Sweden heading over the cliff
Recently, the Muslims of the city of Malmö in Sweden flexed their collective strength and gave their non-Muslim neighbors a taste of things to come when they rioted in a response to the publicized burning of a Quran by activists of Stram Kurs (Hard Line). Stram Kurs is a far-right political party infamous in Sweden for its racialism and its anti-immigrant and anti-Islamic positions. Electorally speaking, Stram Kurs is a non-entity and is mainly a zoological curiosity that exists both as an outlet for denizens of Sweden’s intellectual slums and as a boogeyman for the establishment and Muslim community.
As a result of its rather pathetic situation within Sweden’s political system, it must resort to the “propaganda of the deed” (like the anarchists of old), hence the burning of a Quran right near a migrant community in a city where about one out of every six inhabitants is a Muslim. The Muslims reacted almost cartoonishly true to form by instantaneously turning what was supposed to be a protest against an act of religious desecration into a full-on riot.
Almost all cases of immigration are followed with some sort of assimilation. Either the immigrant populations are assimilated into the host country, or the host country (or part of it) acclimatizes itself to the immigrant population. It is quite clear which of these two situations is occurring in Europe (the latter). This entire episode is indicative of the fact that Muslims in the West and their Western hosts have failed to absorb certain fundamental political lessons to the detriment of all involved.
Lesson (1): There are certain basic principles that undergird Western societies, whose refusal is non-negotiable, and one of those is the fundamental right of unlimited religious criticism that ranges from scholarly criticism of the Quran to racy satirical art (e.g., Charlie Hebdo) and even to hooligans using a holy book as portable firewood. Lesson (2): Any religious group that refuses to learn lesson (1) cannot be integrated into Western societies, and any attempt to do so will backfire to the intense determent of the host society, the religious group, or both.
Since polite European society has clearly given up attempting to teach lesson (1) and foolishly believes that it can reject lesson (2), then the situation is ripe for certain impolitic elements to take advantage of this inherent instability for their own purposes. This inherent instability will only become more publicly apparent in the coming years as the restive Muslim populations of Europe further crystalize into ever more powerful socio-political units. Paradoxically fiery scenes such as the ones seen in Malmö will become more commonplace even as the European establishment continues to bring ever larger spheres of anti-Islamic activity under the umbrella term of “inciting racial hatred.”
Simply put, the more the Europeans make it quite clear that they are willing to discombobulate their societies to forcefully accommodate their Muslim populations, the more pressing the demands said populations will put upon them. Needless to say, President Trump put it quite accurately when he stated (opining about Islamic immigration into Europe in a speech given a few years ago), “They’re [Sweden] having problems like they never thought possible.”
Ernesto J. Antunez is a political columnist residing in Miami. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at facebook.com/ejantunez or via Twitter at @ejantunez.