Well, it seems like Ian Buruma is speculating in the possibility that we are facing a new 1935 situation where the aggression this time is towards the Muslims in his debate article in Dagens Nyheter called Därför hatar frihetens fiender liberalismen or This is why the enemies of freedom hate liberalism today. I must however admit that the non-timely exit of the Sweden Democrats from the sermon prior to the opening of the Swedish Riksdag the other day made me feel for the first time that the problem of alienation towards foreigners is going to really become a problem.
Helle Klein, former political editor at the social democratic paper Aftonbladet and priest, says in her blog that a preacher must take sides as he or she preaches. The general problem with this approach is that the priest then might only speak to half the congregation if she is not the battalion priest. Even if this might not have been the case above where bishop Eva Brunne, a social democrat, made the Sweden Democrats irritated enough to leave because she referred to a meeting the day before where violent left activists had been present. These people regularly harass the Sweden Democrats when they stage meetings on town.
Strangely enough Buruma does not bring up Thilo Sarrazin, the former German central bank board member and social democrat (SPD) that published a book recently that became more popular than the politically correct might have whished. In other words the anti-Muslim ideas are not only a right-wing problem. In fact the Sweden Democratic Party got votes from all parties and can perhaps more correctly be called a party of discontents than far right even if they have troublesome roots in neonazism.
Will the unpopularity of Muslims and the fear of Islam lead to fascistic methods to rid Sweden of such believers? I really hope not because as Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Swedish Prime Minister, said in his speech to the Riksdag a few days ago they have contributed to the prosperity of our nation and I would add that they don't have a "home" to go back to in general. There are however methods today that makes the possibility of coerced returns a grim possibility. A risk that could be averted by more transparency into the matter.
Well, it is not 1935 because of the EU. Therefore continued collaboration between the member states is of essence. One question, however, that I wonder if it does not have to be formally addressed is what will happen when some states do much better than others in the EU? Territorial gains are not possible but will aid to other nations lead to something like influence? I guess this is why Germans now feel that they have paid enough. We are facing a development stage in the EU where people are not mature enough for federalization but no mechanisms exist for handling different tracks of development. This could lead to problems.