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Sweden targets religious prejudice

TT/The Local · 31 Mar 2011, 15:54

Published: 31 Mar 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Mar 2011 15:54 GMT+02:00

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The government is to task the state-run Living History Forum (Forum för levande historia) with preparing a report on the issue by August 19th. The public agency will compile all relevant data and examine the possible causes of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in Sweden.

Integration minister Erik Ullenhag, from the centre-right Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), told newspaper Dagens Nyheter that upgrading the status of history as a school subject was one possible step that could be taken to arrest the development of religious prejudices in the country.

“Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are particularly serious, since they are forms of ideologized hatred,” Ullenhag told The Local.

The minister said he had noted a tendency in the Swedish debate whereby both Jews and Muslims in Sweden were held collectively accountable for matters over which they had no control.

“Jews in Sweden are held accountable for what the Israeli government does, and the Muslim group has been met with suspicion ever since the 11th of September as potential terrorists,” said Ullenhag.

“What worries me an awful lot is that, in my conversations (with both groups), I’m receiving signals that both Jews and Muslims are testifying to being the subject of harassment for wearing religious symbols, and some are choosing for that reason not to wear religious symbols.”

Ullenhag met with representatives from the Swedish Muslim community in January in an attempt to develop a strategy for combating Islamophobia in the wake of a suicide bombing that terrified Christmas shoppers and left the attacker dead.

Ullenhag admitted to having been deeply concerned about a potential anti-Muslim backlash in the weeks after Taimour Abdulwahab blew himself up in central Stockholm.

”I think we’ve managed to handle the debate the right way,” said Ullenhag.

“We shouldn’t be naive to the fact that violent Islamic terrorism exists in Sweden, and we will clearly resist that, but we also have to be able to show that the 400,000 or so people with backgrounds in Muslim countries, many of them practising, are not collectively responsible for the actions of a lone terrorist.”

He added, however, that it was still “a little too early to say” whether life for Muslims in Sweden had become more difficult since the attack near one the city’s busiest shopping streets.

The situation for Jews in Sweden has become more precarious in recent times, particularly in the southern city of Malmö.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a US-based Jewish rights group, has criticized Sweden for not doing enough to protect the Jewish community in the city.

Ullenhag links the rise in the number of attacks on Jews to events two years ago, when the city decided to hold a Davis Cup tennis match behind closed doors, and thousands protested against Israel's participation.

“I think the recent debate in Malmö, and in particular the discussion a couple of years ago surrounding the tennis match between Sweden and Israel, created a considerably tougher climate. There we had a situation where criticism of Israel’s government developed into the downright harassment of Jews as a group.”

Ullenhag stressed that an upsurge in anti-Semitism and Islamophopia ran counter to longer term trends showing a broadly more welcoming approach to immigrants in Sweden.

Story continues below…

“What we know in general – and we know too little, that's why we’re commissioning this report – is that we have become more tolerant in Sweden towards immigration and immigrants over the last 20 years," said the minister.

"But it seems we have seen a rise in prejudice, and sometimes pure xenophobia, towards certain groups, and those are Jews, Muslims, and also Roma.”

Ullenhag said anti-Roma sentiment, which is being examined in a separate White Paper, did not have the same ideological basis as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

“Both have an ideologized hatred at their foundation, characterized by notions of world domination and a host of conspiracy theories."

Ullenhag said these shared characteristics made the problems particularly serious and explained why the government wanted to examine them together.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 March 31, 2011 by HYBRED
But what about the intolerance of the minorities against the rest of the population? Islamophobia? Isn't it more like Christianphobia? Or native Swedephobia?
10:32 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
Good initiative. But I know one possible cause - SD's fear mongering - start there. Racism has been politicized to earn some votes.
10:40 March 31, 2011 by isenhand
Islamophobia? Does that mean we are not allowed to question, criticise or in anyway disagree with Islam?
10:58 March 31, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ isenhand

you are allowed to question qualified Muslims if you really wish to seek the truth, have your own critical opinion about that and disagree. for example i as muslim dont try to question a drunk or non qualified local to understand local culture.

but with all this try to contribute in this integration with accepting the diffrances
11:04 March 31, 2011 by eppie

Of course we are allowed.

Don't you understand the differences between religious prejuidice on one side and questioning, criticizing and disagreeing on the other?
11:16 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
No, they don't understand the difference between prejudice and criticism, because their hearts is filled by hatred against Islam and Muslims - so they aren't rational.
11:36 March 31, 2011 by flintis
"We should never allow one individual's act to result in an entire religion being seen as suspect or having a group saddled with collective guilt."

Isn't that exactly what the mad mullahs are doing on a regular basis, something to do with the fact they cannot accept the bible.

The religious fanatics do the same, plan to blow up half Copenhagen & Stockholm because 1 person drew a caricature of a poedophile
11:56 March 31, 2011 by johnny1939
Since the Swedes in general do not give a tinker's fart about religion I do not think "foreign" believes are a problem. It is more the people and their different style of living and behaving that is. They are just not Swedish. My grandmother was born in France and was quite unhappy w/ the swedes that she considered being barbarians. She died in 1943 so this is nothing new.
11:57 March 31, 2011 by helveeta
Keep your religion to yourself and there will be no problems.
12:06 March 31, 2011 by yyyvxyyy

i agree , there are few idiots on both sides , but this does not make them justifiable. we should identify them and ban them. if a Mullah or a politician thinks foreigner or local are like dogs and blow up a city, they should be baned.

i as Muslim believes that every one understand the truth inside his/her own nature so we rational people should work ahead to make a peaceful society
12:11 March 31, 2011 by helveeta
You cannot "ban" people in Sweden yyyvxyyy, this is a democratic society. Thoughts and views are not illegal. Go live somewhere else if this is how you feel...
12:12 March 31, 2011 by locaxy
Can we have something similar to deal with atheismophobia and secularophobia?

