• Sweden's news in English

SJ 'not wrong' to kick praying man off train

The Local/rm · 24 Jan 2012, 15:08

Published: 24 Jan 2012 15:08 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

”We have made the decision to close the investigation as it wasn't possible to prove that the man had been a victim of discrimination,” said Anna-Lena Sjölund of DO to news site Nyheter24.

The man reported the incident, which occurred in May last year, to the watchdog not for pecuniary compensation but in order to get ”satisfaction”.

On his daily commute from his work in the capital, the 35-year-old man had been obliged to carry out some of his daily prayers. 

To avoid disturbing fellow passengers, he made his way to a calm and secluded compartment – something he had done on several previous occasions.

”I started to pray but then the conductor arrived and shoved me three times in the back almost causing me to topple over. Then she said 'Show me the ticket! Hey!',” the man told Nyheter24 at the time.

The man refused to show his monthly rail pass to the female conductor at the time because he felt he couldn't interrupt his prayers once he had started, but as soon as he finished he went looking for her to show his ticket. 

However, the conductor refused to look at the pass and told the man that he would have to get off the train at the next stop. 

The man reportedly tried to explain himself and said that he had never had any problems praying on the train before but the conductor was adamant that he would have to get off and said that if he refused she would telephone the police.

The man, who didn't have anywhere to sleep that night if he didn't get home, would not willingly leave the train and officers were waiting for the train at the following station, according to the news site. 

The man managed to get back to Stockholm and to avoid having to roam the streets of the capital over night, he made his way to a mosque in Akalla. 

The man later contacted the train services customer service department where they agreed that it was not acceptable and sent him a voucher worth 1,000 kronor ($152). 

Story continues below…

Despite the man's story DO ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove that the train service has done anything wrong.

However, the story doesn't end there because SJ has previously threatened to bar the 35-year-old from all their trains.

SJ spokesperson Dag Rosander told Nyheter24 that the company has never exacted that kind of penalty against a customer before and the man could therefore be the first to be barred from all SJ train services.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

16:18 January 24, 2012 by nathan45
Its good to see for once that some one in their native countrie doing their job is not being criminaly charged because immigrants wont adapt to their new society.

I dont think we really need them around its way too much head ache and way too much money spent the other week I read on this site that after 5 years less than 50% of immigrants even have a job! Who is supporting them your tax dollars.
16:21 January 24, 2012 by thinkright24
a sad decision.

there are talks of integration, how can that happen if there are people not willing to understand someone else, religion, belief etc.

the man went to look for the ticket officer, this shows that he was not fake, and was just honest.

on the other hand the could probably have done better by pasting his ticket on his arm or something ..
16:40 January 24, 2012 by kenny8076
rules are rules.... thats what that the Muslim religion doesnt understand... If the Bank rules say NO ONE is allowed to cover their face while inside.... why do muslim people feel this should not apply to them and walk in only seeing their eyes? Adapt to the country that embraced you and things will be better off for you. There is a reason you are in Sweden and not your homeland, so respect it
16:48 January 24, 2012 by Migga
Religion has no place in the public space. What you do in your home is fine, but not in public. Religion should never go ahead of anything else when you are in public. Sweden is secular, accept that. If you don`t well then you shouldn`t be upset when you get treated like this.
17:04 January 24, 2012 by sweden_lover
immigrants PLEASE try to be part of people and culture, follow the rules in some how, whatever is ur home land, now u r in Sweden.
17:24 January 24, 2012 by DAVID T
Money grabbing scum
17:28 January 24, 2012 by Mb 65
Muslims are not happy!

They're not happy in Gaza .

They're not happy in Egypt .

They're not happy in Libya .

They're not happy in Morocco.

They're not happy in Iran .

They're not happy in Iraq .

They're not happy in Yemen .

They're not happy in Afghanistan.

They're not happy in Pakistan.

They're not happy in Syria .

They're not happy in Lebanon.

So, where are Muslims happy?

They're happy in Canada.

They're happy in Australia.

They're happy in England.

They're happy in France.

They're happy in Italy.

They're happy in Germany.

They're happy in Sweden.

They're happy in America.

They're happy in Norway.

They're happy in every country that is not Muslim.

And who do they blame?

Not Islam.

Not their leadership.

Not themselves.



17:47 January 24, 2012 by jwlundgren
I think God understands interruptions.
17:59 January 24, 2012 by Rod Munch
Well said, Mb65. That's absolutely the truth.
18:16 January 24, 2012 by zooeden
I didnt read the article but Jehova, Alah, God, Bob Dylan, Heidi Klum, Rastafari or any son of a gun has to pay ticket...

