One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malmö, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration. Demonstrators were attacked by pro-Palestinian counter demonstrators, who threw eggs and bottles at the supporters of Israel. The mayor of Malmö at the time, Ilmar Reepalu, failed to take a clear stance against the violence, and was accused of preferring the approval of the city's large Muslim population to protecting Jews. He remarked, among other things, that "of course the conflict in Gaza has spilled over into Malmö."
In January 2009, an Arab mob in Malmö pelted a peaceful Jewish demonstration with bottles, eggs and smoke bombs. The police pushed the Jews, who had a permit for their gathering, into an alley.
The situation in Malmö has twice been deemed so alarming that U.S. President Barack Obama sent Special Representatives to the city: Hanna Rosenthal visited in 2012, and Ira Forman came in 2015. "We are keeping an eye on Malmö," Forman told the media.
The harassment of Malmö's Jews was, for a long time, a mystery to the general public; Were neo-Nazis really walking the streets of Sweden's third largest city? Many believed that to be the case, until the local daily paper Skånska Dagbladet published a series of articles, in which the Jewish community finally pointed out the elephant in the room: Malmö's growing Muslim population.
Fredrik Sieradzki of Malmö's Jewish community explained that when he grew up, Jews could still wear a kippa (skullcap) without anyone bothering them: "Nobody dares do that now," he said.
Malmö Rabbi Shneur Kesselman, one of very few Orthodox Jews in Sweden who wears a traditional Hassidic black hat and frock-coat, has, in the last few years, filed more than 50 complaints with the police about various kinds of harassment. On May 31, 2016, an 18-year-old Muslim by the name of Amir Ali Mohammed was finally convicted of shouting "Jewish bastard" at Kesselman. The media, however, chose not to publish any information about Mohammed's name or religion.
In June 2016, a report with a special focus on Sweden was published, entitled "Different Antisemitisms: On three distinct forms of antisemitism in contemporary Europe." Its authors, Swedish researchers Lars Dencik and Karl Marosi, based the report on two studies, conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).
The report states that the Swedish anti-Semitism, leading mostly to verbal attacks on Jews, comes from Muslims. The ADL study, encompassing eight European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Sweden and Britain), showed that Sweden has the least anti-Semitic population. Only 4% of Swedes are classified as anti-Semites, compared to 41% of Hungarians. Sweden, in fact, came in number 100 out of 102 countries studied, followed only by Laos and the Philippines.
The FRA study asked Jews in various countries what group of people had attacked or threatened them: Far-right extremists, far-left extremists, Christian extremists or Muslim extremists. In Sweden, out of 81 Jews asked, 51 stated they had been attacked by Muslims, 25 by far-left extremists, 5 by far-right extremists, and none by Christian extremists.
There can be little doubt, therefore, that ethnic Swedes do not have a problem with Jews, and that the rampant anti-Semitism in Sweden is apparently due to Muslims from the Middle East, who now make up 10% of the population.
The British current events analyst and commentator, Douglas Murray, said in a recent interview, that Muslims in Europe have big problems with anti-Semitism. He referred to an article in the New Statesman, in which Muslim Mehdi Hasan wrote:
"It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism is not just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it is routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article -- if they are honest with themselves -- will know instantly what I am referring to. It is our dirty little secret. You could call it the banality of Muslim anti-Semitism."
Murray points out that anti-Semitism is a widespread sentiment among Muslims, even among those who have lived for decades in Europe. When asked what the West can do about the problem, Murray said:
"We may not be able to [do anything]. I wouldn't have thought France would be able to, I cannot see any particular long-term future for Jews in France. ... There will be some countries, when Muslim anti-Semitism grows, say it is not the Jews who should leave, but the people who would make the Jews leave. There are some countries where that may happen, but other countries where it will fail.
"There isn't much of a desire to do anything about it. ... it should also be said that the so-called interfaith outreach work, which the Jewish community places a lot of hope in, achieves almost nothing... A couple of old bearded men get together and agree on some dietary thing they've got in common, but it doesn't solve the fact that anti-Semitism mainly comes from Muslim communities these days; it doesn't solve the problem, the fact that that's taught in many mosques and many Muslim schools, and it doesn't address the fact that now, if you go to, if Israel does anything anywhere in the world, anywhere in its region, there will immediately be a protest of very angry young Muslims in the center of London and other British cities. You can have an old rabbi and an old mullah, you know, sitting around having tea, agreeing on dietary stuff, but that doesn't solve why the hatred is being taught. And that's something the rabbi and the Jewish leadership in this country, among other places, just don't want to admit to. Perhaps it's too bad to confront?"