More importantly, why should we allow little children to be labelled Muslims?
12:20 March 31, 2011 by yyyvxyyy

i know what are limitations of Democracy when they ban talk about holocaust,feminism, etc but positivity speaking, we can use our institutes and public organizations to identify and restrict them because thoughts and views provoke people.
12:26 March 31, 2011 by RobinHood
While perpetrators of extremism are tolerated there will be no change. The mayor of Malmö remains a member of the Social Democrat party, and was re-elected by his constituents. Blatantly racist policemen keep their jobs, and mullahs spit their bile about Christians and Jews in mosques the length and breadth of Sweden.

Swedes lacks the ability to recognise the unacceptable and the will to punish the perpetrators. What would rightly be treated as disgusting racism in most parts of the world is tolerated here, and even blessed. What is missing is the basic civic courage to stand up to extremists of all persuasions. That will is missing at a political level, but also at a social and cultural level.

Until Swedes learn to stand up to the unacceptable and say "no", Sweden will remain a comfortable home to the ignorant (whether they be mayors, policemen, mullahs, Nazis or Islamists) for the foreseeable future.
12:39 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
I'm sick of all this religous intolerance in Sweden. I'm moving to a land where all religions are accepted...Saudi Arabia.
12:46 March 31, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@ Swedesmith

Lol yes indeed you should go there that is right place for you , place of proud, rich and sick and raciest people
12:58 March 31, 2011 by Rick Methven

Ever thought of Libya?

Might be an opening there quite soon
13:27 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
At least Saudi Arabia does not claim to offer religious freedom.
13:34 March 31, 2011 by LeneO
Islam is a terrible totalitarian religion, but that does NOT mean I have anything against muslims. You should always be allowed to critisize and make fun of religion, but it does not mean that you can generalize over a whole population who believes in that religion. They are as different as you and I. Some I don't like, some I do. Some are more fanatic than others. Some are well integrated and respect the culture and laws of their new home country, some aren't.

Religion has no rights, human beings have rights; there lies the big difference. Disliking islam does not make anybody islamophobic, whatever that means..
13:46 March 31, 2011 by technoviking
Haha... they "will compile all relevant data and examine the possible causes of Islamophobia"

Let me save you some trouble. Pick up a newspaper and see what goes on in the Muslim world. That's ample data for concern.

Or perhaps ask yyyvxyyy about evolution and see what sort of silly superstitious lunacy awaits us if we appease these people's radical fantasy worldview.
13:59 March 31, 2011 by jimmy1988
They are just protecting the islam no more than that.

Hey The Local don t block the comment.
14:15 March 31, 2011 by Syftfel
Although Ullenhag is unfit for his job, he is on the right track here. But he should begin by attacking the worst of the worst, i.e. muhammed's intolerance of Christianity and Judaism. That's where the real issue lies. Any animosity amongst ordinary people aganst the religion of peace is an outgrowth of this system's unnacceptable attack on Nordic and Christian values. Ullenhag must go on the attack against Hizb-al-Ithwan-al-Musmin and against Taqiyya, and everything else about radical islam. Anything less will degenerate into a poisonous and distorted debate. Selective racism - anti Swedes - will not work. Alarm bells should be going off right now in Sweden. Tell this Ullenhag that his job is to protect and preserve Swedish culture, not to be the cajoler-in-chief for muslim triumphalism. Learn from Denmark!
14:26 March 31, 2011 by Rick Methven
They would certainly find plenty to work on Islamaphobia amongst some of the posters on The Local.

It is important to look at the root cause of religious intolerance that causes divisions in society, as divisions provide a barrier to better integration which in turn leads to poorer economic performance of the society.

The problem would appear to lie with grouping people together and tarring them with the same brush " All Muslims are evil" or "all Europeans want Muslim Land" or" all Jews are shysters"

We should look at people as individuals not as a member of one group or another and make decisions based on our own empirical observations irrespective of Race, Colour or Creed.



As Salam Ulikum
15:04 March 31, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
Lol lets discuss this according evolutionist perspective...

Most of Muslims live in countries where biological diversity and nature is at extreme and even if few people have non passionate genes they are Mimetically effected with such diversity where Islam say that every body have right to implement justice.

on other side northern people dont have biological or Meme diversity and living for long time in such biological culture made them silent and enjoy their freedom Alon, with this when they decided their society they dont enforce their citizen for justice because according European scholars justice emerge as a result of class struggle (Marx,Focult,etc).

now in this globalization era civilizations are mixing and i think both kind of genes/Memes need to reprogrammed and we should offer them both 'Agenda 21' and Islam because both are idealized documents but not yet found practical but hop we will discuss that in other discussion :)

further i wish to say that after Richard Dawkins Atheism is also a radical and extremist religion
15:21 March 31, 2011 by planet.sweden
A Warning from England : Immigration, Repression, and the Morally Self-Righteous

It sounds to me as if the Reinfeldt government has been taking lessons from the British establishment on how in a democracy, to foist a demographic revolution upon an indigenous population against its express wishes.

Step one: Demonise 'racism' and 'Islamophia' as two sins which no one can argue with. A bit like being a "reactionary" in Soviet Russia.

Step two: Deliberately confuse opposition to immigration with racism and concern at Islamic terrorism with Islamophobia. Much as the Soviets branded all internal opponents as "reactionary elements".

Step three: Introduce draconian legislation which ostensibly is about "tackling racism and Islamaphobia" but which really is about closiing down, nej branding 'verboten', all independent discussion and consideration of immigration issues among the population at large, and isolating or closing down any party which articulate peoples concerns about such matters. (Much as the Soviets did with the fledging opposition in Russia whenever it appeared).

In this scenario, immigration issues henceforth become the defacto preserve of the establishment to be consider, (much of it unelected), leaving them free to do as they wish, which in the case of the Blair-Brown government in Britain was to let in 7 million migrants after promising in 1997 to maintain "strong border controls".

However as the British establishment have discovered there is a sting in the tail to such chicanery. Eventually the indidgenous population get sick of being insulting, sacked or arrested for expressing their perfectly legitimate opposition to immigraton while their country is being flooded with migrants, and they rebel.

The establishment then has to consider whether it has the nerve to start mass arrests of people in the name, ironically of a "modern Liberal society", or whether it will finally consent to start listening. Brown and Blair never listened, Cameron is. And the backroom civil service, local council and quango mandarins who oversaw the spread of the British multi cultural police state in the years 1997-2010 are starting to feel a chill wind blow through their offices, and to join the ranks of the long term unemployed.