Ok Mb65 comment couldnt ignore either or laugh about it, that was a good one!!!
18:50 January 24, 2012 by Vill
@ thinkright24

You have a perverse view of the concept of integration. Integration is not about native people learning to accept your homeland's way of life. It is about YOU learning to accept the rules and customs of the land that was gracious enough to let you in. Living in Sweden is not a right; it is a privilege; one that should be much easier to revoke.
18:51 January 24, 2012 by omansour
I am a Muslim and I think this guy show have shown his pass card to the conductor before he started the prayers to avoid any interruptions. But since he decided to do it before that, he should them expect the conductor to come and ask him for the card. It is ok to interrupt his prayers for that but at the same time it is also ok for the conductor to come back to him later after few minutes. For me, they are both impatient: the man was over reacting by saying he can't interrupt his prayers, and the conductor was stubborn and a bit of a nagger because she can simply come back later (as they usually do and ask few new tickets). Bottom line the man should not have reported this and this should've never happened.
19:01 January 24, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
I cannot suddently realize that it is prayer time and kneel in the middle of the road and make traffic stop for me until I am finished.

Likewise, when using any part of public transportation infrastructure, one cannot obstruct the operation of that service for prayer.

Efficient verification of ticket or pass validity is part of the routine monitoring of the service.

It does not matter if he went to find the conductor later, because he may by then have borrowed his friend's ticket to show the conductor, or on some future trip the conductor may have moved on to another part of the train, or a different train, or ended her shift, etc...

Also, people could abuse the rule by doing this prayer routine for the entire length of the journey, or whenever a conductor is checking tickets in their section of the train, to avoid the need to have a ticket in the first place.

Agree with earlier poster that the least he could have done is display his ticket on his back or arm to enable electronic or visual reading of the ticket.
19:03 January 24, 2012 by Svensksmith
I was vigourously masterbating the other day on a train and the conductor interrupted me. The nerve!
19:33 January 24, 2012 by blursd
"Despite the man's story DO ruled that there is not enough evidence to prove that the train service has done anything wrong."

I mean ... honestly ... are there NO editors at the Local? Having a few problems with maintaining the same tense - are we sticking with the past, or the present? And "DO" should really have a "the" in front of it.

If you want people to take you seriously you might want to avoid such flagrant and inexcusable grammar and syntax mistakes. A half competent editor would have caught that in about a half second ...
19:46 January 24, 2012 by wxman
REMEMBER: It is the obligation of the immigrant to adapt to his adopted country, NOT the other way around! Enough of this nonsense.
20:03 January 24, 2012 by The Who
I think it is a matter of common sense, respect and principles! and this factors happen to happen in every single culture:

You invite someone to visit you or to live at your place.. the visitor should respect your rules since it is your home! if you don't allow smoking, drinking, etc. then th visitor shall not be smoking not drinking and if the visitor does not agree then he might just leave or face the consequences. As easy as that!

The land that embraces you has its rules!! and evey foreginer may respect and follow them.. they don't like it.. then leave or face the consequences.
20:18 January 24, 2012 by Dazzler
Wow...didnt see that coming, thought for sure SJ would of had to pay a 1million sek fine, fire the conductor and issue a public apology for such blatant bigotry and lack of political correctness!

They should probably bombproof the head office now.
20:21 January 24, 2012 by Chickybee
@ Mb65 - so right!

Just have a look at the Muslim world - with very few exceptions (mainly financial centres, e.g. UAE, etc.) there is no equailty and zero human rights and religious tolerance is non-existant.

Many Muslims are grateful to be in non-Muslim countries because of the freedoms we guarantee. Islamists' activities where there have been immigration means that Muslims are overrepresented in terms of failure in integration.

More respect, gratitude and willingness is required from immigrants. Not a PC thing to say - but it's the truth. You can only be integrated as much as you want to be - I should know being a fully-integrated half-Swede living in Luxembourg.
20:22 January 24, 2012 by The Who
How many times we all faced problems when we were kids at home.. when our parents used to say: you do as I say as long as you live under my roof for I am your father, this is my house and! " I am supporting you" you don't like it? leave then.. you wanna live in my house? cooperate and obey! I mean we all have lived and dealt with this situation.. so we all can respect the rules of the land that embraces us just the way we did when our parents asked us for.. is it that to hard? NO
20:57 January 24, 2012 by truthworthy
As a Muslim, i see this case challenging. Since he is praying he is not supposed to interrupt his prayers but at the same time he shouldnt be praying where he can be interrupted. I dont find it wise that he reported SJ to DO and neither do i find it wise to ban him for just one incident.

