• Sweden edition
 
'Xenophobia doesn't announce its arrival with the blast of a horn'

'Xenophobia doesn't announce its arrival with the blast of a horn'

Published: 14 Nov 2011 14:59 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Nov 2011 14:59 GMT+01:00

A recent article entitled Muslim man kicked of train for praying, published on The Local on November 3rd, has led to a lot of heated reactions in the reader comments below the article.

A number of comments condemn the actions of the train conductor who forced a Muslim man off a train after he ignored requests to show his ticket because he was praying at the time.

At the same time, however, there are plenty of comments defending the conductor's behaviour.

Without commenting on the specifics of that case, it nevertheless provides a good opportunity to draw attention to the danger of the slippery slope we find ourselves on when we start to change the norms of what defines “xenophobic behavior”.

When it comes to the issues of immigration and integration, Sweden often reminds me of The Netherlands in the early 1990s.

Although the first wrinkles have appeared in the sea of political correctness, by and large it is still very difficult to have an honest dialogue about cultural and religious differences that put a strain on society.

The fear of being labeled a racist is so predominant that religious and cultural factors are still too often neglected for an open debate to take place.

But if you keep the lid on this discussion for too long, the emotions will start to boil beneath the surface.

In The Netherlands the lid was lifted with a bang.

The first politician to openly speak his mind on the topic was Pim Fortuyn (killed in May 2002 by an animal rights activist for his pro-fur agenda).

Fortuyn was later followed by Geert Wilders, who gradually radicalized Fortuyns inheritance and took demagogic and anti-Islam propaganda to a whole different level.

In recent years, Wilders has, among other things, proposed a ‘head-rag-tax’ for women wearing headscarves; stated that ‘race riots are not by definition negative’ and warned for a ‘tsunami of islamisation’.

As a trainer in public speaking, I can appreciate and even admire the way in which Wilders always manages to dominate the headlines and set the political and media agenda.

But as a person and citizen of the Netherlands, I am deeply concerned because I have seen the effects his words have had in the past decade.

It is not a surge of anti-immigrant violence of which I speak.

It is not about white and black sections in a bus or about obvious yellow stars.

It is about a bus driver refusing to stop for women with headscarves. It is about the organizer of a marathon offering €10,000 to the first Dutchman to cross the line while the first African would receive €100.

And it’s about the fact that - although widely condemned – these actions do not even evoke public outrage anymore but are often regarded as a normal part of the debate.

An honest and open debate is important. But xenophobia and racism don’t announce their arrival with a big blast from a horn.

A soft-spoken veil of socially acceptable words often disguises them. Stealthily, the meaning of the words begins to change, and bit by bit, actions and statements that were once deemed to be unacceptable start to be the norm.

Unfortunately it is often not until we look into the rear view mirror of history that we recognize the signs.

I truly hope that when Sweden looks back in a couple of years it will not have to come to the conclusion that the train incident was part of similar ‘Dutch’ development when it comes to people's understanding of what defines xenophobic behavior.

Ruben Brunsveld is the Director of the Stockholm Institute for Public Speaking (StIPS), which offers training in Intercultural Communication, Public Speaking & Negotiation Techniques

Related links:

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

19:02 November 14, 2011 by RobinHood
Sadly, there can be no debate in the places that matter. Any mainstream politician brave enough to suggest multi-culturalism, might not be a good thing, and try and debate the point, is quickly denounced as a racist, or worse. Sensible debate has been squeezed out of the centre and relegated to the left and right extremes.

The consequence is that normal Swedish people who want their objections to multi-culturalism heard, can not safely express their views, while their cities lurch towards something similar to Rotterdam. Anyone who has been to Rotterdam recently knows what I mean.

As long as there is no debate, ticket collectors, bus drivers and marathon organisers will express themselves in other ways. That is what happens when you deprive people of their right to express themselves about something they feel strongly about. These people are not xenophobes, they are disenfranchised and

frustrated.

An important part of communication is the ability to listen. Not squeel "racist" every time your debating partner expresses a view you disagree with.
22:46 November 14, 2011 by anjela81
"I will never respect or support a belief system that treats non-party members, women, and gays as second class citizens. It's that simple. "

Are you talking about Christianity?
12:07 November 15, 2011 by Jes
Mister Ruben Brunveld , you are making the situation worse . Your article is nothing but another useless heap of political correctness gab.

If you want to help , stand right up and define "xenophobia" . I can even do this for you :" fear or hatred of that is foriegn or strange "

If we are to put forward our arguments withing the baunderies of that definition , you are going to find that muslims are perpetrators of xenophobia more than they are victims of it . It is their religion that forbids them from associating themselves with "foreign or strange " things . Women are told their faces for that reason . They are forbidden from shaking hands with men for that reason . Muslims restaurants and retail shops will not sell meats that they consider "not clean" because of that reason . It only in Islamic countries that one can be jailed for owning a bible .

