20100629

Political Islam and Muslims in Sweden?

Veiled Truths Foreign Affairs: "If a culture war against Islam is not the answer, then how should Western liberals respond to genuinely popular and nonviolent Islamist movements that are committed to working within democratic institutions but that promote values at odds with progressive standards of freedom, equality, and tolerance?"

Dilsa Demirbag-Sten conludes in a recent DN.se piece that we should work on what we have in common not what separates us. She says that we should look forward and things will be easier. I like that liberal impulse: keep as little of old folly as possible. Like myself Demirbag-Sten has realized that religion must be private for a multicultural society to function without too much friction. Sweden then is different from Germany where they have more problems with immigrants. Less secular more Catholic.

So what do we have in common with people that claim they want to have their own legal society within ours? How do we compare on how we view leadership? The problem with people on the so called left is that they traditionally have vouched for authoritarian leadership ad modum Stalin etc. and we are probably seeing a gradient in Europe from east to West. How are Muslims prone to political Islam doing on Freedom, Equality and Tolerance? And what we call democracy, when they come from countries traditionally very authoritative in character.

Marc Lynch's article above discusses the difference in opinion between Tariq Ramadan and Paul Berman that differ a lot on how they relate to political Islam. Berman belongs to those that think political Islam can be compared to Nazism. This is what Binjamin Nethanyahu, the Israelian Prime Minister, has done with Iran's politics. This is what always surfaces when the politics of Geert Wilders of The Netherlands is discussed, that has been popular recently here in Europe.

Berman says that the threat is not extremists but rather the moderate Muslims that "draw well-meaning liberals into a poisonous embrace". So being a person that has tolerated Muslims, I have to ask myself if I'm fooled into this embrace or not? If Muslims of political Islam is setting up their own "systems" of people with sharia law they are in essence not different from Swedes that themselves set up voluntary systems with their own laws, or rules. I know from experience that some of these systems are overtly supremacist which I despise. As long as the number of Muslims only amount to some 5-10% of the population there should, however, not be any problem in my humble opinion.