The question that arises is, are the elites of Sweden in general suffering from a case of Stockholm syndrome? Are we encouraging our adversaries to Islamize Sweden, which in the long run, might result in the abolition of freedom of religion, forcing Jews and Christians to live as dhimmis [subjugated citizens] in humiliation?
Many of the Swedish elite seem to feel that it is the duty of the Swedes to take in anyone and everyone claiming to be a refugee, regardless of that person's attitude towards democracy, freedom of speech and the right of non-Muslims to live in this country.
That a majority of Swedes welcome mass immigration is actually a myth, cultivated over the last few years, mainly because critics of immigration are sometimes branded "racists". In 1993, the general mood was quite different: the daily newspaper, Expressen, published an opinion poll which showed that 63% of Swedes wanted immigrants to return home. The poll, which caused quite a stir, was presented under the headline, "THROW THEM OUT". The editor-in-chief, Erik Månsson, wrote:
"How long are we Swedes going to pretend that we welcome immigrants and refugees? Because we do not. The Swedish people have a firm opinion on immigration and refugee policies. Those in power have the opposite opinion. It does not add up. It is an opinion bomb about to go off. That is why we are writing about this, starting today. Telling it just like it is. In black and white. Before the bomb goes off."
Instead of listening to the people, the paper's owners fired their editor-in-chief, and journalists and politicians started raising the Swedes not to speak their minds on immigration.
To their credit, many Swedes certainly do not want to repeat the mistake we made in the 1930s, when Sweden only allowed about 3,000 German Jews, fleeing from the Nazis, into the country. Once World War II broke out, Sweden changed its course, and saved, for example, almost all of Denmark's Jews. In a huge rescue operation, orchestrated by the Danish resistance, 7,000 Jews crossed the Öresund sea in fishing boats, bound for the Swedish coast, where they received a warm welcome and avoided deportation to the Nazi death camps.
Swedish Jews are a small community. About 20,000 Jews live here, while the number of Muslims, according to some calculations, is approaching one million and rising fast. The other looming question is: If by allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslims to settle here -- people much more hateful of Jews than the average German during the Nazi era -- are we not in fact paving the way for another Holocaust?
The historian Ingrid Lomfors, head of the Swedish public authority The Living History Forum (created for the very purpose of informing about the Holocaust), caused a stir last fall, when she gave a speech at the event "Sweden Together" (Sverige tillsammans), arranged by the government in support of unlimited asylum immigration. (Two months later, the government completely reversed this policy and implemented border controls.) Virtually the whole Swedish establishment was present, even the King and Queen.
Lomfors stated that:
- Immigration [to Sweden] is nothing new;
- We are all products of immigration;
- There is no such thing as a native Swedish culture.
Despite many politicians and historians attempting to change the narrative on Swedish history in recent years, most Swedes are aware that the country was one of the most ethnically homogenous in the world, until the late 1960s.
Moreover, in general, Swedes are extremely proud of Swedish culture. Thus, many quickly realized that what Lomfors said was simply not true. Swedes expressed their fury on social media, and Conservative (Moderaterna) Member of Parliament Hanif Bali (who is himself of Iranian descent) thought it an "absurd claim" that there is no Swedish culture. Bali told the online newspaper, Nyheter Idag that there seemed to be a contradiction in saying we will integrate people who come here, while claiming there is nothing Swedish to integrate them into.
Lomfors was forced to recant her assertion that there is no Swedish culture:
"Of course there is a Swedish culture. Right now, I am writing in the language that is Swedish and a part of this culture. A culture I value and appreciate very much, it is a part of me, and I of it."
Sadly, Lomfors's original statement is not unique. Many in Sweden seem reluctant to acknowledge the vast differences between Swedish and Muslim cultures, and completely deny that Muslim anti-Semitism exists, or that it is particularly prevalent in Muslim-dominated cities such as Malmö.
In February 2016, for example, the Danish-Jewish actor, Kim Bodnia, said in an interview with Israeli television, that the real reason he left the international hit television show, The Bridge (Bron), was the rampant anti-Semitism in Malmö, where much of the show is filmed.
Daniel Jonas, Administrative Director of the Jewish Congregation in Gothenburg, when asked the same question Gatestone asked Swedish politicians and the clergy, if Islam is compatible with democracy, replied:
"Absolutely! But then, that depends on what era you are talking about. One of Judaism's periods of great prosperity was under the Muslim rule of Spain, the Moor era. While the rest of Europe was trapped in the dark ages, in Spain there was a rule that wholly accepted everybody – not because of who you were, but based on how capable you were."
Many in Sweden also seem to believe that the best period in world history for Jews was Al-Andalus, that is, the Muslim occupation of Spain 750-1492.