How often do you hear muslim communities openly discussing the origins of the koran ? How often do you hear them discussing if is xenophobic for Suadi Arabia to refuse building a church on its soil ? How many debates has the muslims community in Europe held to say that musilms are free to convert from islam without fearing to be rejected let alone be killed by their family members ?

Ruben , you are part of the problem . Get need to get yourself and say it : the non-muslim world has done a lot to accommodate or tolarate the "foreign and strange ".

Has the Islamic world done the same ?
13:23 November 15, 2011 by Liefje
as a dutch citizen myself i only greet the courage of Pim Fortuyn and Geerd Wilders.

It is beyond means of nderstandign to pray on the train. Koran says one shoudl pray when he has time for it, and train is not exactly the place for that, unless he was asking allmighty Allah to give him a ticket which he faield to purchase before boarding the train?

I do daresay that Sweden has to leanr from mistakes made in the Netherlands and do nto tolerate positive discrimination of muslims. They do have more rights than others already.
18:02 November 15, 2011 by MaxTron
Europe is digging a grave for itself!
19:57 November 15, 2011 by salalah
It wasn't Xenophobia. The woman could have been a little nicer, but she was right to demand a ticket becase she has to check the whole train and can't wait for every person to do "their thing" before showing the ticket. Can you imagine a Swedish person being asked for a ticket and replying "In a minute, I will just finish my coffee"?

That man was ignorant, he could have showed the ticket and the started to pray anew, because that is allowed. It is also allowed to shorten ones prayer when travelling, according to the Quran.

He also acted in a threatening way to her. That is a valid reason for throwing him off the train. Stop defending people just because they are giving their religion as an excuse! This concerns all religions!
01:01 November 16, 2011 by Incognito007
@phantom of the vasa

Where did you get all this crap from??!!

Perhaps you're mixing Islamic legislation with national traditions of some African and eastern nations.

In regards to marriage, woman's consent is A MUST for the marriage to be legitimate according to Islam. I've been living in many countries with Muslim population and have never heard of "forced marriages".

Secondly, sexual relations outside marriage are prohibited not only in Islam but Christianity as well, and whoever commits adultery will be personally responsible in the Day of Judgement.

And finally, rape is punishable by death and according to Islam if a man sees a half-naked woman it's his responsibility not to stare at her and to look in any other direction but not at her.

Any view of an individual sick person can't be attributed to any nation, culture or religion........
06:58 November 16, 2011 by jl1995
Sorry, but they will NEVER be true Swedes unless they are ethnic swedes. They simply don't belong here and will always be considered visitors and should return to their country of origin. They need to accept the fact that they are guests and should act like such.
08:37 November 16, 2011 by mal808
If praying is that important to you then you should schedule the time, stay home and pray.

You don't have a ticket you get kicked off the train. Nothing Xenophobic in that.

If it was a protestant person who couldn't show their ticket because they were praying and got kicked off would it be an issue?

Not showing your ticket because your praying on the train, it's like "the dog ate my homework".

It shouldn't even be news.

A key point to being accepted as Swedish, or indeed a citizen proper of any other country is integration. If you move to a foreign country, whatever that country, you need to integrate with that society. A lot of immigrants seem to want to plant their culture in the country they move to, in that case they are segregating themselves.
09:11 November 16, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
nothing much to write as I fully agree with the comments of " Jes " dated 15th.Nov.

and keep it up as it is the truth.
11:31 November 16, 2011 by Grokh
@Jes nicely said .

might i add equality means everyone is the same, and not some are more special than others beause of their choosen religion and the exceptions they think come with it.
13:23 November 16, 2011 by Jes
Thanks guys !

yes , one of these days , proffesional communicators like Ruben must step out and turn the tables on all the groups that cry "victim" when it these very groups that are usually exclusive in practice and therefore discriminatory.

Right up here ,@ incognito007 writes that he/ she never heard of "forced marriages" when he/she lived in Islamic societies/ countries .

" woman`s consent is a MUST ,if a marriage has to be legitimate in Islam" says he/she .

What this writer does not know is that the definitaion of "consent" varies from culture to culture , from religion to religion . For example , a woman in Saudi Arabia may be regarged as having "consented" to the notion that she does not have to drive or own property . While another woman in Sweden may accuse a man of rape if she says that she did not "consent" to having sex with him , even when they were both in the same bed .

This means that for the Saudi woman , "consent" is the act of agreeing to do what the "law" , the culture , the traditions stipulates . "consent" is non - voluntary , non. negotiable. Falirure to comply may be punishable by some authority .