I dont understand why the woman did not accept his ticket when he showed it and explained himself.
21:09 January 24, 2012 by swedejane
The ticket lady could have easily not been such a fascist about the ticket policy and simply checked his pass when he found her, but I'm also sick of seeing people pray in the public space. I wouldn't have kicked this guy off the train, but you're a real nut job if you can't take a simple train ride without having to make a big deal about praying to your imaginary god.
21:32 January 24, 2012 by Fernandis
To Mb 65 ******** This is true that muslims are not happy in their own countries, but to be honest this is because of only western countries and USA, as these countries support dictators and corrupt leaders of Muslim world.

BUT, certainly there is no need of prayers at public places which causes inconvenience for others.
21:49 January 24, 2012 by canuk
when i lived in the feces hole malmö, i was waiting at the last stop on the bus line, the point where the bus turns around and goes back over its route. the bus was there but the door was shut and i was not able to get in. i knocked but no onne was in sight. it was the middle of the winter and cold and windy as feceshole malmö frequently is.

i found the driver half way down the bus, praying to his holy lord. causing me to stand outside the bus freezing while he was nice and warm praising his savior, not undoubtedly for helping him escape from his cockroach infested country to lovely sweden where he can take advantage of people looking to ride the public transit system.
22:55 January 24, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
He refused to show his ticket. Case closed.
23:28 January 24, 2012 by RobinHood
Will he have to give that 1 000 kronor voucher back now.
23:32 January 24, 2012 by Zexufang
Maybe the Swedish National Rail Service should post a LARGE sign (in Arabic - to show compassion) in every depot station:

No train ticket, no train ride, no prayer rug, no exceptions.
00:05 January 25, 2012 by imrancth
Comment: Very sad to see the news and more i got upset with the peoples views. The first question is she was interested in checking the ticket ? or just dont like his pray? if her concern was on the ticket so the man get back by himself to her to show his own ticket and why she refused to see it later ? usually it happens that conductor always come back if its not possible to check on the spot. Other thing is that he find a calm place for pray so no one is disturbed so what is wrong with that ? Religion is free here IF you dont follow ok but respect the other if they follow. And he did not Break or voilate any RULE So its this man who did nothing WRONG. IF you talk about Rules show your real face and not a double standard here . Just post on the train services that NO Pray in Train OR NO Muslims in train Or Even No Muslims in this country. SO it will be more clear and show what is real in their Head. IF any one talk about Muslim Countries So its your countries who make them worst with wars , politics and economics means LEave Our Countries and We will not come to your countries. The people only come here to get some money for their family and children NOt your culture or freedom Or any thing else You got it ? They Still love their Country, Religion and their own Culture.
01:30 January 25, 2012 by TheWatchman
It really bothers me when immigrants don't learn or try to learn the new customs of the new country. Do you think anyone of any other religion would pray on a train? And waste the time of employees and delay traffic? HELL NO!

This only seems to be a problem with them. There was a school in Canada in which the Muslim girls who had their periods had to sit at the back of the class and girls were not treated the same as male students. Even if this was a Muslim school, this would be wrong, but it was a public school, in Canada. Why do we allow them to do this? They haven't done some great miracle worthy of us allowing discrimination, racism and violence following their immigration.
01:33 January 25, 2012 by Rizwanpk
@ imrancth : you are right. swede you should be proud of being citizen of sweden but not that much where you cant decide about right and wrong. we are living in sweden but not due to disliking our countries. we love our countries and feel proud. my experience is saying that that conductor had some personal problem. she is a bad employee. she should manage that issue rather then saying leave the train. of cause such rude and bad behavior is not good with customer and specially for business too.
02:54 January 25, 2012 by Grokh
no ticket = leave the train!

no exceptions for religion. otherwise everyone will claim religion to bypass certain laws and that would destroy the purpose of equality
03:01 January 25, 2012 by imrancth
@Groth Read the news full.

If the man had no ticket he will not go back to her, and/or later report the whole problem to DO it make some sense if some one have.
03:36 January 25, 2012 by blik
@ Svensksmith

Your comments are very dangerous

I pissed my self laughing so much, I nearly choked on my lunch.

Keep them rolling.
05:22 January 25, 2012 by philster61

Were you in an enclosed compartment or an open seating area? Would the ticket be more expensive since you had to resort to self service?
09:14 January 25, 2012 by thinkright24
@Vill. its strange the way Swedes see immigrants. there are different types of inmmigrants

1. who come as refugees, they get money from state, initially a burden on state, but the state gets the return on investment later in future, may be in the form of second generation.

