OPINION & ANALYSIS
Opinion: Backlash over Eid well wishes shows the rise of ‘Culture Wars’ in Sweden
Few things agitate the anti-immigration right like the idea that Swedish customs, values and traditions are being undermined (or even replaced) due to the arrival of immigrants from “Other” parts of the world, writes Christian Christensen.
Published: 20 May 2021 15:32 CEST
Updated: 21 May 2021 08:36 CEST
Updated: 21 May 2021 08:36 CEST
Complaints about a politician sending well wishes to Swedish Muslims on Eid show how Sweden is falling victim to so-called 'culture wars', argues our writer. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT
Twelve things about Sweden that make me smile
With new Swedish citizens soon to be welcomed into the fold with National Day ceremonies across the country, Nordic editor Richard Orange runs through some of the things about their new country that warm his heart.
Published: 1 June 2023 06:07 CEST
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There are 2 billion Muslims in the world, it’s shocking to learn that some Swedes don’t like the Ramadan or Eid wishes.
Hi Reda! I live in a small town outside of Orlando, Fl with dozens of Churches, but also a Mosque and a Hindu center. Contrary to the images of the dark underbelly in America, we are a tremendously multi-cultural nation. The town council here only restricted the early morning call to prayer at the mosque, and Churches cannot ring bells early either. Except for Native Americans, all other Americans are immigrants from somewhere else. Some Americans forget that, but we are truly a greater nation because of immigrants from all over the world.
I liked the comment in the article that some Swedes ( and Americans) feel that complementing one culture negates another. Having lived in Sweden, I felt in the late 80’s a growing resentment among Swedes about immigration. I believe the left in Sweden labeled anyone questioning allowing large numbers of immigrants to Sweden racist hurt in the long run. The Sweden Democrats then became the only party in Sweden to challenge the notion of allowing large numbers immigrants in, but their arguments were based on racist tenants. Allowing Swedes to bring up the cost of assimilating immigrants with public housing, job training,etc. is not in and of itself racist. I am pro-immigration here in America, but sadly, so many people in the world live in poverty no nation can open their doors wide open and not expect chaos. I would never try and debate a fellow American about immigration by immediately insinuating having doubts about immigration automatically makes them racist. That would be condescending, and would be counterproductive. Good luck in Sweden. My wife is Swedish, and she thrives here in multi-cultural America. I think Sweden is a fabulous country, and is hopefully going to find a balance with regards to immigration. Swedes are very pragmatic, and I have high confidence in the nation to find a way to live with peace and respect for one another.
Great article, Christian. Thanks! It sums up my POV perfectly, especially the line “It’s an odd line of thinking that suggests that the “national culture” people wish to protect is so weak that even recognising the very existence of other religious cultures is a threat”. The concept of ‘Swedishness’ is far deeper than just watching Kalle Anka every Xmas or sucking the brains out of crayfish in August.
Muslims are a divisive addition to any nation.