This statement makes Andrew G. Bostom, a physician and author of The Legacy of Jihad, explode in anger:
"What Daniel Jonas said is idiotic rubbish. Muslim Spain was a rigid Sharia state. Period. The devastating Muslim jihad conquest of Spain during the 8th century imposed a rigorous system of Islamic Law -- the Sharia -- on those non-Muslim Christians and Jews who survived the mass murder and pillage. Brutal enslavement -- agricultural, construction, military, harem, and eunuch (forced human castration), with over a 90% mortality rate -- took place on an enormous scale. Those indigenous, vanquished Christians and Jews who were not enslaved, were subjected to the humiliating discrimination inherent in the Sharia, and always at risk for collective punishment, and renewed full-blown jihad campaigns waged against them, if they failed to accept these discriminatory Sharia mandates.
"Jews suffered from both the chronic, grinding Jew-hatred intrinsic to Islamic theology, and paroxysms of mass killings in the 11th and 12th centuries, in particular. The 1066 C.E. Jew-hating pogrom in Granada -- 'inspired' by popular Muslim preachers exhorting Jew-hating themes from the Koran -- Jews as apes, or apes and pigs (Koran 2;65, 5:60, and 7:166), meriting permanent contempt and humiliation (Koran 2:61, 3:112), and "dhimmi" status (Koran 9:29), only -- resulted in the slaughter of some 4,000 Jews, more than the entire sum of Jews killed in the Crusader ravages of the Rhineland villages some 30 years later, and fully liquidated Granadan Jewry."
Bostom's The Legacy of Jihad is a historical look back at global Islamic jihad during the last 1,400 years. It clearly shows how non-Muslims have time and again been persecuted and oppressed by Muslim rulers.
In the book, Bostom describes the dress code imposed on Jews and Christians in the marketplaces of ninth-century Muslim Spain. Non-Muslims had to wear a visible label on their clothing -- a monkey for Jews, a pig for the Christians. To be sure, this is reminiscent of how the Nazis forced the Jews to wear visible Stars of David on their clothing, making Daniel Jonas's praise of Muslim Spain difficult to accept.
Being forced to wear a label on your clothing, however, was not the worst part for non-Muslims during this period. Bostom relates how the Muslim legal scholar Ahmed ibn Said ibn Hazm wrote about the freedom of the "unbelievers" being always in peril. The dhimmi (inferior, non-Muslim) who refused or was unable to the pay special tax, the jizya, could be sold off as a slave or executed. If one or more dhimmis in a village refused or were unable to pay the jizya tax, the Muslim authorities had the right to repeal the village's autonomy. From one day to the next, Christians and Jews in a city could lose their status as protected "People of the Book," because one person had done something wrong. Another crime that was considered very serious, was "public outrage against the Islamic faith," for example, displaying objects such as crosses, wine or pigs in public so that Muslims could see them.
If a person chose to convert to Islam, full amnesty was immediately given, even if he had been sentenced to death. Bostom writes:
"A legal opinion given by a mufti from al-Andalus in the ninth century is very instructive: a Christian dhimmi kidnapped and violated a Moslem woman; when he was arrested and condemned to death, he immediately converted to Islam; he was automatically pardoned, while being constrained to marry the woman and to provide for her a dowry in keeping with her status. The mufti who was consulted about the affair, perhaps by a brother of the woman, found that the court decision was perfectly legal, but specified that if that convert did not become a Moslem in good faith and secretly remained a Christian, he should be flogged, slaughtered and crucified..."
Thomas Wolff, of the magazine Jewish Chronicle (Judisk krönika), commented on fear and how it makes many Jews stay silent: "We live behind locked gates with armed guards. Because of this, we lay low," Wolff told us. " You cannot tar all of Islam with the same brush. People do not flee because it amuses them, but because they are in danger."
Kent Ekeroth, a Jewish Member of Parliament for the Sweden Democrats, has long been aware of the reluctance among Swedish Jews to criticize the Islamization -- even though it might be their own undoing:
"It is very difficult to understand," Ekeroth told Gatestone. "In part, it has to do with Jews seeing themselves as a minority, thus thinking they have to side with other minorities, a naïve liberalism that does not serve them."
"I am sure they too will wake up one day, but as usual, by then it will be too late. They will realize what they have done, but it will be too late. Here we have all these nationalist movements in Europe who have realized what Islam is doing to our communities, and are friends of Israel... This is really the same mechanism that is at work among all Swedes who want mass immigration. I do not know why they do it and I cannot explain it. There is no logic to it and nothing to suggest it will do anybody any good."
Many Swedish Jews who have realized the dangers of Islamization have emigrated -- or are planning to emigrate -- to Israel.
The final question is, when Sweden has been completely Islamized, where will the non-Jewish Swedes go? We do not have another homeland to run to.
While Gatestone Institute stands by the articles written for it to date by Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone is no longer affiliated with her in any way.