I've been in Stockholm ten days now, and in that time I've made it my business to talk with as many Muslims as I can. I've struck up conversations with Iranians, Eritreans, Iraqis, Egyptians and Azerbaijanis – no Somalis! The result has been broadly similar.
They are emphatic that they have no wish to impose their beliefs on Swedish society at large. They seem sincere, and I believe they are up to a point. However, the trouble comes when I pose the difficult questions.
What should happen to a Muslim in Sweden if he should become a Christian? Does his family have the right to kill him, or to punish him at all?
Should there be legalised punishment for women who commit adultery?
The previous unequivocal commitments to democracy and the rule of law quickly become enveloped in a fog of ambivalence and discomfort. They try to shift the ground by saying ‘these things should be handled by the Muslim community itself’, or that such punishments should be applied only if there were a Muslim majority (which there will be within a generation or two).
Their attitudes to native Swedes are heavily negative. After talking for a while they admit to detesting their ‘arrogance’ most of all. I find it hard to see where this arrogance comes in. I don't see it in Swedes. But then I'm not an immigrant from an incompatible culture. They tell me that they ‘just know’ that Swedes look down on them, and most of them seem eaten up with anger.
They also tell me that, like Paris, Stockholm is ‘surrounded ’ by vast housing estates where the inhabitants have been ‘abandoned ’. Once the numbers become big enough they’ll ‘invade the city’ with horrendous results.
The same scenario was painted to me in different ways by several interlocutors. Most of these are not in themselves bad people. They are products of generations of benighted indoctrination, from dysfunctional societies where you have to fight and cheat to survive, and they find themselves in one of the world’s most ‘progressive’ societies trying to make their way.
The ones I really blame are the country’s smug, preening, sanctimonious leaders who, to bolster their own sense of self-worth, have created this situation. It truly is a nightmare scenario my friends, especially when you consider the demographics (30% of children under the age of ten are third world immigrant stock).
A nightmare scenario indeed.