Thursday, September 06, 2007

Will Sweden cave in?

Has Sweden caved? asks Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna (the American blog which turned into a Swedish news outlet, and an excellent such).

Or more precisely: Will Reinfeldt and the Swedish government cave in during tomorrows meeting with the Muslim ambassadors?

Read first Baron Boddissey's article. Then my comment here, which I first posted at GoV:

This whole issue is very interesting and enlightening in many ways.

No Sweden will not cave in. Free speech is one of the few things the Swedes really believe in.

No Reinfeldt won't back off from his current position. His current position could be questioned, already as it is, of course. (E.g. why didn't he attack Pakistan and demand an apology for the flag burning? Why didn't he even mention it?) But part of the package of the current position is an uncompromising defense of the principle of free speech.

Reinfeldt meets with the thugs (Muslim ambassadors) not because he intends to cave in, but because he does not see them as thugs. This makes him naive and ignorant, but not a man who will sell his principles.

Sweden and Reinfeldt are prepared to defend free speech. It all depends on how it is framed. Had the concrete issue been about an utterance or drawing by the Sverigedemokaterna, Reinfeldt and Sweden would have caved in already from day one. But they wouldn't have seen it as giving up free speech, but as a way to defend "democratic" ideals (it's all about perception). We saw this face of Sweden during the Jyllands-Posten affair. But then it was "evil" "racist" Denmark who did it. The evil powerful oppressor oppressing the weak and defenseless (the usual X ethics y'know). This time it's an artist and a left-winger. It's framed differently. So Sweden and Reinfeldt will stand up for the principle of free speech. He will possibly say or do other revolting things, but not that. It's not until the Swedes will see it as a war situation that the "pragmatism" we saw in the Nazi appeasement of the early '40s would be triggered. But we are very far from that.

Conclusion: In order to understand how the Swedes will react it is necessary to understand how they perceive things. If a man walks out off a cliff, we might conclude that he's suicidal. But it might be because he's blind, and just didn't see the valley below him. To being able to predict the behaviour of a person/nation/civilization we first have to understand its nature. E.g. suicidal and blind are definitely not the same things, even though in certain circumstances it will provide the same results.

Lars Vilks framed this whole thing in an excellent way. Very ingenious. But surely it was not planned this well. But this is how it happened. And it's good for Sweden and the Swedes.

PS. Fancy that! This is my first real post about Sweden, even though the previous one was already a slip in this direction. I never planned to write about Sweden. I blame it all on Baron Bodissey... and Lars Vilks of course...

Update: What I fear from this affair is not that the Swedish government will cave in, but that the conclusion will be that dialog is possible with Muslims. Not these Muslim ambassadors of tomorrow's meeting. They come from dictatorships, but the Swedish Muslims that Reinfeldt met this Tuesday at the mosque expressed themselves very differently. Given that Lars Vilks does not get killed it's not unlikely that the story will be spun in the way telling how Muslim officials of Muslims countries act badly because of lack of democracy, but that Muslims change, having come to democratic paradise Sweden. There are already examples of Muslim representatives here expressing respect for free speech, not listing any demands. It's all soft and cuddly, but it will make us end up with Sharia nevertheless.

[End of post]


geza1 said...

CS, I think dialogue is tantamount to caving in when dealing with Muslims because the dialogue always goes one way with Muslims dissembling and making more demands. All the Muslims have to do is mouth the hallow platitudes that both the liberals and conservatives want to hear, they don't need to follow up on them because nobody will ever hold them accountable for their actions. Liberals and Christians err when they engage Muslims intellectually because by doing so, they recognize the right of Islam to be here and that leads to the spread of sharia. No respect should be shown to Islam, ever. Enemies may be respectable at certain times, but the Muslims are in a class of their own with their savagery, hypocrisy, eternal victimhood, and cowardice. Until the West begins to treat Muslims as enemies, not aliens, but enemies, then we will have to go along with this depressing kabuki play and meet the same fate as the French in The Camp of the Saints.

Conservative Swede said...


Of course I agree with everything you say. But that was not the issue here.

The issue is that none of the predictions of how Sweden would cave in has come true. There has not been any Norwegian kind of dhimmi dance. Remember how the editor of Magazinet was pushed into apologizing in front of all the Muslim leaders. We won't be seeing Lars Vilks neither being pushed into, nor doing such a thing.

Neither will Lars Vilks be prosecuted for any hate crime or sent to jail.

Etc, etc. None of these predictions has come true. And the way I'm reading the situation, they won't. And I already explained in my analysis why not.

In the longer run this won't help us of course. As I wrote in my last line: "It's all soft and cuddly, but it will make us end up with Sharia nevertheless."

You are right in that we must see the Muslims as enemies. Not even Lawrence Auster is prepared to do that. He with the rest of the people of the two Christianities.

My intention here has not been to defend the actions of Sweden. It's been, as always, to describe things as they actually are.