Perhaps the priggish and morally self righteous integration minister Erik Ullenhag, (oh haven't we Brits seen his type so many times before) should take note.
15:26 March 31, 2011 by Syftfel
@methven. Your honey dripping invective is sweet and profound, and serves as a good diversionary tactic I'm sure. "Irrespective of race, color or creed. As individuals not as a member. Better integration. Tarring the with the same brush. Root cause.", and so forth. The lingering problem is, how do we convince the islamists of this? I don't think it is the Swedes who need to make adjustments. It is the new arrivals. And that's where many new arrivals fall short. I totally agree with you that religious intolerance what causes divisions, but since the Nordic countries are not that religious, in an orthodox way, it must be religious intolerance amongst the religion of perpetual outrage that's intolerant, not the nominally Christian. As you are also very much aware, islam is not only a religion, it is an entire societal system, a life style, a code of conduct, with its own sense of justice and practices, which for the most part is totally and completely alien, even outright offensive to Nordic Christian culture. Hence 97% of the adjustments must come from islam, 3% from Nordic Christians. You are welcome in Sweden, but please do not try to impose your primitive antics under the guise of "religious intolerance".
16:38 March 31, 2011 by bramblebush
This is Sweden. Why should immigrants who don't want to adopt the culture be allowed to stay? Why do foreigners feel they have a "right" to come here? Deportation should be a streamlined process. Crooks, Islamist, Sharahist, etc should be quikly booted back to the 6th century where they came from. IMHO....
16:50 March 31, 2011 by jbat
Latest news : CIA sends teams to Libya; US considers rebel aid (AP)


WOW!.. Is this group later have potential to be another Al Qaedaa Aka Taliban group?

Create more and more Islamophobia America!

Your citizens should be happy to have someone or other races to blame when they failed their life!

Long live America! opss.. Long live Bussherrr!
17:00 March 31, 2011 by Rick Methven

All Muslims are neither Islamic fundamentalists or apologists for them. The majority of Muslims, just like the majority of Christians and Jews want to just practice their faith in peace and quiet.

Accepting that fact by those people who decry one religion or another would go a long way to reducing prejudice and hate. Try a one to one discussion with a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist or agnostic instead of sucking up all the crap on the internet. Just because you read it on the internet does not mean it is true
17:05 March 31, 2011 by jbat
Integration issue is just a fake reason for many of moaning immigrants here...

They don´t see the real picture about this integration issue.. but just want to blame muslim for nothing!

I have seen a lot of arabs here integrate very well into Swedish culture... no more hijab, the daughters wear sexy clothes, some of them even bring dog... so what integration issue you want to talk? just because they like to wear their traditional clothes.. then fail integration.. shiiiittt man! then blame all gypsy too for wearing their traditional clothes .... or indian for wearing sari during summer... ok?

The real "Islamophobia" issue only come from USA and the terrorist group they created that we muslim never even meet in real world!
18:09 March 31, 2011 by Iraniboy
@Rick Methven

You hit the nail on the head!
18:12 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
@ Rick If I move to Libya, do I have to wear a mou mou?

@ jbat The US created terrorism? I don't think so. By the way, are you a real bat or a fake? Do you hang upside down in a cave at night? How do you wizz without it running into your face?
18:24 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
I am neither an apologist nor extremist. I am a Muslim and proud to be one. Fundamentalism if you mean by following the teachings of the prophet and the Quran, I am absolutely a fundamentalist.

The idea of dividing Muslims into fundamentalists, moderates, extremists is wrong. A Muslim is one who follows the teachings of Islam, if some people dont do that and commit terrorist crimes - they aren't Muslim - they are criminals just like any other criminals.

The same applies to Jews, I dont believe all Jews are guilty of Israel's crimes against Palestinians. Those who support that apartheid state are called Zionists not Jews.
18:39 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
@ trust When the Quran says that you should not befriend Jews or Christians, how do you feel about that?
18:45 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
@Swedesmith , The Quran is talking about Jews and Christians who are at war with Muslims - obviously not all Jews and Christians are at war with Muslims today.
18:47 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
I like your interpretation.
18:50 March 31, 2011 by Syftfel
Thank you truthworthy. You spoke the truth. Especially with the part about "...following the the teachings of the prophet...etc." Isn't that what real problem is though? Although I don't think that iraniboy and methven quite approve that you spilled the beans. Maybe they will now issue a fatwa on your head because you betrayed islam. Like I said in an earlier entry above, it is you people who need to adjust and become more like us. Not the other way around!
19:03 March 31, 2011 by truthworthy
@Swedesmith, It is not my interpretations, it is the opinion held by the majority of Muslim scholars.

@Syftfel, I dont care if someone approves my speech or not, I am talking the truth as I understand it. I am not appeasing Muslims or Islamophobes. I am sure any Good Muslim will not have any issue with following the teachings of the prophet (pbuh) and the Quran which includes that no innocent live should be taken.

and I am sure any rational human being will not use the same brush for 1.5 billion people.
19:23 March 31, 2011 by Swedesmith
@Trust Not everyone feels that way. Hence, the problem.
19:57 March 31, 2011 by superturbo
But how about muslims (or other middle eastern people) who looks down upon swedish society as well as other religions? Shouldn't that kind of problems be targeted as well?
20:13 March 31, 2011 by Iraniboy

I second that!

Unfortunately I see a lot of these stand alone comments used by Islamophobes to justify their hatreds against Muslims.
20:14 March 31, 2011 by Frobobbles
Prejudice is just another word for experience.
20:17 March 31, 2011 by Uncle
Taking care of Islamophobia AND anti-Semitism?

How is that possible, if anti-Semitism is promoted by the followers of Mohammad?

How is that POSSIBLE to convince everybody that muslims are a small, cute and harmless minority and at the same time trying to convince this fluffy lovely minority not to beat up 84 y/o Jews on the streets of Malmö and not to promote Guebbles ideas in their mosques and their congregations?

