinson, has been convicted of involvement in soccer riots.
Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has pointed out the EDL as an inspiration, but EDL denies all links with him and have distanced themselves from Breivik’s terrorism.
Representatives from the EDL at the Verandah Bar, Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, after the “sucessful” demonstration in Augusti 4, 2012. Debbie Robinson of the “Q Society”, Kevin Carroll (EDL and Police Commissioner candidate), George Igler, Managing Director of the lelga thinker, “Discourse, UK”, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer. (Photo: EDL)
Read what EDL had to say after the Stockholm visit.
CALM NAZI DEMONSTRATION
The Nazi “Swedish Resistance Movement” demonstration in Bollnäs, in northern Sweden on Saturday mobilized hundreds of people. Police call-up was great but most of it went by quietly. The origin of the demonstration had its beginning in July, when a 18-year-old woman from the city was subjected to a rape carried out by several persons. Swedish Resistance Movement was then holding a rally where they said they want to pay attention to the notified act of rape.
[Source: Expo, August 25, 2012]
THREATS COME FROM EXTREME LEFTISTS!
Swedish newspapers wrote extensively during the summer of 2012 on the threats made against the Swedish gay movement. The threats do not come from right-wing extremists this time, they come from extreme leftists!
In 2003, the political party Nationaldemokraterna (The National Democrats with a very dubious history) and their youth organization attacked Stockholm Pride and one participant in the Pride parade was beaten so badly that his injuries are sustained for life.
One of this year’s participants in the Stockholm Pride, Assi Azar, renowned television personality from Israel, was there to show his documentary “Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you.” The film screening was stopped by the Pride organizers due to “security risks.” The reason was a threat made against the HBTQ Festival in Gothenburg earlier this summer. Last year a seminar was arranged by Gothenburg HBTQ, where Swedish Migration Board was invited to speak. The seminar was sabotaged by radical gay activists. They staged a “people’s court” where they were to judge the authority for returning gay asylum seekers and thus deny them residence.
Another example of infiltration of militant groups
During last year’s Stockholm Pride (2011), people from the organization “Gay, Lesbian and Transsexuals in the Armed Forces” who participated in the Stockholm Pride parade, were subjected to insults and bad behavior by members of “Ofog” (“Mischief”) when they held up signs reading “I’m as good at killing as straight soldiers!”
One important thing I wonder about is Ofog’s choice of words on their sign; “I’m as good at killing…” I thought that they were a peace movement, a non-violent group! In that case, can we also assume that they may have been armed while carrying out their “actions” during the Stockholm Pride parade!? Nothing surprises me.
The network Ofog, which is NOT a Gay movement, is linked to The European Anti-militarist Network. They say that they support the gays but although Ofog is a peace movement, their methods are very similar to those carried out by other militant environmental- and peace-movements, performing unauthorized actions toward different military environments, industry buildings, demonstrations and more. In the United States, such organizations have even performed attacks against abortion clinics! I would say that their methods is as militant, peace movement or not! The boundary between being life-affirming or hostile is very thin and fragile, whether these movements call themselves “right” or “left,” “ex-gay” or “pro-gay.”
According to various Swedish media, the threat does not come from right-wing extremists; the threat now comes from the extreme leftist movements that insinuate themselves in the Swedish gay movement. Threats and attacks is said to have been made by these so-called queer activists. However, there have been doubts about whether the Swedish gay movement should include the “Q” in the letter combination. The current gay movement has been kidnapped by a militant and anarchist movement, by the name of “Queer-activists.”
Here we have a new phenomenon, at least to my ears! Are we talking about “Pinkwashing?” Here is a definition of this word:
“The term ‘Pinkwashing’ is used to identify arguments or practices (often racist) that uses the HBTQ issues to clean up what is said and done. If one should defame against immigrant people, it might be neat to say that one do it to protect gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.”