2. who come in as students, they get free education (which is no more to non europeons) some go back immediately, some start working, start paying tax, do this for few years and go back. they pay of their education fee in the form of taxes

3. those who come in , get job, start paying taxes, and then live here for life, no burden again, they are paying taxes

4. problematic people, who come here, fake it, and live on gov money. not good, but again probably their second generation is better.

again, how do swedes think that their state is stupid enough to accept immigrants if there is no long term advantage
10:06 January 25, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
One detail that few people are picking up on is that this guy has a history of misbehaviour on the SL system (as pointed out at the end of the article).

He may have staged this event. There are between a dozen and 100 trains per day on the different routes, and maybe he just happens to have been on the last one, to make his 'hardship' more dramatic, and maybe he does his prayer routine with a conductor that he has previously annoyed with the same behaviour of ignoring her request to show a ticket.

If there was a rule banning prayer on the train he would have a point. The fact is that he broke the rules of the transportation system by not showing his ticket. He is not a victim, he is the wrongdoer.

The irony is that he probably thinks he is doing a service to the Muslim community, but he is actually doing a disservice to the Muslim people here, because his actions increase the perception that Muslims are unreasonable fanatics who believe that they are not obliged to obey local laws, even though the majority of Muslims here would have respectfully shown their ticket to the conductor.
16:35 January 25, 2012 by Vill

Did the conductor make you "get off" at the next stop?!?
16:56 January 25, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@ Reason abd Realism I like how you think. Based on your reasoning, your conclusion is totally correct. I would like to present the case to you another way.

For a minority of people (a few devout Muslims) praying on time is a way of life. Before sunrise, midday, afternoon, sunset, night. Thus, a person does drop and address God at funny moments and funny places. Generally, he/she tries to find quiet, unobtrusive locations, but midday and afternoon prayers are difficult to go do in the privacy of one's own home. I've prayed outside a restaurant, in a library, university, hospital, ski resort, etc. I happened to be dining out, studying, learning, working or on a mountain at the time and going home wasn't feasible. I made sure the authorities/officials were informed of what I intended to do before I did it in a quiet area away from public.

This 35 year old man may have thought his daily commute was "safe, unobtrusive" for prayer. Turns out it wasn't. From his point of view, he faced religious persecution. From her point of view, he insolently obstructed her from doing her job.

In his shoes, I would have gone to whoever is in charge of SL before the first prayer and requested 5 minutes of uninterrupted solitude during the commute I pay for everyday. If superiors okayed it and conductor was informed, matter may not have escalated. If SL refused the request, it would still be better than breaking the law and being manhandled during prayer.

Is it perhaps possible the 35 year old was shortsighted, instead of victim or wrongdoer?
17:49 January 25, 2012 by Bumblebeetuna
I feel like this article has to little information to judge either party. If a swedish mom was in the middle of something i don't think they'd dare kick her off! Although, the man could have been more pushy and rude about things. Hard to make a judgement!

Two things i know are that being different makes you a target to certain people and certain people use being different to get special treatment. Certainly, jumping to the conclusion that the muslim was at fault is good indication you might be one of those certain people!

Swedish people can be bad too!
19:08 January 25, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Sarahfaz

I can agree that he may have been merely shortsighted, rather than staging the event, but his status of wrongdoer is simply a consequence of his conduct with regard to the rules of SL.

In situations involving a lack of clarity, or in situations that we all peridocally encounter where an authority figure simply does not like us (for any number of reasons, not all of which are racial or religious), the rules 'rule' the day - and these are the bedrock of a particular society at a particular time. Not 'bedrock' in the sense of the embodiment of the highest possible ideals of that society, but as the arbiter of conduct and responsibility for all parties.

Obviously in a predominantly non Muslim country, the norm (harsh as it may appear) is for passengers to never obstruct any request to show proof of having a valid fare, whether the passengers are praying, on their iphone, on their computer, breastfeeding, etc., in order to keep the system working efficiently and fairly (for example to prevent 'after-being-caught' cheaters to dial up of an SMS fare and go find the conductor later).

As you and others have suggested, he could have prevented the situation by obtaining clearance in advance, or by displaying the ticket on his back or arm for visual or electronic reading. An earlier Muslim poster (#12) indicated that it is acceptable to interrupt one's prayers, so the escalation could have thus been prevented, and the interruption itself could have served as a reminder to the 35 year old to make an arrangement for all future trips. As it was, he gambled that his violation of standard regulations would result in no disciplinary action, and in this instance he was incorrect.

A key historic counter-example is Rosa Parks - she paid her fare to get on the bus, but then sat in the 'whites only' section. She obeyed the fare rule, but the so-called 'rule' she broke was a rule that constituted a violation of her human rights. In the SL case, the individual broke the fare rule, and that's why he was kicked off, not because he was praying or because he walked into a 'non Muslims only' section of the train.