How is that even achievable?
21:41 March 31, 2011 by religionisprison
Can we just stop talking about religion and start talking about life, love, respect and freedom between nothing else but us... together, humans.
22:56 March 31, 2011 by jomamas


That you don't understand that religion is exactly about 'life, love and respect' means that you are totally ignorant and are acting in a hateful manner towards those of us who are a little more enlightened.

Your moniker 'religionisprison' constitutes hate crime.
23:05 March 31, 2011 by Uncle
"That you don't understand that religion is exactly about 'life, love and respect' means that you are totally ignorant and are acting in a hateful manner towards those of us who are a little more enlightened."

Yep. Enlightement of hanging minorities and burning tires on the necks of the competing religion members. Love of stoning and circumcising women. Respect of inventing face cover for 50% of the population and not allowing these 50% to study, open a bank account or decide whom to marry.

Enlightenment is evident. Everything else is a hate crime.
23:21 March 31, 2011 by blursd
Just a question ...

How many Jews in Sweden have: blown themselves up in a terror attack; refused to learn Swedish, or adopt Western cultural norms; threatened and openly attacked other minority groups in the street; and/or performed an honor killing on one of their family?

What's that ...? Zero in the history of ever in Sweden!?! Hmmmm ... that's interesting.
23:31 March 31, 2011 by wxman
Swedes are like the decadent domed city people in the 1973 Sean Connery film "Zardoz". Welcoming the outside barbarians into the city to end their suffering life of comfort and boredom.
23:35 March 31, 2011 by technoviking
@ truthworthy

"no innocent live should be taken."

Sounds nice, except the definition of "innocent" arguably does not include non-Muslims.

Please tell elaborate on dhimmis, the jizya and Mohammed's approval of the raping of infidel slaves (Bukhari 34:432).

Your "perfect man" certainly doesn't sound terribly tolerant to me.
23:37 March 31, 2011 by calebian22
Since Saudi Arabia was mentioned, the majority of the population, muslim(The factbook lists it at 100%). As some of the Islamist apologists suggest, the majority of muslims in the world want to just live in peace and quiet. Funny, how when Islam is a majority, other religions or atheism for that matter, take a back seat or get run over by a bus.
00:28 April 1, 2011 by Georguis
Islamophobia?? Why should we be afraid of islam??!!

Islam has been the religion of peace and all the terrorist attacks have nothing to do with Islam (Except some 15000 terrorist attacks been carried out in the name of islam since 9/11 according to reports).

Even if some terrorist attacks happened in the name of Islam, they must have been individual cases (yess there are lots of individual cases that happened and still happen every day allover the world from U.S.A, Spain , U.K, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Lebanon, Somalia, Algeria, Kashmir, Egypt, Indonisia, Chichnia…)

I feel sick that some ppl don't know the nature of islam and been deceived by those who claim that islam promote peace. Islam is not just a religion, but a political movement and a complete way of life that encompasses everything---economic, political, religious etc. Islamists are striving allover the world (By using force or by using our political correctness and democratic laws) to destroy the western civilization and establish world Islamic state governed by the sharia law (a law of stoning, hanging, cutting off hands, whipping and beheading ppl) ! Is this what we are working hard for??
01:40 April 1, 2011 by Jannik
This is standard political correct multicultural propaganda coming out of the government.

Sweden is still hell bent on becoming a multicultural islamic state, when most other european states slowly are abandoning this crazy and treacherous idea.

Sweden will fail big time, just as all other western countries have failed with their policies to rectify the mass immigration of hordes of third world populations.

This blatant attempt at censoring ideological critique of islam, and labeling it as "islamophobia", or some special brand of "racism", will not suceed for long.

The soviet inspired totalitarian scheme is to easy see through, and only the die hard leftists will accept it in the long run.

Ullenhag is focusing on anti-semitism and "islamophobia", but does not mention with one word the racism and violence which is perpetrated against ethnic swedes on a daily basis.

This just shows the anti-swedish sentiment and bias in the government.

Its a government representing minorities and foreigners.

Critique of a religion is childishly branded as "islamophobia", as a psychiatric diagnosis. The inspiration from the Franfurt school and cultural marxism, is very clear.

In the soviet state they also labeled dissidents as mentally sick.

These policies are despicable on every level.
08:32 April 1, 2011 by technoviking
@ yyyvxyyy

Thanks for more of your pseudointellectual gibberish but why don't you tell us more about your alternate theories of human evolution and how the koran is the same as science so people can see what sort of delusional nutcases they're really dealing with.

And for the record, just because someone finds your childish, fascist ideology repugnant doesn't mean they are an atheist.
09:51 April 1, 2011 by yyyvxyyy
@technoviking i hop you are seriously trying to understand i give you few more facts of Book.

Quran and evolution tell us people who follow teachings of God/nature will inherited the earth and in human evolution we have seen that many nations and cultuers have extincts and now very problem of socialism is it has ruin its family & individual life with blasphemous freedom . even if EU wish they cant survive without foreign worker and on other side Muslims have very strong family system and only available work force and fastest growing religion of this world especially in womens of west.

i will really love to explain evolution for you but we should put that on some other discussion because here we should just focus of our topic that how to make a better society and made Sweden capable to inherit some sustainable values and dont prejudice Islam because of Fascist Media.
10:27 April 1, 2011 by engagebrain
One of the joys of freedom of speech is the noise made by the thousands of religious groups explaining why only they are right and all the others are wrong.

I hope the state is does not intend to curtail my right to laugh.
10:37 April 1, 2011 by jackx123
This religion is so screwed up it doesn't deserve a place in human history. The below girl was gang raped and the law jailed her on adultery charges.

Drugged, raped, jailed in UAE by Lisa Martin | 29th March 2011

A BRISBANE woman is suing a five-star luxury United Arab Emirates hotel, after she was drugged and raped by co-workers and jailed for eight months.

In a landmark case, Alicia Gali, 29, is seeking compensation from her former employer, Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort, for breaching its workplace duty of care.

In June 2008, Ms Gali had her drink spiked and was raped by three to four co-workers, while working as a beauty salon manager at the international resort.

