Thursday, November 15, 2012

#dethärärmittland

The hashtag in the title is used in thousands of tweets in the Swedish parts of Twitter today. Translated to English it would read #thisismycountry. I will go into the reason for the flood of tweets with that hashtag but first let me leave this message.

Bock, 42 y.o., laird, born in Lund, Sweden, by ethnic Swedish parents, moved to Lahore, Pakistan when I was 11 months old. I returned to Sweden when I was 13 y.o. as a blonde, fair skinned, ethnic Swede speaking better Swedish than those around me who had never left the country. When I "returned to my homeland" I was in effect an immigrant who spoke English and Punjabi as fluently as I spoke Swedish. I did not understand Swedish culture, society and norms of behaviour. In every way, except for my ethnicity and command of the language, I was culturally Pakistani and hated being dumped in this terrible and cold country by my well meaning parents. Not until I was 20 y.o. did I feel that #thisismycountry.
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The reason for the flood of tweets today on that theme was the unveiling yesterday of a film taped on a cellphone belonging to the Sweden Democratic Party parliamentarian Kent Ekeroth, the party´s legal policy spokesman, almost two and a half years ago. In the film we see Mr. Ekeroth and two of his party colleagues in a confrontation outside a McDonald's restaurant in Stockholm.

One of the colleagues, Erik Almqvist, the party´s financial policy spokesman, is seen telling Soran Ismael, a Swedish comedian of Kurdish extraction, why he cannot claim Sweden as his country. After that Mr. Almqvist moved on to name calling of a xenophobic nature and to calling a young woman who tried to interrupt the confrontation "the little whore".

The cellphone film has forced Mr. Almqvist to step down from all his political offices within the party, while Mr Ekeroth has declared that he is taking a timeout after his film showed the three parliamentarians arming themselves with iron rods.
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Update: The best tweet on the subject that I have found so far. Kurdo Baksi is a Swedish social commentator, journalist and author of Kurdish extraction.
Translation to English:
"My name is Kurdo Baksi and I am 47 y.o. I love eating kebab with lingonberries and take long lonely walks in the forest #thisismycountry"

7 comments :

  1. ok so i cant shut up on this one.. i am VERY pleased to see that this idiot was made to step down and his partner is taking "time out" hopfully not ever to return... ok do its quite clear that i DO NOT like these ppl or the party politics they have and chear everytime i hear someone messed up... the less of them the better! i have a friend who is trying to get out how this other person in this pertucular party is misusing his "power" and so far shes doing pretty good...got some papers in the region to write about it.. liar liar pants on fire on his part i'd say....
    in conclution sweden is a better place with a lot of different cultures and oppinions not just the bleeding one track mind duckpond.... said my thing now ..feel free to cut my head off.. im standing behind every word!!

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    1. Huh sweetheart, why would you ever wish to shut up on any subject? I always value your opinions!

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  2. Thank you Bock for your post about this. Only one thing - the name of the party might mislead some to think this party has democratic ambitions.
    That is totally wrong.
    The party emanates from real brown, nazi-fascist circles in Sweden. They have managed to wash their facade a bit and after that and due to the economical crisis and high numbers of unemplyed the party is now scaringly third biggest party in Sweden!
    The three highly positioned men of this party were at the incident also taking long iron bars from a building spot to use as what they afterwards say was "defense" against a drunk man. One very drunk man. They were three and and were not physically attacked by the drunk man.
    This big scandal now shows the real faces of the party leaders. Violence and hate are heavy ingredients behind their facades.
    That was beyond proof and any doubt shown in the pictures that leaked out from them to the press.

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    1. Thank you, dear Kandi, for that clarification about the party´s position. I forgot that my International audience cannot be expected to have such insight in Swedish politics and was remiss in not pointing that out.

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  3. Here in Flanders we have had a party like that for twenty odd years now. They are called 'Vlaams Belang'. And their slogan is 'own people first'. They had been gaining votes gradually. At one point they even became the biggest party in Antwerp, which is one of the most liberal cities in the whole of Europe. During the last elections their share of the vote got decimated (thank god!) because another democratic nationalist party has been formed and became the biggest party in Antwerp and all over Flanders. Now I don't trust nationalists ever, but you have to look closer at Belgium's history to explain why so many here vote nationalist. I will not bore your readers with that...
    I would like to add this to the debate tho... I can not speak for Sweden of course but there have been some problems with integration over here. Belgium was the second country in the world (after Holland) to legalize gay marriage and we even have the right to adopt children over here. But in the last couple of years the instances of gay bashing have been on the rise. And most of them seem to have been caused by people with an islamic background. I myself have been a victim. We must not close our eyes for that either. We have to address that problem also. Not by shutting anyone out but by embracing them and teaching them about our liberal society.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Guykechen, that we definitely should not turn a blind eye to the narrow and discriminatory attitudes among some of the people who have immigrated to our countries, both against women and against gays and perhaps also other groups.

      This problem must be dealt with exactly as you say, by embracing the groups and teaching them about our beliefs in a democratic society and in human dignity.

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