There is a time and a place to cry 'discrimination' in the West (for example the American black civil rights movement is filled with a multitude of real cases) but in my view this is not one of them, as DO itself has ruled.
19:30 January 25, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@ Reason abd Realism Valid argument, I agree with your opinion.
19:51 January 25, 2012 by Bumblebeetuna
It's not black and white in, my opinion. Change the muslim man praying to your mom dealing with something necessary to her life. Then tell me it's ok to push and shove a paying customer. Then to throw them off the train in a Stockholm suburb known to have a high crime rate (ghetto). If you do that then your bias changes. Fair to say or not?

I dont want my taxes paying for a system that nearly forces people to take public transport through high taxes and other costs. To then just push, shove and throw my family off the train when they want.

Any young male who has gone out to clubs knows how unfair things can be in regards to the establishment. Black brown white; christian and muslim.
20:51 January 25, 2012 by Rod Munch
++Then to throw them off the train in a Stockholm suburb known to have a high crime rate (ghetto). If you do that then your bias changes. Fair to say or not?++

It he was a white, Swedish girl being thrown off the train in the ghetto that would've been an extremely dangerous situation for her. However, this man most likely looks like the rest of the people there so there's no real danger for him.

++I dont want my taxes paying for a system that nearly forces people to take public transport through high taxes and other costs. To then just push, shove and throw my family off the train when they want. ++

I'm not sure why some people don't understand how having rules=a civilized society. The guy did not show his ticket when asked. To let him continue praying would have equated to giving everyone the ok to just blow off the ticket-checker. How fair would it have been to the other passengers if they just let him go on without checking his ticket? It's utterly ridiculous how some of the Muslims on this forum think that the rules of the train should be bent or broken for them. This incident is a microcosm of how many Muslims are simply not able to integrate into Western society.
21:30 January 25, 2012 by Mark S.
I'm surprised at many of these comments. I never knew that I could ignore the train conductor (not say "one minute please" - just ignore them) and expect the conductor to come back later for my ticket! Do I have to be saying Muslim prayers, or do Christian prayers also count? What if I'm just air-drumming along to the music in my iPod?

Why can't he show his ticket later? Because we don't tolerate people refusing to show their tickets. The conductor expects you to show your ticket when they see you. If they see you again, they may expect to see your ticket again.

This is why commuters in the US normally carry their pass in a transparent badge holder or attached to their briefcase. The conductor does not need to ask for their pass because it is already visible. If this is not obvious to everybody, then perhaps it is the ONLY way that train service in the US works better than in Europe. :)
22:55 January 25, 2012 by rise
I don't care much about the fantasy worlds in neither The Bible nor The Quran. No, it's much more exciting to read about Robert Jordan's fantastic world in The Wheel of Time! But however exciting reading it may be, of course I'd have to turn the book aside for the few seconds it'd take to show my ticket. Some people fancy the fantasies of Harry Potter more than those of The Quran but I'm sure those people shows their tickets too!
23:15 January 25, 2012 by Bumblebeetuna
Rod munch

Then you agree they may act differently to a swedish woman than a muslim man?
00:10 January 26, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
@ Bumblebeetuna

You have proposed the 'what if it was your mom?' test.

Young moms would never face this, because contrary to the breastfeeding item in my previous post, I forgot that young mothers travel for free with their children on SL (and incidentally even this rule is abused. A friend of mine who was a bus driver for awhile discovered that some women were boarding his bus with empty baby carriages). So if breastfeeding and diaper changes are not applicable, then I'm not really sure what you mean by 'having to deal with something in her life' that would so incapacitate a mother (without young children), or a father, or a resident, that she/he/they could not take the 2 to 4 seconds required to show their ticket.

As for my mom, let's say the conductor is in a bad mood and has a zero tolerance policy for people she percieves to be disregarding or obstructing her authority to verify fares, even if this is manifest in the form of my mother being absorbed in prayer for 5 minutes or more. For repeatedly refusing to show her pass to the conductor during the prayers, this conductor could angrily ask my mom to get off the train at the next station for this breach of SL rules, even if my mom had a valid ticket, and even if my mom was merely shortsighted and not intentionally behaving antagonistically. Like all moms, my mom has a visa card and phone to get her to a safe place. Obviously my mom and I would hate that conductor forever, but we would have no legal grounds to convict her of harassment or discrimination.

The nation's laws limit worst case penalties, but they do not mandate how discretion should be applied. A white middle aged male police officer can charge either the full penalty for speeding or a reduced penalty to another white middle aged male purely on the basis of the speeder's degree of friendliness or belligerence toward the officer. The SL situation is no different.