Ref: if a minor is given away for marriage , it is the parent( the father) who "consents" the transaction . The law cannot nullify the marriage just because the girl ( a child ) does not want to be given away .

For the Swede , it is what an individualistic decision . She can consent or refuse to consent without risk of repurcations from the state , family or the religion she may belong to.

In Sweden , a woman may chose to marry a man from Somalia and convert to Islam. The girls family may or may not endorse or support the marriage .

If you asked the same Somalia man if his own sister should be free to convert and marry a christinian , the man might start preaching about respecting the family , protection of morals and so on .

To him , excluding non-muslims is a religious virtue that must be upheld .

But the next day , the same man is to be using the word "henophobia" if some one else says : I will not have an employee whose face my customers cannot shake hands with or see "
15:12 November 16, 2011 by jvtx3232
The article in question was titled "Muslim man kicked off train for praying."

This title is patently incorrect.

A more accurate title would have been: "Obstinate man kicked off train for arrogantly refusing to present ticket."

Who cares what activity he was engaging in, or what religion or race he is? EVERY passenger has a fundamental responsibility to present their ticket when requested. Duh! That's a no-brainer.

Why is this even a question? Who the hell cares if he was an devout Muslim who was in the middle of praying? That's totally irrelevant.
16:22 November 16, 2011 by ShadowKiller
Being of half Dutch and half Asian descent (I look Asian, not Dutch at all), I can only say one thing Mr. Brunsveld (if you happen to read this), something I have heard so often in the Netherlands, that I have decided to remain an "expat" my whole life: "als je niet gelukkig bent, keer terug naar je eigen land". (Sarcasm intended) ;o)
17:11 November 16, 2011 by mafketis
Shorter Ruber Brunsfeld: Expecting muslims to follow the same rules as everybody else = xenophobia!
22:07 November 16, 2011 by nathan45
I live in Canada and iv said it on this site before in 10 years 1 in 3 people in my country will be a "Visable Minority" so in 20 years whats going to happen? There will be almost no Canadians in Canada This is a scary thought I dont think that my poeple should be wiped out like this.

In some parts of the United States minorities are the majourity take California for example. And Europe is following suit not at the same level but still very high.

If all the western countries have mass immigration from countries that have booming populations that wont even notice the immigrants that have left what will become of our race and our culture? Its going to almost dissapear within a century.
00:39 November 17, 2011 by Kahmoudi
" It is about the organizer of a marathon offering €10,000 to the first Dutchman to cross the line while the first African would receive €100. "

I dislike half -truths and half-*ssed reporting. The contest stated that ANY FOREIGNER, not just African, would receive the lesser prize. All that says to me is the organizers think that Dutch runners suck and they need to cheat in order to win the big prize . Laughable and pathetic.

www.runningtimes.com/Print.aspx?articleID=24104

I don't see why Sweden or any other country allows SOME immigrants to abuse the system and their citizens while demanding that their way of life be accommodated while disrupting that of their host country. Ridiculous that some people don't understand or expect that ethnic citizens won't be resentful about people they feels are intruders that have no respect for them or their way of life. Nobody likes to be taken advantaged of or being abused for their generosity. IMO, it's generous to take in people then house feed and educate them for free.

If SOME immigrants don't like where they have emigrated to, then they should go back to their country of origin that follows the customs and laws they like. But I suspect the poverty and other bad circumstances they sought to escape still exist. They should be grateful to have a safe place where warlords/ criminals and their minions are not able to rape their daughters, wives and mothers or kill people with impunity. They should be grateful to have free lodgings, food and education instead of living in squalor. These immigrants and their children have been afforded an opportunity for an education that many probably never had before.

Btw, don't try to call me a xenophobic racist. I am a Black woman originally from the Caribbean living in the US that's a single mother who's currently unemployed but looking really hard while attending college. So I can throw out the female, race, unemployed, third world, single mother, college student card ...but not in a way some people might think. I choose not to let others define me but I do believe that I have to work within the constructs of the place that I live. I don't believe I have the right to disrupt or make demands on society unless it's acutely curtailing or violating my rights afforded by the law.

Immigrants should do their best to assimilate into their host society and try to contribute not be a burden on that society. It's never easy at first and sometimes takes generations for that to occur. I have friends who are Chinese whose families have been in the US for over a hundred years yet they still get asked if they or their parents got culture shock when they first arrived.They just usually give a snarky answer and go about their lives. The point is people need to live their lives, stop creating problems and be beneficial to society.
09:43 November 17, 2011 by Kevin Harris
I don't think it's xenophobic, or even racist, to get annoyed when the entire culture of a person's pleasant local society is substantially changed for the worse, over a very short period of time; and the locals don't get asked how they feel about it. Even worse, when they dare to say they preferred it the way it was before, people like Ruben call them xenophobes and racists.

