Sweden: "I always feel liberated when I go to Israel"This was posted by Swedish reader JohannaV as a comment at Norwegian blog Dokument.no. I have translated it to English, and Johanna has accepted my translation with minor adjustments. Notice how even some non-Jews from Sweden feel "liberated" when they go to Israel. This may sound strange if you still cling on to the image of Israel as a country of suicide bombers and Sweden is a peaceful nation. The truth is, it is hard to overstate the extent to which Sweden is a politically repressed nation. No dissent is tolerated, and the few "racists" who try to raise a debate about immigration are attacked, even physically:
JohannaV: "I always feel liberated when I go to Israel"
I know this dilemma well from Sweden. So far, I have avoided coming in a situation where I had to turn to a woman dressed in hijab to get service. But I wonder how I should act if I am assigned a veiled woman when I need health care or other kinds of service. Should I expose myself to being called a racist and demand to get another doctor or nurse, or should I, as a vulnerable patient, put up with being treated by someone I don't feel confidence in? Just as in Norway, any discussion of Islamic symbols in the public space and the messages they send out is shut down.
A hijab to me represents Islamism, a totalitarian and undemocratic movement that threatens everything I hold dear: Our open and tolerant Western society. Accordingly, my tolerance does not include veiled women just as I don't want to be served in the supermarket by an employee wearing a swastika. It doesn't matter whether the woman is wearing this symbol by her own free will or not, or whether she claims that the veil stands for something other than Islamism.
At the same time as these women say they are against our individualistic society, they claim the right to have individual opinions on what the hijab means to them: that the veil stands for love of God etc, regardless of what the general society thinks about this. A veiled woman in my eyes thus symbolizes, in addition to Islamism, extreme selfishness and a lack of regard for the non-Muslims who have accepted and welcomed her to the Western fellowship.
In Sweden, there is no clear external enemy, the enemy exists among our own. Among the Islamists with Swedish citizenship and among the intellectuals who defend them or keep silent, or worse, libel the ones that breaks this conspirasion of silence as racists.
Every year I go for short trips to Israel. I always feel liberated there. In Israel, you know who the country's enemies are, and you are prepared to fight for your country and for your convictions. First of all with the pen – the intellectual debate is lively and refreshing – but even with the force of arms if necessary.
In Sweden, a lot of people sigh and wonder when we are going to be converted by force to Islam. I'm not exaggerating. There is a submissive atmosphere of hopelessness and widespread decadence. During the past ten years, I have felt like a stranger in my own country. And that feeling just keeps growing.