As for the particular case of the 35 year old, personally I'm not automatically convinced he was almost 'shoved over', and note that a spokesman for SL has gone on the record to point out that this guy is a repeat problem maker, and so may have behaved disobediently or contemptuously toward SL staff on more than one occasion. Accordingly, imagine that my mom and this conductor already knew and hated each other, and my mother had done a prayer session repeatedly and purposefully every time she was asked to show her ticket, either to avoid any suggestion that she recognized the authority of the conductor, and/or to establish her personal view that mandatory financial transactions on public transportation systems should never be allowed to interrupt her religious rituals. My mom should not then be terribly surprised if she is then instructed to leave the train.
01:05 January 26, 2012 by Rod Munch
@ Bumblebee-

You are trying pull out the race/religion card and it's not working. First of all, good luck finding a young, Swedish girl breaking out her carpet on the train and starting to pray. Furthermore, since she grew up in this countries and understands its laws and norms, she would definitely show the ticket or be tossed off the train. That's just how it works for everyone.

I'm a white guy and have been tossed off Spårvagn in one of the worst parts of Gbg for forgetting my ticket. It doesn't matter who you are. That's what makes a society civil. Seriously, a certain minority in Sweden needs to stop blaming others for their social shortcomings and take a LONG, HARD look at their own behavior....and be accountable for it.
08:44 January 26, 2012 by uunbeliever
All we non-Swedes have to do is assimilate...resistance is futile...do what they say, eat the nasty food and sing about frogs while dancing around a pagan summer pole.

Don't worry, Sweden is only a century or so behind the trend in INTEGRATION, they will shut up sooner or later about scary brown people.
09:01 January 26, 2012 by mafketis
One of the conditions of using public transport is showing your ticket when the system requires it, not when it's convenient for you.

If you can't abide by that rule then find some other form of transport.

My suspicion is that this is an employment scheme - a staged event meant to instill feelings of multi-cultural guilt in SJ so they'll create more jobs for diversity bullies and/or try to hire more muslims.

I'm glad it didn't work...
18:30 January 26, 2012 by guliver
When you are in Rome you must behave as the Romans do!

That is an old say .

I did my academic studies in Italy ,I spoke Italian fluently ,I was dressed like Italian,and had even my hair cut in the local style,

When I took the oral examination the Prof. were sure I am Italian from Tirol or a student from France,

I was so integrated that I even wrote some articles to the local newspaper.

And still I was forgein student,

they never treated me bad.

20:36 January 26, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@ guliver Assimilation and integration are fine to the extent that you remain true to who you are. Pretending to be something you're not just to fit in is superficial. Respecting others and mimicking others are two different things.

I agree with Reason abd Realism that you cannot break fair laws to assert religious rights. Learning language and respecting local culture are good.

But I vehemently disagree that a person should mimic hairstyle, music choices, car preferences, or anything else superficial if it conflicts with who you are as a person.
10:19 January 27, 2012 by Da Goat
MB 65 brings up a very valid point !

Notice there are no Catholic countries (or eastern religion) mentioned the preferred places in this world are protestant Christian one and all ....Yes the single common thing to the preferred places to Live in this world are protestant Christian....Why it is? Because this culture is the only one where freedom is allowed!

I suggest we all support Protestant Christians as it would be a terrible shame to lose our "western" (Christian u dummy) culture and way of life.

On one hand it is against our culture to do this to this man, on the other it is a sign that his culture is degrading our forgiving nature!

it is not just immigrants....it is also the secularists destroying our values one spot at a time
10:46 January 27, 2012 by hejsweden
kick them all out every last one of them!!!! Tack
14:02 January 27, 2012 by abaeterno
What crazy sh##

"On his daily commute from his work in the capital, the 35-year-old man had been obliged to carry out some of his daily prayers"...i'd say he chooses to pray and is in no way obliged.

He created the problem for himself. It would not have made any difference if he had been smart enough to stick his monthly pass to his back so that the ´ticket inspector could have seen it whilst he was on his knees (wasting his time praying to something that has never actually existed).

@da goat ... science is the only religion worth any effort.

How does mb 65 knopw that muslims are happy in the countries that he listed?
14:59 January 27, 2012 by guliver

Well I do agree with you that nobody has to change himself if he does not feel doing it.

As to my case I did love the music ,culture and the Italian food and also the way of dressing, and I was not alone ,many other friends of mine from Germany,Usa ,Spain did the same thing,"pretending to be.." is not the case ,if I was asked about my native country I answered it immediatly, everybody could hear that I got an forgein pronounce while speaking,but still I had many friends and was nicely accepted in every place,and nobody forced me to do it ,it was my own decision .
17:07 January 27, 2012 by rise
So much hiding behind religion... justifying ones actions, even murder. Makes me wanna throw up. Religion is imagination, a fantasy-world. People murder - think of the so called Honor killings - because of having twisted fantasies (religion) in their head. Reality must be awfully bad when one cannot live without ones precious Bible, Quran or whatever holy book of fantasies.
19:38 January 27, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@guliver Okay, cool.

