Sweden is among the most progressive nations in the world, but its sex laws sometimes make one wonder as to who is in charge of the country. In January, 1999, the Swedish government decided that it was a criminal act to solicit someone for sex, but it was perfectly legal to offer sex for sale. In theory, the idea was to protect women who had been caught in human trafficking, but the reality is that prostitution goes on and on since it can be a mite difficult to ascertain exactly who initiated the sexual offer. To compound the madness, the Malmo council has announced it was distributing free condoms to men who engaged in sex with a protstitute.
Let’s see. It is illegal to offer money to a woman in order to have sex, but the Malmo council will provide free condoms to men engaged in an act that is criminal. OK, there is a bit of logic in this, but to a normal mind, it is difficult to ascertain.
Sweden in 2008 experienced its highest level of immigration with most newcomers arriving from Africa and Asia. A recent report observed that immigrants from these areas are behind those born in the European Union in areas such as “eduction, the job market and living arrangements.” Satistics Sweden(SCB)s was surprised at the extent of segregation these individuals were experiencing once arrived in their new homeland. A particular problem noted Lotta Persson of SCB is “they are not eligible in the same was as other groups for upper secondary education, as they are not achieving the right grades, even though we take into account how long they have been in Sweden.” Ironically, immigrants from Africa have rather good education backgrounds but they are more often found in low skilled work.
Sweden has its own version of “white flight” as native born Swedes move from neighborhoods containing a high proportion of immigrants from Asia and Africa. Persson states bluntly: “they are definitely discriminated against in society. This discrimination may be one of the reasons for segregation as it might be m ore difficult for them to get loans to buy a house.”
Ironically, the same reasons for discrimination exist in Sweden as in America and the same consequences are also found-difficulty in securing loans to purchase a house.
A homosexual couple who were married in Canada have lost their right to have the marriage recognized in Sweden. The Supreme Administrative Court ruled that Swedish law only recognizes a marriage as being between a man and a woman, and therefore, the Canadian marriage could not be accepted as valid in Sweden. The couple argued that “tax authorities can make an exception where one party is under-age” but refuse to make an exception when the couple are of the same sex. The Swedish court insists law only recognizes a gay marriage as a partnership and there refused to make any exceptions.
We inhabit a world in which countries have differing views on many aspects of life. Certainly, marriage is an important facet of human life and has nothing to do with abuse or discrimination. There is no reason for refusing to recognize the marriage.
Police from Stockholm and other Swedish cities are being sent to Malmo to handle a growing tension in the southern city which has been wracked by riots over the past two days. After two nights of intensive rioting, police requested assistance in order to quell the disturbance. Emotions have been running high in Malmo’s immigrant district of Rosengard after police forcibly removed three squatters from the basement offices of an Islamic culture center. The premises had been occupied since November 24th as part of a protest against the landlord’s decision not to renew the association’s lease for the space which it has occupied for fifteen years.
The riots have grown with intensity with each passing night. Police were pelted with Molotov cocktails and bomb threats were made to local businesses. There are reports rioters were joined by left-wing extremists from outside the area who go by the name of “autonomists.” The fire department has refused to enter the area torn by riots.
The Malmo riots most probably have nothing to do with Greek youth, but reflect tensions arising from the arrival of African and Muslim immigrants who are encountering discrimination by native born Swedes.
In olden days when nationalism was rampant in many parts of Europe, neo-Nazi nationalists would march through streets dressed in black with music blaring and shouting their epithets of hate. A group of Swedish nationalists wanted to march to honor a dead king, but their attempt was met with angry insults and rocks thrown at them by liberals who wanted to deny their enemies an opportunity to display their ignorance. The Nationalists were guarded by police and allowed to do their thing, shout their anger, and then swiftly depart on trains.
The right to demonstrate is inherent in any democratic society. Those who hate neo-Nazis and resort to armed violence are acting just like the group they dislike. Let them march, let them shout hate in the open. The vast majority of people will shake their heads at the ignorance of these people who belong in a different time and a different place. If progressives use violence against those who preach violence, they have met the enemy and they have beome the enemy.
We live in the opening decade of the 21st century and one would assume that in an enlightened nation such as Sweden historic anti-semitism would long have been laid to rest, but a first grade reader appears to present a stereotype of Jews that Nazis would be glad to offer their students in the 1930s. A first grade book which is intended to help children read has a passage about a boy with thick glasses who sits alone and apart from other children. The explanation offered by the book is: “Because he is a Jew.” That passage would have earned rave reviews from just about every Nazi publication. Elsewhere in the book, boys are portrayed as being skilled in mathematics while girls struggle with being able to count. Parents in Kariskoga in central Sweden are up in arms at such blatant examples of hate in a book for first graders.
The response by the author and publisher is revealing. They do not offer an apology but argue presenting such misinformation and prejudice provides an excellent opportunity to offer contrasting viewpoints! They want teachers to argue against the book as part of helping children learn how to read! Wow!