Immigration into Europe, and particularly Holland and Sweden, has been handled dreadfully. What should have been an exercise in information, consultation and proportionality was nothing of the sort. Certain areas have been inundated with outsiders, overwhelming and strangling the local culture, until most locals become exasperated and leave for what they see as a better place; cultural refugees ejected from their own homes.

These people aren't xenophobes, they're just plain old fashioned angry. And anger does announce its arrival with a blast of the horn. That's what Ruben is hearing right now, he just can't face up to what it is, and pretends he can hear Xenophobes.
15:55 November 17, 2011 by jvtx3232
Well said Kevin Harris (#19).
16:41 November 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
Well said, Kahmoudi. You are the kind of immigrant that Sweden will benefit from.

BTW, I look at the different purses offered in the race that your mentioned as just a Dutch form of Affirmative Action.
16:51 November 17, 2011 by Lavaux
"Xenophobia" is the fear of that which is foreign or strange. Swedes are cultural xenophobes. Consult Jantelagen for an excellent description of how xenophobia translates into coerced conformity for everyone, including native Swedes.

Xenophobia, however, is not at issue when discussing the shortcomings of a foreign or strange culture. To this American, it seems that Swedes cherish religious holidays while rejecting religion, abort their children with abandon, meekly accept the innumerable outrages imposed by an overbearing state, prefer idleness to industry, and elevate the vice of envy to virtue. Am I xenophobic? No. I live in Sweden by choice, but that choice doesn't require me to forfeit reason and embrace what I find detestable. Nor do I ask Swedes to kowtow to my sensibilities and say nothing but nice things about my religion, country or people.

Not so with too many of Sweden's other immigrants, who demand that Swedes say or do nothing offensive. Well, I'm not going to play that game. Female circumcision is barbaric. Forcing women to bear the entire burden of human sexuality is misogynistic. Sentencing people who renounce the Muslim religion to death is barbaric and fascistic. Living on the dole when one can work is reprehensible. Demanding special treatment on the basis of one's race, religion, or national origin is greedy and anti-social. Shall I continue, or do you get the point that reason requires these criticisms, which should not be withheld on threat of being smeared as a xenophobe?
19:12 November 17, 2011 by Svensksmith
Careful Lavaux, you're making too much sense.
22:55 November 17, 2011 by fahimfmr
@kahmoudi and @phantom of the vasa

very well written both of you.... you guys kind of had references for both of your topics

@jes

sorry to say my friend not very nice you are just as uninformed as our writer whom you decided to take a jab at

But i just wished you had the energy to understand the culture and humanity

'Forced marriage or arranged marriage is mostly a cultural phenomenon'. In many states of India were Hindu is the religion.....

Women are forced to wear veil in some countries in Arab and Iran. And I disagree to that. But I have my own point of view on that I do not want to say that because I feel that is sth I do only with my closest friend not certain anonymous writers.

I am already tired of writing soory i take back everything think what you want but think if your thoughts are human

remember all references are not enough....(there are references for evolution and against evolution)
07:56 November 18, 2011 by karex
@kahmoudi. Very well said. Thank you for the intelligent comment. I hope that it will help to enlighten come commenters.
10:42 November 18, 2011 by Jes
@fahimfmr dear ,

I fail to get your point . Who said that "forced or arranged" marriage is not a cultural phenomenon ?

Take time and properly read what I wrote . I said that the definition of "consent" varies from culture to culture . That also means that "forced or arranged" does not mean the same thing in every culture . In India , it is a respectable tradition for a family to arrange a marriage for its daughters and sons . In Sweden , doing that would be considered as a repugnant forced marriage .

To simplify it for you , I will only say that there are some countries /societies where the woman`s vail is a MUST . The enforcers of this order might tell you , though , that the woman`s "consent" must be sought and considered .

Its is rather funny for you to say that I am ignorant and yet you are the one who " has an opinion" that you dare not say.
13:07 November 18, 2011 by bcterry
"But i just wished you had the energy to understand the culture and humanity "

I hope you're not referencing humanity as an attribute of islam.
19:26 November 18, 2011 by Affe
Ruben Brunsweld wrote:

"The first politician to openly speak his mind on the topic was Pim Fortuyn (killed in May 2002 by an animal rights activist for his pro-fur agenda)."

Did he?

"Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" to try to gain political power.

He said: "I confess to the shooting. He was an ever growing danger who would affect many people in society. I saw it as a danger. I hoped that I could solve it myself.""