@rise In my reality, the Torah, Bible, Quran, and Origin of Species co-exist peacefully. Allegorical truths taught by prophets and space-time continuum taught by Stephan Hawking hold no contradiction for some Muslims.

Honor killings, misogyny, and suicide are not condoned by religion. They are perpetrated by those whose families face extreme poverty/oppression, who are brainwashed with corrupted interpretations of ancient texts, and sent on death missions against civilians and their own family. Education is the only solution for tolerance and stability. The Jewish population realized this after the Holocaust. Now, every American Jewish child who wants to learn has access to full scholarships from private sponsors or synagogue if he/she cannot afford tuition.

Muslims may have to face a Holocaust to realize how empowering education is. One could argue war on terrorism is equivalent in terms of civilian deaths but because Muslims are as diverse as Christians when it comes to sects and divisions, they won't unite over education unless somebody tries collective extermination of Muslims. Then again, exterminating 1/5 of the globe will result in WWIII, which in a nuclear equipped world means doomsday for the entire 6.8billion. Some are excited about 2012 and the Mayan calendar, let's hope they are disappointed.

In my five daily prayers in random locations of my life, I think I'll pray for an atheist to let me practice my religion in peace and patiently wait for my 5 min monologue to God to be over before expressing his nausea. After prayer is over, we can discuss Higgs Boson, string theory, evolution or any other facet of reality that he thinks a person with faith is too deluded to accept or understand.
23:49 January 27, 2012 by Coalbanks
He knew he would be asked for his ticket so why not place it in plain sight where the agent could see it if he was praying?
13:02 January 28, 2012 by chinthe1
@ abaeterno,sorry to tell you, but mb65 hit the nail right on the head with his comments.I've lived in one of the so called tolerant Muslim country's for more than 20 years and many people dream about immigrating to one of the Western type democracies.Practically nobody considers immigrating to a Muslim country.There's obviously very good reasons for that.By the way,if a Christian was to start saying their prayers on a train in a Muslim country they would probably have their throat cut.
17:07 January 28, 2012 by zoroastrina
Many of the utterly disgusting and dehumanized comments I have read simply confirm my impression that there are many humanoids with a fascist mentality in Sweden and Denmark and Germany and the Netherlands and Belgium and Norway inter alia.
17:09 January 28, 2012 by rise
@ Sarahfaz

To me you sound not a Muslim but a Bahai, and that is meant as a compliment:


They believe religion respectively science are like the wings of a bird. The bird needs both before it can fly. And just like you (seem to do) they believe all of the holy books, not just a single one of them, contains the truth.

As for me, I guess I simply lack the right gene for religious spirituality. And if there are any ghosts, maybe they don't dare coming near me, or rather likely I smell to bad...
06:24 January 29, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@rise Thank you for the compliment. It will be a better compliment for me if you call me Muslim. A Bahai believes all religions are equally true. Muslims believe only Islam is true.

I know and respect people who practice atheism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism. Most of them respect and understand me also. There is a church in front of my house, a mosque visible from my bedroom window, my congressman is Jewish, and my next-door neighbor is atheist. The suburban community I've grown up in is proof that with education, honesty and hard work, society can be less prejudiced and can allow people to think for themselves instead of imposing unwelcome views on others.

I read international newspapers - Chinese, German, Indian, British, South African, Australian, Japanese - because American media is often biased. I started reading The Local few months ago, then noticed Sweden's Muslims are not understood or appreciated by Swedes and Swedes are not understood or appreciated by Sweden's Muslims. I was curious why and commented to improve my understanding and yours.

Some (or many) Swedes think they are losing their cultural heritage, values, and jobs. Why do they think that is? Immigrants, outsiders, Muslims. If I felt like my way of life is under threat, I would be upset too. The problem is, if you don't teach outsiders about the values that are important to you, how can they respect them? Expecting non-Swedes to learn on their own will result in values being lost faster because in an Internet age and global society, it is hard to stop flow of people into and out of your country.

Of course, I cannot claim to know Sweden just from reading a newspaper, and I'm sorry if I have misread your problems with immigrants.


17:16 January 29, 2012 by rise
@ Sarahfaz I am sorry but I cannot compliment you for being a Muslim. I won't be a hypocrite and say otherwise even if it is not up to me what kind of religion you choose.

Ten years or so ago I meat some really lovely people from Iran who had been forced to flee their country in the 70ths because they weren't Muslims but instead Bahais. All of them didn't manage to flee though, a brother to them was caught and killed by the Muslim Iranian regime.