Could it be that militant activist groups such as Ofog or anti-Muslim counter Jihad groups such as Sion and EDL particularly have focused their interest in the gay movement, in an attempt to use them as a tool to gain more acceptance in society? Who can we trust; militant- or anti-Muslim groups, when they use the same methods and rhetorics?
Other interesting rumors say that Anders Behring Breivik was inspired by the Counter Jihad movement to commit the terror killings, claims that have not been confirmed as both EDL and SION denies any connections with Breivik!
Read more on the Swedish blog Queers Against Pinkwashing. Also available in English.
THE VERDICT AGAINST ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK
[Source: NRK, Norwegian news agency, August 24, 2012]
He was declared sane and sentenced to 21 years in custody. A total of 77 people were killed in the terror attacks in July 2011; 69 killed on Utøya and eight were killed in the attack around the Government building in Oslo.
A document of more than 100 pages was presented for the Court and it took over seven hours to read aloud! The verdict against Anders Behring Breivik is a thorough documentation of the July 22 terror in 2011, and a warning that the terrorist even after 21 years in prison will be a very dangerous man.
“When prisoners are not considered adequate for the protection of society, they can be sentenced to detention instead of prison sentence.” It further states that it requires a committed serious crime, and it must be an obvious danger that the offender will again commit such a crime. Court has no doubt that these criteria are met.
“There is no doubt that a prison sentence based on the general principles of sentencing in this case would have been put to the statutory maximum, 21 years in prison.”
The idea of stimulating domestic violence. The verdict drew a picture of a man who is an obvious threat to Norwegian society, if he is not detained.
“Furthermore, the verdict an obvious danger that the defendant will commit further murders and violent crimes. The court notes that the defendant believes that the killings in the government quarter and the Utøya were legitimate actions and that extreme violence is a necessary means to achieve his political goals.”
“The idea of extreme violence and murder is clearly stimulating for the defendant.
This became evident in court when he described how he had planned to kill Gro Harlem Brundtland by decapitation. The defendant appeared to be exited during the description and gave the impression that he liked to tell about this.”
Here is more on Brundtland vs. Breivik
Gro Harlem Brundtland, (b. April 20, 1939); Norwegian Social democratic politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway (1981, 1986–89, 1990–96), and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization.
Brundtland narrowly escaped assassination by Anders Behring Breivik on July 2011. She had been on the island of Utøya just hours before the massacre there to give a speech to the youth scouting camp. Breivik stated that he originally intended for Brundtland to be the main target of the attack, but he had been delayed while travelling from Oslo. Breivik arrived on Utøya at 17:18 that day; Brundtland had left the island about two hours earlier. That saved her life but it does not end there!
During his trial in August 24, Breivik revealed detailed assassination plans for Brundtland. He told the Court that he had planned to handcuff her, and then record himself reading out a prepared text detailing her “crimes,” before decapitating her on camera using a bayonet and uploading the footage to the internet. Breivik said that while Brundtland had been his main target, he had still planned to massacre everyone else on the island.
The defendant’s stated motives – Ideology
A separate section during the trial is devoted to the judgement of Breivik’s motives for the terrorist acts, which he stated to be political. The defendant believes that ethnic Norwegians have been subjected to abuse in the form of ethnic “deconstruction” since Labour opened to mass immigration in the 1960’s.
Norway is, according to Breivik, transformed into a multicultural state, where the Norwegian indigenous people are about to be destroyed. All parliamentary parties, but especially Labour, is responsible for this, according to Breivik. The current immigration policy will lead to the Muslims come in a multitude, first in large cities such as Oslo, within five to ten years, they will fill the whole country.
The Court finds that these views are shared by others
“The Court notes that the presentation of evidences at the trial showed that the defendant’s extreme critical view on immigration is shared by others in society. For example, the terrorist attacks in the United States September 11, 2001 and the cartoon artist Lars Vilks’ controversy in Denmark has given rise to anti-Islamist events. Within right-wing extremist groups are also many people who believe in a conspiracy theory that there is a secret collaboration to Islamize Europe, partly expressed on a number of websites.”