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/1425944/Fortuyn-killed-to-protect-Muslims.html
20:13 November 18, 2011 by bcterry
"Facing a raucous court on the first day of his murder trial, he said his goal was to stop Mr Fortuyn exploiting Muslims as "scapegoats" and targeting "the weak parts of society to score points" to try to gain political power."

Sure fire islamic fix for everything, ........... KILL!
00:42 November 19, 2011 by muzammilh
ruben's article is an interesting cautionary point, but i am more fixated on the comments that have followed. so i have a few questions and request some perspective, especially from the people making negative statements about immigrants

but before i ask, i should say a little about myself. i am a US-citizen, and have lived there almost 20 years. before this, i was born and raised in pakistan for almost 10 years. i am a brown, practicing, muslim. life as a brown, practicing, muslim, in the US has been overwhelmingly...normal. even after 9/11 i feel no systematic pressure to abandon my values by other americans (half my friends in the US are like me, the other half are mostly white-secular-americans...i get along fine with both types), and i feel no institutional discrimination in terms of jobs, access to education, etc. this does not mean every brown, practicing, muslim, has had it this easy. but in my experience, and many others i know, US-american society seems to be doing just fine with its 12.5% population of immigrants: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/483/muslim-americans

i understand that sweden also has a similar proportion of "native" swedes and "immigrant" swedes (about 12 percent). but the comments above, and other articles i find here seem to suggest an altogether opposite reality for 'native' swedes' reactions to 'immigrant' swedes, especially brown, practicing, muslims

my question:

if i immigrate to sweden as a brown-practicing-muslim, will my experience be similar to my experience immigrating to the US, or radically different? i am not asking for defensive and reactionary comments; i would really like to know from the naysayers what it is about brown-practicing-muslims that swedes find so problematic. after all, it is the same brown-practicing-muslims that have immigrated to the US, that have also immigrated to sweden, but in the US we seem to be doing just fine in comparison to our swedish counterparts. i am suggesting here that if the immigrants are essentially the same, but their experiences are radically different, it has more to do with swedish vs. american society and their native cultures' ability to accept difference and diversity

you may answer in anyway you wish, but i would appreciate reason and civility over emotional rants and ambiguous stereotyping

thank you!
00:45 November 19, 2011 by strixy
Well I have witnessed Christian people pray on the plane. Should they be thrown out? Or is a Christian prayer okay?

Watch out, the same happened to Jews not long before the IIWW broke out. And germans also considered themselves to be the greatest nation ever high on humanities etc :D
09:44 November 19, 2011 by Icarusty
Amazing, a guy gets kicked off a train for praying and everyone here is going on about forced marriages. Swedish folk are rather inbred in their train of thought, eh? Or are these just English immigrants pretending to be Swedish, with a "white Europe" agenda? Pure Swedes won't comment on an English website after all in perfect native English.
10:42 November 19, 2011 by Rick Methven
@muzammilh

In everyday practice you will find no difference between The lives of practising Muslims in Sweden and the US. They get on with their daily lives in harmony with their neighbours both Muslims and ethnic Swedes.

The racist attitudes that you read on this forum are not from ethnic Swedes or even from other or non-Muslim immigrants to Sweden, such as myself. They are the main from racist trolls who are not in Sweden and in the main have never been to Sweden, such as bcterry who is a racist Canadian troll.

There are many Pakistanis in Sweden who have come here to study and stayed to make a good life for themselves, integrating into Swedish society while maintaining their own cultural values and practising their faith peacefully.

What these sick people who promote hate and violence against anybody who has a different skin colour to them are afraid to accept, is that the Islamic fundamentalist who use violence are just as much a minority within Islam as those white supremacists and fundamental Christians are within western societies. 99% of all people in the world just want to get on with their lives and improve their own situation in harmony with their neighbours.

Unfortunately, the voice of reason on on-line forums such as this one are few and far between. That said there are still a few of us who try to bring some sanity into the forum.
11:38 November 19, 2011 by Rick Methven
@Bluebell20111

Thank you for proving my point about racist trolls from outside Sweden
14:18 November 19, 2011 by bcterry
"The racist attitudes that you read on this forum are not from ethnic Swedes or even from other or non-Muslim immigrants to Sweden, such as myself. They are the main from racist trolls who are not in Sweden and in the main have never been to Sweden, such as bcterry who is a racist Canadian troll."

Nice try rickie, but your baseless accusations are laughable.

Unlike yourself, i won't run to the moderator because of your personal assault, i would rather it stand for all to see just what a coward you are for not addressing my facts head on.

BTW, why don't you tell us how you managed to get my personal email address, and send me a not so veiled threat off thread, because you were getting beat up on the facts, when you had nothing in response but personal insults.

Pathetic.

