The Daily Bork

February 25, 2005

Multiculturalism

Last night while walking home through my high-immigrant density neighbourhood (I am an immigrant after all) I passed a group of African girls having a shouting match with another African girl some way off. I can't say what language they were using, but it was definitely not a friendly exchange. Suddenly the lone girl let rip with "motherfucker arsehole bitch!", to which one of the group responded "hora!" (Swedish for "whore"). Ahhh, the joys of a trilingual slanging match. I guess some things sound better in other languages.

Continuing the theme. Today in Metro there is an opinion piece "Obviously the police should wear turbans". Apparently the "integration minister" Jens Orback thinks it would be nice if the Swedish police wore turbans. The piece is about how most of the population thinks it is a bad idea. They also think it is a bad idea to have Muslim calls-to-prayer broadcast from minarets all over Sweden. The writer speciously tries to paint the population as intolerant nationalists by saying that Christianity was imported to Sweden, some old-time police uniform was imported from Prussia etc etc. Therefore anything that is imported should be not only tolerated but mandated. Anything that is resisted is a sign of intolerance and goes against the "Swedish model". This is a curious attitude. All cultures have imported foreign elements, from religion to ideas to art to etc etc. And these things arrive in two ways, either because people liked them and wanted to adopt them or because the things were forced upon the people. Now, I hardly think that the "Swedish model" is about forcing people, but this is exactly what the writer advocates. Islam is foreign to Northern Europe, despite the secularity here people still have very Christian attitudes whether they realise it or not. Rather than saying to the immigrants "here is our country, you are welcome and can live here freely but you must abide by the laws that give that freedom and if you want to change things then you must do it the way everyone else does" this chap wants to give free license to any imported cultural item, because that is "tolerant". I'd say that is sheer idiocy. Violent nationalism of the sort this guy is scared of doesn't arise because people are conservative or want change to be slow and smooth, it arises precisely because of attitudes he espouses where certain factions are favoured or have the appearance of being favoured against the interests of the long established population. What he advocates feeds the loonies who would bash-up and expel immigrants, feeds the radical elements in the immigrant populations who freely use violence to get more concessions, and leaves the general populace powerless behind an enforced "tolerance". Is this the "Swedish model"? I very much doubt it. It is the poison of political correctness bringing about exactly what it supposedly is meant to counter.

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