“After an overall assessment, the Court found it proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was not psychotic at the time of the perpetration, Penal Code § 44. Defendant shall, accordingly, be punished for his actions.”
“Anders Behring Breivik, born February 13, 1979, was sentenced for violation of Penal Code § 147 first paragraph…
…to the custody of a time frame of 21 – twentyone – years and a minimum of 10 – ten – years.”
The controversy on the Muhammad pictures began with a picture published in the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, August 19, 2007. The picture showed the Prophet Muhammad depicted as a “roundabout dog” and was made by the artist Lars Vilks. The article on the editorial page was about freedom of speech. The background to the article was that Vilks’ “Muhammad pictures” were refused to take part in several exhibitions because of fear of reprisals. He has received several death threats since the picture was published, more so after the picture appeared in several other magazines. Read more in my Update, below.
Etymological explanation of the Swedish phenomenon on Roundabout dogs
A roundabout dog is a form of street art that originated in Sweden in 2006 and means that anonymous people put out handmade dogs in different materials; paper or wood, in roundabouts on routing sites for car traffic, usually of aesthetic or humorous reasons. Roundabout dogs have been placed in roundabouts over large parts of Sweden and in 2006 and 2007 it became a popular movement. There have also been roundabout dogs outside Sweden.
MORE DISCUSSION ON ISLAMIZATION FROM SWEDEN
Updated Aug. 30, 2012
Aje Carlbom, Associate Professor of social anthropology, University of Malmö, has been studying anti-Islamism for a long time. He is quoted in an article in the Swedish labor union paper “Kommunalarbetaren” no. 14, August 29, 2012 as well as in the magazine “Dagens Samhälle” 12/08/09:
“There is a social contradiction in Malmö [southern Sweden] that is difficult to resolve. The paradox can be expressed in the following formula: the more immigrants moving into the city, the worse will the opportunities be for integration into the majority society. Translated to today’s political language, that is the large number of persons with a foreign background – the figure is 41 percent — is likely to make ethnic ‘alienation’ to a permanent condition.”
In a lecture at the “Göteborg Book Fair” in Gothenburg in 2009, he described his scientific dissertation from 2003 under the title “Diverse culture doesn’t work:”
– “My message that I want to make […] I would say that a multicultural society is basically a risk that it will establish several communities in the great society. I have called this ‘ethnic enclaves’ to help distinguish it from traditional segregation, i.e. residential segregation.
– But in Malmö, we can see significant signs that segregation are being made permanent in the sense that it builds up ethnic and religious institutions, i.e. a publicity which is a parallel to the Swedish society.
This also poses a risk of institutionalizing the fear of erasure – which is very common in multiethnic and multicultural societies. It is therefore – I hope you have other views on this so we can discuss the matter.
– I believe that we are not really sure that the multicultural society will function. That is why we feel ambivalent about the multicultural society; now it has been debated and discussed for many years, and questions and answers on what it means for Sweden to be characterized by multicultural diversity – they vary, often depending on whom the messenger to the questions and the answers is.”
Mr Carlbom believes that the problem with the whole process of creating immigrant enclaves, or parallel societies in the society, will give the opposite effect; native Swedes and immigrants are pulling away from each other and the only thing that comes out of this is an increased Islamization. He concludes in his blog that “one should remember that it is always the weakest of the Muslim population that will be affected by the Islamist’s political project, namely women and children.”
My final comments and conclusions:
How do we resolve the problems with “ethnic alienation?” Alienation will undoubtedly affect the entire population, immigrants as well as native Swedes. It is easy, many times, to put the blame on individuals for these problems, so this topic is a sensitive one. I really do hope we will find a solution where Muslims and other groups can learn to know each other more to be able to live side by side together with “ethnic Swedes” with compassion and understanding. Since I moved to Stockholm, I have got several friends of which many come from Middle East, Iran, Iraq and Africa and I have noticed that we all the time learn something new from each other.