Now, off you go to the moderator, i'm sure they are expecting their most frequent visitor.
14:59 November 19, 2011 by Rick Methven
Facts?

You would not recognise a fact if it raised up and bit you on the nose! but then you have never been the brightest rat in the nest.

As to your identity, you go around spreading your idiot self all over the net, with numbskull like you google is your friend to find out everything.
15:40 November 19, 2011 by Jes
Haha !

so many rats in the bloody nest ?

No wonder the snow won`t come down yet .
15:59 November 19, 2011 by bcterry
Facts?

You would not recognise a fact if it raised up and bit you on the nose! but then you have never been the brightest rat in the nest."

Well then it should be easy for you, ......... try me, anytime.

"As to your identity, you go around spreading your idiot self all over the net, with numbskull like you google is your friend to find out everything. "

Now why would you go to all that trouble, instead of addressing my points on thread like a man?

That was a rhetorical question, as we all know the answer is cowardly desperation.

As always, please keep the personal insults coming, i want everyone to witness your superior debating skills.
18:01 November 19, 2011 by cogito
bcterry,

The unsavory habit of snooping, stalking and snitching is why he's known here as Rick Tracy, wannabe detective.
20:44 November 19, 2011 by muzammilh
thank you @Rick Methven #35, i appreciate the perspective -- anyone else care to comment on my earlier post?
22:03 November 19, 2011 by Grokh
@Kevin Harris yep, many people dont realize that when it comes to immigration if you place 1 immigrant in the middle of an entire new country they will assimilate and he will adapt.

but if you place 10.000 immigrants in a town of 10 thousand people, the immigrants themselves wont assimilate the new country they will create their own little groups, the town will be divided in the middle and tensions start to grow.

sooner or later a misunderstanding creates a war between the "them and us" so neither the immigrants adapt nor the locals accept.

if sweden had done a slow progressive immigration according to the sustainability of the country, (as in you dont take millions of immigrants into a land that has lets say 99% unemployment)

then the tensions we are experiencing now wouldnt have happened, there are towns with majority of foreigners and sometimes the majority is from the same country. thats also something that makes it even harder for people to assimilate into a new society.

So now the big immigrant majority plays victim with its religion and steps on all other immigrants as well as what sweden stands for.

and for the record i been in sweden for almost two years and have never met a single swede who didnt love to hang with me and chat.

If i talk about religion and how stupid it is , they agree with me, i say how christians are insane with their book of fairy tales and they laugh... I say Quran is stupid and everyone suddently stops talking...
22:09 November 19, 2011 by Chickybee
I really marvel at Mr Brunsveld's almost neverending knitpicking of Sweden's endless flow of 'faults and inadequacies'. But perhaps Mr Brunsveld would do better to move from the comfort and tolerance of Sweden and go and live in Egypt - specifically Cairo.

I have just spent 2 years there teaching English, and there is no religious or tolerance of minorities whatsoever - the answer is quite simply - violence.

People will just cave in, live in fear of being killed or they daughters 'disappearing' to marry Muslim men when they are tatooed as Copts as a security measure, or, as is the increasingly the case simply leave the country.

The bliss of mulitculturalism that is so 'celebrated' in Sweden is unthinkable - because the only model is ONE - Muslim. There is no tolerance or respect for other religions, women's or (God forbid) gay rights, etc.

Go and live in Egypt, Mr Brunsveld, and you will see how tolerant Sweden is especially when imams publically call for the killing of ex-Muslims in SWEDEN on SWEDISH radio and get away with it!

I challenge you to do this.

If Sweden is such a bad country and so intolerant then why do the majority of immigrants - noticably from the Muslim world come here in droves?
11:14 November 20, 2011 by tonylaz
Why has racism gotten a bad name. I venture that everyone is racist. To be racist, one simply needs to prefer his own kind, be that family, clan, neighborhood, religion, or any other social group. It does not necessitate the desire to destroy another. If you love your family more than another, you're a racist. If you thrill at the sight of your country's flag rather than another at the Olympics, you're a racist. If you prefer that Sweden's culture should be Swedish and not Pakistani, you're a racist. I am most loyal to my family, my country, and my American culture. I am a racist and proud of it !
14:00 November 20, 2011 by Jes
@tonylaz ,

let me help you here.

In your comment , you write :

" ..... prefer his own kind....."

"...... love your family more ..."

".....you thrill at the sight of...."

"...... most loyal to ........."

That Sir , does not make you a racist . You are writing about what you , LOVE , PREFER , ROYAL TO , THRILLED ABOUT etc .

I racist writes about what they HATE , DISLIKE , GET ANGRY ABOUT , REFUSE TO ASSOCIATE WITH .

