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RESPONSE TO comment "Muslims in Sweden"

Reader comment on item: [The American Muslim Council:] 'Mainstream' Muslims?
in response to reader comment: Muslims in Sweden

Submitted by Debbie Kurth (United States), Nov 27, 2004 at 23:59

Hello all,

First I can understand how the Swedish people feel. Religion is not part of your society... at least not by the standard the rest of the world hold. To most of the world, religion is something to be lived, expressed and implemented on a daily basis. Whether Pentcostal Christinanity, Islam, Buddhism or otherwise. In contrast, in the Swedish society, it something to be kept in the quiet and private mind of the individual. Having others come to your country and then prompty telling you that your way of live is essentially wrong is frustrating.

I am an American, but because of my cuture and upbringing I have had to look at the world in a different way.

We in the USA are REQUIRED to understand and accept individuals of different mind set. This is not a option or luxary. MUSLIMS are just one group, in a society of hundereds of different religons, ways of thinkings and values. We have to live together and accept others. Accpetance does NOT mean assumlation...it mean integration...a very different concept. Tolerance mean accepting and understand a person of different view..not forcing them to accept my own.

As the world grows smaller this attitude becomes necessity of world business and getting along in the world. One must grow beyond their upbringing.

I feel the Swedish people as a group need to realize that their society has historically not had to deal with different ways and thoughts. As a group they do not communicate verbally well...and what I mean by that is to look beyond and stand in the shoes of other indivivduals. They have had the luxury of having a homogenous society...where everyone understand what everyone else does by a mere thought, action or movement. The mere question of "what do you mean", is something my Swedish friends have a great deal of difficulty asking. They always "assume" their way of thinking is the only way.

Mind you I love Sweden. I have lived there for a time and I can speak a great deal of Swedish and my own background via my grandparents is Danish

Yet at the same time, Swedes have long since proclaimed their opinions on the poltical choices of others. Frequently making the "rest of us" feel like we are stupid and narrow minded. But in fact, we just have a different experience base.

Throwing all Muslims out of Sweden will not solve the problem. It will create an even larger one...one on a world scale. It is a sure fire way to force Sweden out of its traditionally neutral position. You WILL become a world focus to ALL Muslims, and an excuse for terrorists. The result of that is exactly what the USA is now experiencing. We are the "enemy", regardless of what our true intentions are. From their perspective, we are. Welcome to the club.

Even so, allowing immigration, which appears to the be cause of the problem, without fully realizing the full spectrum of any group of individuals values and without fully disclosing what is means to live in Sweden, is not really fair to the individuals, regardless of the country they come from. As I say to my Swedish friends...we cannot read your mind.

The solution to realize that others have an equally valid way of living and thinking. That there is no easy way to merge into the world scene.

But I do understand the longing to have things return to a known world and society.

Lucka til och Haslingar.
Debbie
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