I wish that we could embrace the idea even more that we are all unique beings. Why do we not accept diversity when it is so obvious? How can we turn multiculture to something good? What are we so afraid of? I believe in humanity’s full equality and inviolability. In such a world where this exists, we will be able to coexist in society and we will also be able to expressing this diversity that we after all are a part of. By extension, it is also about developing a higher degree of empathy and compassion for fellow human beings, and that is where you and I come in. We may be neighbors, co-workers, colleagues and classmates, and right here and now the personal contact network begins to take shape!
UPDATE: September 11, 2012
More on Lars Vilks, September 7, 2012
(Source: Svenska Dagbladet September 7, 2012)
In an email that Swedish Radio has read, the artist Lars Vilks pronounced his support for the Islam-critical organization Sion. Vilks was banned recently to participate in the exhibition “Udda och jämt,” (odd and equal) in Östersund, after he had accepted an invitation to speak at a conference organized by Sion – an organization that among other things have called president Barack Obama a “pro-jihad president.”
Lars Vilks has in several comments suggested that his participation in the Sion conference is part of an ongoing work of art and that he does not support the ideology behind the conference. Now, however, in an email to the leader of the organization, Pamela Geller, Vilks explains that he supports Sion. In an interview with Swedish Radio, Vilks says that he has nothing against Sion’s critical examination of Islam and that one can not see Sion as an unconditional extreme organization.
– “I have not taken a position how they use the criticism, but I feel it is always legitimate to criticize political Islam,” Lars Vilks said.
The organization Sion, an acronym for Stop Islamization Of Nations, has been classified as a hate group by several anti-racist organizations.
Here is a link to the WordPress blog “Qeers Against Pinkwashing” with an update on the EDL demonstration and counter-demonstration. Here updated with a video from the events in Stockholm in August 4.
“Äntligen, film från Stoppa EDL manifestationen!” (“Finally, a movie from the Stop the EDL rally!”)
“Främling, vad döljer du för mig?” (Stranger, what are you hiding from me?)
Publisher: Leopard Förlag
Release Country: Sweden, 2012
A book about racism, by Swedish author Marcus Priftis.
“Racism. A word that provides strong associations. Parliamentary political parties with a “brown” history, skin heads in bomber jackets and steel toe cap boots, a madman who shoots kids with automatic weapons.
But the vast majority of racism is not performed by monsters, but by people like you and me. Racism so well integrated and well camouflaged that we often do not see it at all – we are looking in the wrong direction.
This book is not about Anders Behring Breivik or the Sweden Democrats. However, it is about fear and power, about “Swedishness” and segregation. But also about how even anti-racists are in danger of slipping astray into racism. In short, it is about everyday racism.”
Feel welcome to see my previous post, “Good initiatives combating violence and discrimination,” posted on August 24, 2012, where I have several links to organizations and associations that I consider as good role models.
As Jane Elliott puts it:
– “Discrimination is taught, there is no genetic code for discrimination, people are not born racists.”
– “We simply learn black people, women and gays to keep their mouths shut! That will teach them to go along to get along.”
(From the documentary “Blue Eyed”)
Extremely Islam-critical and other dubious movements:
• Counter Jihad Movement Europe
• American Freedom Defense Iniative (AFDI)
• English Defence League
• Stop Islamisation of Europe
• Stop Islamization of Nations (SION)
• The Anti-Militarist Network
• Reuters news, Stockholm, Aug. 4, 2012 Sweden “counter-jihad” rally outnumbered by anti-racists
• Mischief: Ofog Antimilitaristic, non-religious, non-political network
• Swedish Resistance Movement: Svenska Motståndsrörelsen Nord Front via Google Translate
• The National Democrats: Nationaldemokraterna Right-wing extreme movement with former neo-Nazi connections. Accuses the emergence of EDL and the Counter Jihad movement on extreme Zionist groups and a neoconservative elite in the U.S., even though the National Democrats themselves are against immigration.
© 2012 Jonathan Axelsson
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