When she reported the assault to authorities she was jailed on an adultery charge and spent eight months in prison because it is illegal in the UAE to have sex outside marriage.

Australian embassy staff advised her and her family not to go to the media, during her time in custody, where she was locked in a cell with 30 other women.

She was pardoned and released in March 2009.

The resort encourages workers to drink illegally at its staff bar despite strict laws and the requirement of drinking permits, she said.

Ms Gali said the harrowing ordeal should be a warning to others.

"I still feel angry and upset, it's distressing because I was a victim in all this and I was punished," she said.

"The UAE is being promoted hugely here as a tourism destination - they sponsor things here.

"They are not complying with human rights, women's rights and migrant workers' rights."

Ms Payne said the incident could have been avoided.

The hotel should have had segregated secure quarters for female employees and provide adequate induction training on the local laws and customs, she said.

"When she reported the assault to the human resources manager he did not advise her of the potential consequences of reporting that assault," she said.

"Alicia's employer has let her down in the most terrible, terrible of ways.

"A company like this should know better.

"The resort promotes itself as paradise on earth... it wasn't paradise for Alicia."

She said the law firm was still preparing its case and would consult UAE legal experts, human rights and labour law experts.

"There was never a prosecution against anyone for sexual assault or rape," she said.

Ms Payne said her client delayed the lawsuit until she had recovered psychologically.

"She now feels brave enough to speak out," she said.

"Alicia is very concerned that there are other women who might find themselves in similar situations," she said.

She said it's likely the legal suit would happen in Queensland courts but there was a possibility it could be heard in the UAE.

Comment has been sought from Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort.
10:42 April 1, 2011 by zerotolerancenow
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:43 April 1, 2011 by johnny1939
Keep your faith to yourself people and let other people be w/ theirs!!!!
11:47 April 1, 2011 by Uncle
on other side Muslims have very strong family system and only available work force and fastest growing religion of this world especially in womens of west.

But of course! The family values are the best in muslim world.

of course the fact that 10 y/o girls are forced to marry 45 y/o men, perhaps helps a little. Surely the fact that a divorced woman in the sharia world has 0% chance of survival, has something to do with it. Maybe the fact that muslims have the fun hobby of digging women into ground and cracking cracking their skulls with stones for being seen with other than their husbands helps keep the family ties stronger... mmmm who knows?

You know yyyvxyyy, I hear that slaves in Yemen, Sudan and Chad are rarely running away from their masters. It cannot prove anything, but the slaves' LOVE for their muslim masters.

Hey, and I also hear that nazism was the fastest spreading philosophy also. Get da drift?
13:12 April 1, 2011 by technoviking
No @yyyvxyyy I'm not trying to "understand" the fairy tale you like to call reality.

I just think it's good for people to hear the insane superstitions, propaganda and fantasies you people believe so they can realize that there is no point in even pretending that you are rational or sane by any Western standard.

The more you talk, the more you make my point...

Now you'll respond with some more baseless, fictional unverifiable propaganda about Islam and point me to some made up Youtube video that means absolutely nothing.

And then we'll just point you to a newspaper and actual statistics to see the horrific chaotic truth.

But you'll ignore that, call it Zionist lies, because you have a primitive, child like capacity for rationality thanks to your cult. And so on...

Ad infinitum.
13:57 April 1, 2011 by rohermoker
If more people would thing like us and not like them the world wouldd be a better place. But we all know what they are likd don't we
17:05 April 1, 2011 by telaviv

I do agree with your point of view we all have to work hard in order to keep our Earth in life ,the nature exisists for miliards of years in a wonderfull equilibrium ,who destroys it are the people who lived on the Earth we are fighting each against other bringing just suffering and damage because of Economic Religion Race reasons,

you see what happened in all over the world,I hope the people with wide point of view all over the world will wake up and will do good things,like John Lenon said I maybee a dreamer or as somebody called me on his post-Naive,but I see no better future to our Earth if all of us will not act in good faith,

And the first step is to pass from tunnel view to wide view angle
17:19 April 1, 2011 by zoroastrina
Although I was once a Baptist fundamentalist, I do not accept the bible. I do have a certain capitalismophobia, and I deeply admire magnificent Sweden except for the damnable Wikileaksophobia and the juridical buffoonery of the notorious Assange arrest warrant.
17:24 April 1, 2011 by Rick Methven

Exactly my point of view.

My Mother, a Christian, who for 40 of her 95 years has been active in a cross faith group of Christians Jews and Muslims, still has the belief that we can achieve understanding and acceptance in her lifetime.

Let us hope that she is right
17:28 April 1, 2011 by Querist

Question: What is the meaning/definition of actual word 'Islam'?

Answer: Submission.

This is taken to exemplify the total submission of every aspect of life, as an individual and society to Allah (The God).


Westerners do not agree that every aspect (or any aspect) of their society/life should be in SUBMISSION to Allah.

Muslims think 'it' should.

Herein lies friction.

18:52 April 1, 2011 by tadchem
Will they address Intolerance *by* Minorities?
20:48 April 1, 2011 by Syftfel
Methven and Iraniboy and some others: Speaking of "religious prejudice"; I know that not everything you find on the net is true. Sometimes it's just evil story telling. But is reported by BBC, as translated. Would you care to comment on the below? - Please tell me it's not true!! I would also like Ullenhag to say something about it. Tell me BBC is lying! Is this how you people behave civilly? Is this what Sweden has to look forward to in 6 years??

QUOTE Den 20 mars satte pastor Wayne Sapp eld på koranen i en kyrka i Gainesville i Florida, efter uppmaning från prästen Terry Jones, som förra året hotade med att bränna koranen vilket fick fanatiska muslimer att tugga fragda. Idag gick man från fragda till massmord efter fredagsbönen i Afhanistan.

Tusentals rabiata muslimer skrek på hämnd och bland annat tog man sig till en FN-förläggning i Mazar-i-Sharif där civila jobbar för att protestera. Muslimerna brände amerikanska flaggan i sedvanlig ordning. Men ett gäng islamister överföll FN-vakterna, stal deras vapen och påbörjade sedan ett massmord.Intiala uppgifter talar om totalt 8 döda varav en 27-årig svensk, en norrman och en rumän, resterande var nepaleser. Media påstår även att två av de dödade halshöggs.UNQUOTE
20:54 April 1, 2011 by Uncle

Don't you understand? Muslims will continue beheading ALL indirectly related people to the Christian or Jewish religion until EVERYBODY will understand that this is a religion of peace and love. What is unclear here?
21:52 April 1, 2011 by Syftfel
Oh. This is the "Religion of Peace"? No other commentary is necessary, unless it is from people of this exotic faith. Please explain this to me. Methven? Iraniboy? Yyyvxyyy? Comments? Explanations?
00:59 April 2, 2011 by Stuart Parsons
Islam is a far greater threat to the well-being of mankind than Fascism, Communism and the hordes of Genghis khan ever were. I have studied the islamic religion, using its own source material. It is an absolutely appalling 'religion'. Muhammad murdered all who spoke out against him and he and his men, plotted, lied, killed, tortured, robbed ransomed and raped their way to total political and relgious power. Apostates of Islam say, and I quote....'Islam teaches nothing but hate', 'it is a sick and vile religion' , the Muslim world is a veritable disaster area', 'Islam is the biggest lie in Hisory', ' Islam must be eradicated from the Earth'

The opening statement at www.apostates.com says 'We came to realise that far from being a religion of truth, Islam is a hoax. It is the hallucination of a sick mind' (Muhammad) ' and nothing but lies and deceit..... Islam is a religion that relies on the arrogant assumption that it is the most logical, scientific and the most perfect religion. In fact it is the stupidest doctrine, the most backward and absurd belief.' These are apostates who were raised to believe in the ghastly Allah and his delusional and narcissistic self-proclaimed 'Prophet and messenger, Muhammad. They have seen the true nature of Islam and are now working hard to inform the world what intolerant Islam is all about and what its intentions are.

The attack on the UN base in Afghanistann is just a small example of the true nature of intolerant Islam.. Someone wrote that the fundamentalist Muslim is the one cutting off the head of the infidel while the moderate Muslim holds his feet.........there is a whole lot of truth in that statement. Will we see the moderates demonstrating in the streets in large numbers saying that what happens in Afghanistan is not the real Islam....... of course we won't.
09:46 April 2, 2011 by rise
This Muhammad ibn 'Abdullāh was Satan incarnated and the muslims followers of his evil doctrines!! Now that's tolerance for you!
11:08 April 2, 2011 by technoviking
Yes, Muslims, please explain how an entire mob who've been taught the cosmically perfect wisdom of the koran could possibly all turn and kill innocent European UN workers there to help them because of something that happened in Florida.

Please enlighten all of us where this fits into your religion of peace.

Just a few more "bad apples" again?
13:03 April 2, 2011 by Uncle
Ha, don't you guys see their dilemma? If they defend this nun beheading mob, they are proving once again the flawed ethics that their religion propagates.

If they unconditionally condemn this mob, they admit that there is a problem with understanding their religion, which is by itself a blasphemy, since Koran is the word of God dictated directly onto the paper and therefore it may be suggested that the God himself was confused and unclear in his teachings.

What is left is to say the lame "Yes, it is not good, BUT look at all the muslims who die at your bombs... look at the suffering of palestinians (although their suffering at muslim hands is not raised at all) bla bla bla... They are dug into the corner and cannot get out of there. THEY are aware of the fact that THEY are barbarians. That is funny.
15:21 April 2, 2011 by Roy E

It's not prejudice.

Any judgment comes well after the fact - after the honor killings, after the death threats, the assassination of clerics after the many 'death to the West' demonstrations, after beheadings, forced marriages, stonings, lashings, and tens of thousands of terrorist attacks in 9-11-2001.

There is no honor in willful ignorance.

There is no honor in willful blindness.

There is no honor in willful stupidity.
19:46 April 2, 2011 by Iraniboy
oh dear! They can start from here! The local's comment sections has turned to XYZ-phobia platform!
20:45 April 2, 2011 by Roy E

There's nothing 'phobic' about it. It's rejection of a retrograde medieval mentality.

That's not fear. That's wisdom.
22:33 April 2, 2011 by Iraniboy
@Roy E

Your approach is unsustainable. Someone else can argue that your mentality is retrograde and dangerous. For example most greens and environmentalists may make a hell for your living style if they thought like you and they had a power to do so. History has proved that we cannot live the way that you suggest.
01:32 April 3, 2011 by Uncle

you are proving the obvious. You are trying to get the attention from public beheading by the members of your wonderful religion, to some ridiculous environmentalist argument (with which methods and demands the majority of the normal people disagree as well, may I add).

Do not run away.

Do you condemn the actions of the muslims who beheaded UN workers or not? Not "buts", no "howevers". DO YOU condemn them or do you NOT? If you do, I wanna see a pure condemnation post. At least you will gain some credibility, which you lost some time a go.

Come on. Admit that God was not clear in his instructions for action. Or admit that God was clear and therefore other religions must understand what Allah is actually saying and there are no "moderates" and "extremists" in your lovely religion, but only one understanding of one religion.

One or the other. Just say it and it will be crystal clear. Any answer will be used in the future, FYI. Just to warn you.

BTW. Not answering will be remembered as well.
10:08 April 3, 2011 by Iraniboy

I definitely condemn this vile murder and any other murder including the ones you apparently find justified as part of your illegal wars including last weeks images of US soldiers taking pictures with dead bodies of underage boys.

I'm sorry if you couldn't grasp my theory of hatred loop. I thought I have described it well.

God discussion is very irrelevant and needs another platform.
10:39 April 3, 2011 by rise
The almighty and beloved Muhammad ibn 'Abdulah probably is in hell and his followers are joining him there when their days on earth are running out. With that knowledge in mind one could indeed have very much tolerance for them. :-P
11:29 April 3, 2011 by Uncle
Haha Iraniboy. You are proving my sociological theory:

Uncle: "What is left is to say the lame "Yes, it is not good, BUT look at all the muslims who die at your bombs..."

Iraniboy: "I definitely condemn this vile murder and any other murder including the ones you apparently find justified as part of your illegal wars"

You are incapable of JUST condemning the behaviour of muslims TARGETING civilians by trying to compare beheading of unrelated people of the same RACE as the Koran burning pastor to the wars of west which is trying to avoid civilian casualties and sentencing soldiers that take pictures with bodies.

Muslims on the other hand, pay money to the suicide bomber families. (BTW, he, you heard that Goldstone admitted that he is now regretting his report about the war in Gaza and that if he knew the FACTS, he would issue a completely different report? Just FYI, since probably El Jazira "missed" this admission)

In addition, you are incapable of admitting that Koran is unclear, since different people understand it differently, because then you may blame God himself of unclear babbling.

On the other hand, you are afraid to admit the obvious - Koran is crystal clear and existence of "moderate" muslims is a myth. So you are trying to weasel your way by blaming some environmentalists and whom not, but the muslims themselves.

It is just fun to watch you straining so hard to avoid one of these options.
07:08 April 4, 2011 by jayseah32
Let's face it folks. Christopher Hitchens is absolutely correct.

"...Religion Spoils Everything"

These boards are blatant revelations of proofs that fact.
09:56 April 4, 2011 by No Haram Done
Captain Obvious here:

Rock, meet hard place!

These DESPERATE Swedish bureaucrats (LOFL)!

I can't think of a BETTER situation for them to be in; that is, trying to unsuccessfully re-engineer a people's mental state when it's CHANGED FOREVER!

What a pack of OVERPAID FOOLS!

You're about to be PROFOUNDLY under-employed, like the SWEDISH MIDDLE CLASS you've been warring against for DECADES!

Maybe you can get some cheap housing in MALMO!!

I just hope that YOU don't have guns!

"It is the primary right of men to die and kill for the land they live in, and to punish with exceptional severity all members of their own race who have warmed their hands at the invader's hearth." - Sir Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister

Also, Sweden's current, vigorous citizens are about to make up for their ancestors' Quisling behavior during WWII.

That's what was needed to be said in response to that pathetic article featured this winter about "Sweden attempts a laugh at its wartime past."
10:30 April 4, 2011 by Dr. Joseph Madol
The coverage of what is being perceived intolerance of Islamic or Jewish beliefs or rights, never takes into consideration the elements of what creates prejudice. When one sees how much anti-christian actions are generated in the Islamic World, as evidenced even in the banning in Kabul by the Government of western style wedding dresses, and the teaching of Christian beliefs, then it is no wonder Western European Society reacts as they do. It is my opinion given the open policies of Sweden in welcoming immigrants, the criticism directed at their seeming intolerance is unjustified. When people come to another country, they choose by themselves. Therefore, the must live in the manner and customs of the new country. How can people ask something of a host country that in their own would be absolutely disallowed
10:30 April 6, 2011 by motti
Ullenhag should realise that it Sweden's own government and elite that causes the hatred towards the Jews and Israel. Is he any the wiser or better than Malmoe's mayor who shows such a serious lack of pertinence, decency and empathy with the Jewish residents of his city. For Jewish people to pay a Jews Tax for their security is a cintinuation of medieval times. The Swedish elite decide in their determination to show Israel in the worst possible light. It distributes selective truths, misinformation and Arab backed propaganda to the great Swedish public. What else can one expect when Jews are attacked because they are Jews? Sadly for Sweden and Norway, you'll not learn the truth and historical facts from the general newsmedia and government. you will have to search for the truth from sites such as the Jpost, Debka.com and MEMRI.

For those who seriously want to search for the truth, I suggest you switch channels.
19:04 April 6, 2011 by bcterry
Get rid of religious schools, which all teach intolerance, and force their children to integrate with others of differing beliefs.

There is nothing like peer influence to get a wide variety of ideas, and giving them their right to freedom of thought.

This will kill the isolation, which is their ace in the hole for brainwashing their children.

This will go a long way to breaking the cycle.
13:08 April 7, 2011 by motti
We read on this blog accusations agsinst Israel, such as criminal action against the poor palestinians and an apartheid state. Let's clear the big lies, a continuation of Goebbel's tactics in telling lies enough times and people will believe them. The Arabs and Moslems in particcular were allied with Nazi Germany during the second World War, and afterwards with the Soviet Union against the Jews. They have learned well.

The Arab Moslem population in Israel is expanding not lessening. So what genocide do they mean, the slaughter of innocent 4month old Jewish babies by their bretheren? We see the slaughter of nuns, priests, rabbis etc. They salughter their own e.g. sunni v shia, they continue against others because they are black Africans such as in Sudan, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Druzim etc. They destroy other peoples places of worship and burial grounds.

Arabs are in government and in the oppostion parties, represented in the Israeli Parliament. Druze, some bedouin and even Palestinians serve in the armed forces. Some apartheid? Do they mean the fact that Jews are unable to live anymore in lands taken by conquest by Moslems, result nearly 1million Jewish refugees from Arab lands?

Are people aware that Moslems and CHristian Arabs from surrounding countries are treated free of charge in Israel for their ailments, including operations. These are not available in oil rich Arab lands, they prefer to spend their money buying out western companies, football clubs and gambling in casinos. Israel is the only country to have setup a field hospital in Japan after the tsunami and earthquakes along with other forms of aid, including food. And no, they have not charged for these itemms either!

Think about it before you make malicious accusations without any bearing of truth.
03:14 April 9, 2011 by ajs42548
So am I to understand that all of the Islamic scholars that quote from the Quran to justify terrorist acts are wrong? I emphasize the word scholar in that last sentence. Why does Saudi Arabia, the heart of Islam (think Mecca) arrest people carrying bibles? Here's chutzpah for you... 2 years ago Saudi Arabia sponsored a conference on religious tolerance...... However they held it in Spain because non Muslims (including Jews) were not allowed into Saudi Arabia. You can't make this stuff up. Did someone make a wheel of fortune and put different religions on it and spin it to see which religion would get to be called violent and intolerant and it landed on Islam? Otherwise, how did Islam get the reputation for being violent? One more thing.... How come there haven't been any mass demonstrations against Islamic terrorism by peaceful Muslims. There are demonstrations fast enough for cartoons and other nonsense. You'd think that the terrorists who are giving Islam a bad name would have protests against them, no?
17:25 April 10, 2011 by bcterry
03:14 April 9, 2011 by ajs42548

So am I to understand that all of the Islamic scholars that quote from the Quran to justify terrorist acts are wrong? I emphasize the word scholar in that last sentence. Why does Saudi Arabia, the heart of Islam (think Mecca) arrest people carrying bibles? Here's chutzpah for you... 2 years ago Saudi Arabia sponsored a conference on religious tolerance...... However they held it in Spain because non Muslims (including Jews) were not allowed into Saudi Arabia. You can't make this stuff up. Did someone make a wheel of fortune and put different religions on it and spin it to see which religion would get to be called violent and intolerant and it landed on Islam? Otherwise, how did Islam get the reputation for being violent? One more thing.... How come there haven't been any mass demonstrations against Islamic terrorism by peaceful Muslims. There are demonstrations fast enough for cartoons and other nonsense. You'd think that the terrorists who are giving Islam a bad name would have protests against them, no? "

Their blatant hypocrisy tests the limits of one's gag reflex.

Simply laughable.
12:22 April 13, 2011 by leontan
Regarding anti-semitism and neo-Nazism in Sweden, the Government would do well to correct the mistaken self-perception Swedes have of the nation as 'neutral' during the World Wars... in fact, Sweden aided the Nazi regime by providing much required Iron for example. Another little known fact is the close links between members of the Swedish Royal family and the Nazi regime... Walter Sommerlath for e.g. the father of the current Queen of Sweden, was a member of the National Socialist Party member no. 3592030.
16:26 April 14, 2011 by jomamas
Stop accepting immigrants from Muslim countries.

Islam is more or less incompatible with Western values.

Case closed.
03:26 April 22, 2011 by No Haram Done

RIght to say that there is a CENTRAL place for SWEDISH culture & that Ullenhag, an abject FAILURE, should clearly ACKNOWLEDGE that there would be almost NO anti-Semitism if Islam wasn't being deliberately IMPORTED into SWEDEN by her 'government' like Salmonella!

Furthermore, SHAME ON ANYONE who uses the term "Islamophobia', for that "NEOLOGISM" (new word) is a LOGICAL FALLACY!

There is ONLY Islamocriticism!

Islam is a dangerous IDEOLOGY.

REJECTION of an ideology CANNOT be classified as a 'PHOBIA'!

A PHOBIA is defined as: "an IRRATIONAL, intense & persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, animals, or people," (but NOT of ideas/belief systems)!

To call the OPPONENTS of an ideology 'phobic' is a LOGICAL FALLACY.

ALL ideologies have their critics, but we do NOT hear Christians calling the critics of Christianity 'Christianophobe', Communists calling theirs 'Communitophobe,' or Hindus calling theirs 'Hinduphobe.'

The term 'Islamophobia' is both technically & logically INCORRECT & misleading!

It was created by members of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood (a 1950's US/CIA organization) at the International Institute of Islamic Thought (Hahahahaha!) in northern Virginia, near Washington, DC!

The absurdity of the Muslim "mind" is such that they THINK it is OK for them to incite HATE against non-Muslims in general (& Jews in PARTICULAR!), yet it is NOT OK for others to criticize ISLAM'S ideology of HATE!

By calling the criticism of Islam a mental 'DISORDER', Muslims (& their APOLOGISTS, like Ullenhag!) attempt to somehow FREE themselves from having to respond to VALID criticism against ISLAM!

The very EXISTENCE of this 'neologism' is a tacit confession of Muslims (& their APOLOGISTS, like Ullenhag!) that Islam is a LIE, which CANNOT be defended logically & that 'ad hominem' attacks & censorship are the ONLY ways to defend it!

There is ONLY Islamocriticism & I SALUTE Islamocritics, like Muslim apostates!

Because Muslims are ENCOURAGED to LIE to further that RACIST, HATE-BASED ideology called ISLAM (see 'Taquiyya & Kitman': K. 3:28 & 16:106), people should find out about it by looking to its APOSTATES, who grew up in it & REJECTED it for REAL PEACE & FREEDOM: Sergei Bourachaga, NONIE DARWISH!, Wahlid Shoebat, Ali Sina, Wafa Sultan, Amir Taheri, Ibn Warraq, etc. (& REAL Muslim scholars like Tawfiq Hamid)!

They've POSITIVELY INFORMED my understanding of I-Slam as they FEARLESSY face STANDING DEATH-THREATS at the hands of ALL 'GOOD' Muslim/as!

Tho' I'm a Democratic Liberal, I FULLY agree with Islamocritic Pamela Geller:

"Truth is the new hate speech." - Pamela Geller
06:17 May 13, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
The only Swedish Political party that could look and fight for natives Swedish is

non other but Sweden Democrat,lead by an energetic honest,brave and truthful

man,that's Jimme Akesson.All peace loving Swedish should have no doubts about this man and vote for him and his party and you'll see that Sweden is not known as

Land of The Midnight Migrants but " Midnight Sun "
08:19 May 13, 2011 by Rick Methven

What other fairy stories have you read
17:15 July 13, 2011 by el dorado
"Jews control the world economy and IMF in order to oppress the world; Homosexuality should be punished with death; Muslims are not permitted to be friends with non-Muslims; Women should not have conversations with foreign men; Women who are menstruating are unclean and not allowed to recite the Koran; In elections, Muslims should only vote for other Muslims."

These statements (and others) appear on the website, muslim(dot)se - whose aim is "to present Islam to young Muslims in a simple manner".

The web site received funding from the Swedish government agency National Agency for Youth Affairs (Ungdomsstyrelsen). In 2009, Sweden's Imam Förbund received 416 000 SEK (44 660 EUR, 62 742 USD) to develop ways to minimize racism and Islamophobia. A portion of this funding was used to create the website.

Sources: Svenska Dagbladet and www (dot) muslim (dot) se
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