In other words , if you have to hate the neighbour, a foreighn country`s flag , or Pakistan , in order to love your family , honour your flag , or love Sweden , you my dear , have a complex problem ( not necessarily a racial one )

Sadly for you , that kind of a problems affects you more than the ones that you hate .
15:24 November 20, 2011 by jvtx3232
"Thank you for proving my point about racist trolls from outside Sweden"

Actually I don't see one "racist" word, sentence, or idea in Bluebell20111's post (#36). In fact I found her post to be exceedingly well argued and articulate. It may be the best post in this whole string.

If I complained about anything at all in Bluebell20111's post, it would be a very minor complaint. I might have liked to see one or two paragraph breaks.

But other than that it was spot on! Thanks Bluebell20111 for speaking the truth! Keep up the good work! We all support you!

:)
19:22 November 20, 2011 by bcterry
Actually I don't see one "racist" word, sentence, or idea in Bluebell20111's post (#36). In fact I found her post to be exceedingly well argued and articulate. It may be the best post in this whole string. "

Anyone from outside Sweden is not welcome by Methven to comment, he continually makes that clear, and if they dare to present verifiable facts about the true face of islam, instead of addressing the points he is in disagreement with, he goes directly to label them as racist trolls,

I also found absolutely nothing racist in her comments.
22:17 November 20, 2011 by esvahnt
racism is the way of people to tell others they want to keep their own space

they dont want to be invaded or hastled

so why insist?

also many swedes dont want still stop being whites

so let them be
23:42 November 20, 2011 by philster61
The sight of a Muslim man praying on a train would scare the Bejesus outta me. WHo knows what he might do next... The 9/11 hi jackers, 7/7 bus bombers were praying moments before they did their acts of terrorism..
13:33 November 21, 2011 by cogito
11:38 November 19, 2011 by Rick Methven

@Bluebell20111 Thank you for proving my point about racist trolls from outside Sweden

The ovine bleating raaaaaaacccist has come to be recognized for what it is: not an expression of genuine moral outrage but a means of shutting down honest debate on vital topics.
21:09 November 21, 2011 by bcterry
The ovine bleating raaaaaaacccist has come to be recognized for what it is: not an expression of genuine moral outrage but a means of shutting down honest debate on vital topics. "

Honest debate is damning and revealing, and they know it.

It's their biggest fear, that and strong independent women.

Thus,

Video,

"UN Pushing Resolution to Make Criticizing Religion a Crime!"

And of course the old tired chestnuts, racists, islamophobes, etc. etc.
01:38 November 22, 2011 by Grokh
@RocketScientist2012 not many people realize that. islam is not a race its a religion and when it comes to religion there isnt any difference between liking one football team with a blue shirt or a yellow shirt.

No one calls someone a racist for liking barcelona and not liking real madrid.

and no one should call someone a racist for being against a religion, otherwise ALL religions would be racist as they do not "accept" each other.
17:52 November 23, 2011 by bcterry
Unfortunately it has to be said, ...........shame.
20:53 November 27, 2011 by godnatt
More cultural relativist garbage.

One look at a newspaper, the daily body count tally and the treatment of women and minorities will tell you the difference between Middle Eastern "culture" and Western culture.

But of course we should all ignore the obvious or be called "racist".
10:51 November 28, 2011 by sfkhan
hi all...just wanted to share my bit here....i don't know why such topics are so hot for you all...i'm a Bangladeshi.....in our country nobody is least bothered where you come from or what is your faith...simply anybody's faith is just theirs to keep or do whatever with.

We have holidays for every Eid, Holy, Diwali, Christmas and what not....i guess any other religion you could find in the world if it wants to be added to our list can easily do that. But i feel its too much hype in Europe or maybe even the US, i have lots of Indian friends and they are catholics, marthoma christians, hindus from the north of India or center or south. But people talk to people just as such i have to say i have noticed the blunt hatred once at a bus stop an old lady just pushed my wife out of no reason i wonder if she would dare to do it with a local here in Malmo.

I just think ones bragging so much about such issues only want to give more to being distinct in your own way but are forgetting larger issues facing the world like Financial crisis, soon to hit food crisis, natural disasters at epic proportions, lack of power or electricity in many parts of the world and offcourse the undying love fossil fuels which we still can't get enough off but can't decide to choose natural green energy.