To me Islam pretty much is the very same thing as self-righteousness and supremacy. No offense meant to you in person, but those two words sums it all up...
17:57 January 29, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@ rise

Self-righteousness and supremacy are found in every major world religion because they all consider themselves "right" and commit terrible crimes to "prove" it. Blame humans, not philosophies. There are atheists who will happily burn down all religious prayer sites if they have the power to do so. Who is the supremacist then? People whose buildings are burned down or the atheist?

Generally, I find atheists to be more open minded people because they choose their philosophy instead of being born into it. At least you agree that it is not up to you what religion I choose. That's better than much of the world.
20:50 January 29, 2012 by janeway
Why do SJ give a 1000 SEK voucher to a man they have threatened to bar from all SJ trains? Can anyone explain this to me? It doesn't add up! Besides the DO says it's a no-story and it probably have something to do with the fact he's being barred. Probably been disturbing the other passangers with his praying and loudly objections to show his pass to anyone in authority and specially female ones. Well, I don't know if anything of this is true becaue there are no information available about this case. Anyone have any knowledge besides these stories in The Local?
19:38 January 31, 2012 by rise
Sarahfaz: "Self-righteousness and supremacy are found in every major world religion because they all consider themselves "right" and commit terrible crimes to "prove" it."

True. But an interesting question I think is this: How have the people of the major religions evolved during the hundreds (thousands) of years they've existed; at what stage in the progress are they standing today in 2012? I'd say that the people of Islam in some cases are hundreds of years behind the people of Christianity.

For example in the case of womens' standing compared to that of the mens'. You are a woman (Sarah?), and I'd say an educated one at that, and that single fact alone makes me puzzled over why you are choosing Islam?? Again, I don't say this in a try to offend you, but have you no self-respect or are you really that indoctrinated?! It's simply me not understanding, but I'd guess the answer is the latter...

I am not claiming Christianity would be superior over Islam - and people of both of those religions have much to learn from Buddhism - but there are cases when I look upon a Muslim and what I see is a person still standing in the Middle Ages.

And I'm not trying to convert you from your life's philosophy, which is yours and no one else's to choose. I simply don't understand why a woman still in the 21th century would want to be a Muslim...
06:54 February 1, 2012 by Sarahfaz
@rise Thank you for your honesty. Islam the philosophy, and Islam as practiced by many (most?) Muslims are unfortunately not the same. Maybe the people you saw who should be in the Middle Ages really do belong in feudal society. Short of collective extermination by that Dutch guy Geert Wilders or American Newt Gingrich, I don't know how to wake Muslims up. If you have ideas on how to convince people that books are meant for reading and not to be used to start a fire, your ideas are very welcome.

Women's standing is not less according to philosophy. It is just different. For example, a woman is required to care for home and family. A husband is required to fully support her and children financially. The burden is on both to maximize a supportive environment for children, and children are the center of the family. If a woman feels that her career and education will not detract from her duties as mother and wife, there is nothing in the philosophy to prevent her from pursuing her dreams or earning an income, and she does not have to share the cash with her husband. If she has an understanding with her husband and he helps around the house, while she contributes to family income, that's between husband and wife if they both agree.

In a way you could call Islam as championing women's rights. I have not yet applied this area of the philosophy practically. All I can say is, may God have mercy on my future spouse :-)


Today's headlines
Swedish PM visits Iraq for talks on Isis
Stefan Löfven (left) and Haider al-Abadi (right). Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Stefan Löfven will discuss the offensive on Mosul with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Illicit abattoir kept more than 100 bulls' penises
A couple of young bulls not related to the story. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Dried cattle genitalia, goats' heads and hundreds of litres of lard were just a few of the many strange finds discovered when police raided a property in Sweden.

This is officially Sweden's most beautiful beard
The most beautiful beard in Sweden. Photo: Memo Göcek

According to a jury of barbers and 'well known bearded profiles', that is.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm

You might think it’s hard to make friends in a new city. But if at first you don’t succeed – try something else!

Injured Swedish photographer protected by 'guardian angel'
Swedish photographer Paul Hansen on another occasion. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Photographer Paul Hansen thanked his lucky stars for surviving sniper fire while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

How Sweden is trying to smooth relations with Saudis
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven meeting Saudi Arabia's Trade Minister Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has visited Saudi Arabia a year and a half after relations turned frosty in a major diplomatic row.

My Swedish Career
'Swedish people love it, but they find it quite odd'
Scottish entrepreneur William Macdonald. Photo: Michael Campanella

Meet the web developer and entrepreneur using traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing to break the ice with Swedes.

Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission- free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available