I have also been in kuwait, the locals there don't blend with muslims even given the majority is Muslims there. They have some weird unwritten code not to mix with people from outside and that is an extremely tiny country not even half of Skane in sweden. I think issues of mixing with other people, matters of what ones belief should be private and as a muslim i can truely say the man praying should not have created a issue with his prayers and cleared his ticket first, i guess its his lacking of not knowing much about Islam, which is not uncommon around the world with all the huge range of misconceptions flying everywhere. Anybody, off the topic what is Occupy Wall Street really? is it a communist thing?.....if you think yes...then you are simply wrong!
21:39 January 29, 2012 by janeway
Ruben Brunsveld: Are you aware of the fact that the DO didn't give the man any help because there were no facts that he had been discriminated against and that SJ had (or have already done so) plans to bar him from all of their services?

Just because The Local choses to use a false headline it doesn't mean that the man was correct. And then The Local have to do a follow-up that gives a different view of the story.

It never cease to surprise me that left-leaning people show so strong feelings of wanting to protect people that carry on their traditions and demanding the majority to respect and accept them, when they at the same time speak of equality between genders and ethnicities.

If I still drove a bus I would definately not let a burkha wearing person enter the bus if a photo was required on the bus pass. Or if I worked in a bank I would definately hit the alarm button should a full-body covered person enter the premises.

And do not call me a rasist! I have worked for and with people from Turkey, Somalia, Sweden, Iraq, Iran, Azerbadjan, Norway, Eritrea, Gambia, Egypt, Yugoslavia, etc, for more than ten years. We all respect eachother because we have a job to do and depend on eachother.
Today's headlines
Business
Sweden’s growth 'better than expected'
Strong household consumption is helping Sweden's growth. Photo: Mona-Lisa Djerf/SvD/TT

Sweden’s growth 'better than expected'

Sweden’s gross domestic product grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared to the same period a year earlier, with the economy performing much better than previously thought. READ  

Presented by West Sweden
West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere
Sweden's lobster season starts on Monday. Photo: Jonas Ingman

West Sweden prepares for lobster premiere

It's almost time to catch your own dinner off the west coast of Sweden. The lobster season gets underway on Monday, with fishermen and tourists taking to the seas in the hope of stocking up on the traditional Swedish delicacy. READ  

National
Gas leak leaves Sony staff in Sweden hospital

Gas leak leaves Sony staff in Sweden hospital

An Ozone gas leak at Sony Mobile's offices in Lund has put eight people in hospital, with nine others needing to be checked by doctors. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats get permission to govern
Stefan Löfven is set to become Prime Minister. Photo: TT

Social Democrats get permission to govern

Sweden's parliamentary speaker has given Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven the all-clear to form a government. On Friday Löfven is expected to meet the heads of the Liberal and Centre parties. READ  

Elections 2014
Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson celebrates his party's election success. Photo: Lars Pehrson/SvD/TT

Vote quirk gives Sweden Democrats extra seats

The Sweden Democrats, who became the third largest party in Sunday's election, have learned they will get two more seats than expected due to a quirk in the country's election system. READ  

Tech
Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg, pictured here presenting the comapny's quarterly report in July. Photo: Annika af Klercker/TT

Ericsson to axe modems and cut jobs

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson has confirmed it will cut jobs in Sweden and abroad after the company announced on Thursday morning it would stop developing modems. READ  

Elections 2014
Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances
Annie Lööf speaks after her meeting with parliament's speaker on Wednesday. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

Centre party laughs off Löfven's advances

UPDATED: Centre Party leader Annie Lööf has reiterated her reluctance to cooperate across bloc lines with Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven, as he renews his attempts to form a fresh government. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job
Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder celebrates Sunday's election result. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats want prized speaker job

UPDATED: As Sweden’s third largest party, the Sweden Democrats "assume" they will be given one of a handful of prestigious parliamentary speaker jobs, party secretary Björn Söder tells The Local. READ  

National
Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'
Photo: Peder Skrivares school

Teens in intensive care after school 'initiation'

School inspectors are investigating after an initiation ceremony at a high school in Varberg in south west Sweden left four girls in hospital. READ  

National
Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail
Peter Sunde. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay Swede 'mistreated' in jail

The brother of Pirate Bay co-founder Peter Sunde has questioned the conditions of his brother's Swedish jail, slamming both the institution and the guards. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Blog updates

17 September

Deep election analysis (Blogweiser) »

"You think you’re bad? Well I’m American. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFbomLID0vU Deep deep analysis on Swedish election results. Vlog post: https://t.co/tjQgfa5Yie #svpol #val2014 #politics pic.twitter.com/oEK5ADFT8L — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) September 17, 2014 " READ »

 

15 September

Liten, litet, små & lilla (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej igen! Have you ever been confused about when to use “liten”, “litet”, “små” and “lilla”? Today I’m going to sort out how use the adjective “liten” (small) and the different forms of it. Liten or litet? “Liten” is the form we will use when referring to a noun with the gender “en”. For example: Min pappa har en..." READ »

 
 
 
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

863
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN