Hallandale Beach Blog - A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden.
In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 17, 2012

re Fouad Ajami's Washington Post essay: Why is the Muslim world so easily offended?; What Muslim "moderates"?; Målmo as the European canary-in-the-coal-mine doesn't auger well for the success of Muslim "moderates" or assimilation efforts; #MUSLIMRAGE

IkoIko video: A 2006 Fox News Channel segment by reporter Steve Harrigan on immigration strife in Sweden and ethnic violence caused in the Rosengård area of Målmo by Muslim immigrants. Uploaded April 17, 2006. http://youtu.be/whWgCOE56K8

Despite all the changes that have taken place since it first came out, Prof. Fouad Ajami's 1982 book, The Arab Predicament, which I first read in school, still remains a go-to
book for those who need to make sense of the current Mid-East reality and how we got to this point, for better and worse, as well as an insightful look at Arab sensitivities and sensibilities (and ultra-sensitivities) to being seen as the outlier. My comments follow the essay.

The Washington Post
Why is the Muslim world so easily offended?
By Fouad Ajami
Published: September 14, 2012
Modernity requires the willingness to be offended. And as anti-American violence across the Middle East and beyond shows, that willingness is something the Arab world, the heartland of Islam, still lacks.
Time and again in recent years, as the outside world has battered the walls of Muslim lands and as Muslims have left their places of birth in search of greater opportunities in the Western world, modernity — with its sometimes distasteful but ultimately benign criticism of Islam — has sparked fatal protests. To understand why violence keeps erupting and to seek to prevent it, we must discern what fuels this sense of grievance.

Responses to the Ajami essay, which I sent out via email early on Saturday evening, consisted largely of "Maybe because the lunatic religious fanatics are running the show?" and even a link to Google Maps of the Middle East and questions about where are those Moderate Muslims that the Mainstream Media so adores, anyway?
Where are they hiding, exactly?

Well, actually, they're not hiding, per se, rather it's just that a disproportionate number of them live far from the field of battle and the negotiating table, living as so many of them do in New York, London, Paris and Berlin among many other places, which is why reporters there have no problem finding them - THERE.

This, of course, is a self-fulfilling prophecy in a sense in that having so many educated "moderates" in Western cities -a problem the MSM never sees or brings up- means that there's less actual resistance to tenets of radicalism in those countries.
Radicalism fills the vacuum, not reasonableness.

As for the rest of his essay, I do have an important correction for those of you who will perhaps not see it yourselves, and it actually touches on a subject that I've been wanting to write about and update since my last post on it, which netted me many interesting emails, though not all positive, since there's always someone who prefers butt-kissing to honesty.

In the middle of his essay, Prof. Ajami says something that with just a slight bit of word substitution could just as easily be said is true of large swaths of current-day Miami, "You can live in Stockholm and be sustained by a diet of al-Jazeera television."
(Just substitute "Spanish-language programming"for al-Jazeera.)

While that is factually true about Stockholm as much as it is true of dozens of other large and dynamic Western cities, as I've stated previously here on the blog, a better yet more troubling example of what he speaks about is in Målmo, on Sweden's west coast, opposite Denmark's capital, Copenhagen.

See my January 6, 2011 post titled, 
Uh-oh! Upcoming BBC World Service 'Open Eyes' segment on racial tensions in Malmö. Hmm-m...; Swedish immigration policy costs borne by local residents

Unfortunately for Målmo, owing to both past immigration patterns, geography, and familial ties, it's now home to not only an area that soon will be 50% Muslim, but also home to a large percentage of Muslim immigrants in the Rosengård area who, in many cases, make little effort to even try to assimilate Swedish values and norms.

No, Malmö, despite an avalanche of internal and external Political Correctness regularly sprinkled on the city and its inhabitants by a very PC and often patronizing national and European news media, is also the home to what all reasonable parties acknowledge is a very big long-term problem: a large percentage of all the Muslim immigrants in Sweden who fail to fully appreciate Sweden's freedoms, liberties and culture and incorporate that into their daily lives, people who actively fight assimilation, live right there

And many of the people who don't feel they should need to change are cocky and uncivil and don't care what you think about them being so publicly ungrateful.
And they aren't afraid of using violence, either, as the video at the top makes clear.

When you attack firemen trying to put out a fire in YOUR neighborhood... you DON'T get the benefit of the doubt.

But it's a lot more than just a PR problem to be solved, since the things that have happened there the past ten years have ranged from very negative to extremely dangerous and even deadly, and have been well-documented by the Swedish news media.
Everyone knows what has happened there.
Because of this extensive coverage, the rest of the country has largely started to develop negative feelings about Målmo as a whole because of what they view, essentially, as a policy of appeasement.

No, even worse from the point of view of Swedes who don't like what they see with a small but not insignificant number of immigrants taking advantage of their good nature and willingness to help, they see far too many people who won't even pretend that they're trying to assimilate, which, if you didn't know, is the one thing that educated Swedes of all political persuasions DO rather INSIST upon -immigrants actually trying to assimilate.

And that includes learning enough Swedish to at least get by, not consciously going out of your way to cause offense by intentionally NOT speaking Swedish in public or govt. interactions, just to make others uncomfortable.

That tension and anger felt by a majority of Swedes is largely due to not only the natural resentment of knowing that you're being taken advantage of by others, but also, frankly,  knowing for a fact that there are many more would-be immigrants in other countries who would only be too happy to do what little is expected of them if they could legally move to Sweden.
People who'd be happy to try their best to fit in without having to be asked or reminded, and who would contribute something positive to society.
That's who they want more of!

There are some positive things going on in Rosengård, thanks to the hard work of some very dedicated people who want to show Sweden and the rest of the world that there are lots of immigrants who are, indeed, grateful for their new lives in Sweden, and the myriad opportunities that they and their families now have.

No, not every immigrant has a chip on their shoulder -or a rock in their hand.
Some DO take pride in their area, and are well-adjusted, including the kids shown in this mittomrade video, which got posted to YouTube last week.

mittomrade video: Sophästen på Rosengård. Ivan Varga of "Ivan's Wagon Trail" and his horse, Bango, paid a trip recently to the Rosengård area of Malmö and proved an instant hit. Uploaded September 14, 2012. http://youtu.be/gAw1r4DJ_6Y



I didn't mention it before but among the many aspects of the failed immigration policy that causes people heartburn is the not-insignificant matter of all that taxpayer money being spent on all these social programs and activities, which contrary to what you may think in the U.S., actually comes more from local government, not from the national government.
Which means that something locally that might've done some good, was not funded because something for immigrants was. 

A majority of people in Sweden feel that thru not only their words and actions but also thru their willingness to put their money where their mouths are, and bankroll a humanitarian process that makes it easy for newcomers to become part of the dynamic modern world that is Team Sweden, they don't think it's unreasonable for the newcomers to act more civilized and think before acting, not throw-down at the smallest sign of a slight, like where they came from.

Taxpayers feel like they've shown their good intentions, and think it's not unreasonable for more immigrants to show more effort and gratitude, NOT act like they're still living in their old Mid-East country, and act publicly and privately in ways that are contrary to Sweden's customs and culture.

Yes, unfortunately for the people of Malmö, many Muslim immigrants in their part of the country have really mastered the art of bending-over-backwards to be seen publicly as the sullen "other," the outlier, and to get media attention for that.
The foreigner who publicly takes advantage of Swedish hospitality and who won't get with the program.
Is it because that's how they really feel, or because they thought they could get away with it and know that it gets them more attention? 
Probably both, but then the outlier never tells, do they?

The thing is, despite all their democratic freedoms, Sweden, like Japan, is a consensus-driven and still-largely homogeneous country, and one that does NOT like people trying to consciously go against the grain and undermine Swedish society or customs simply for the sake of doing so; as opposed to doing so because of some larger, well-intentioned principle or policy.

You can be a thirty-SOMETHING college-educated female that thinks that teenage girls in Sweden vying to be selected as the Lucia in their hometown, school or church is pretty silly in the 21st Century, and write about it on your too-cool-for-school political or fashion blog.
But that's very different than verbally attacking the teenage girls in public, or you publicly saying that the tradition should stop merely because you and your hip pals are not enthusiastic about it.

The photos above are December 13, 2010 screenshots I took of Amanda Römmesmo Diaz (as Lucia) from the 7 a.m. St. Lucia concert at Kungsholms Church in Stockholm that was nationally broadcast LIVE by SVT -and to me here in South Florida via SVT Playin an event that was officially titled, Luciamorgon i Kungsholms kyrka. © 2012 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved
Nobody is forcing you or your hung-over pals to get up early on December 13th and watch the national TV broadcast of the candlelight and music ceremony from some well-known church,  while you all sit on your sofa thinking and saying disparaging thoughts about people you don't even know, while eating hot crossed buns or cold pizza pulled from the fridge.
Sleep-in, it's all the same to everyone else
It's freedom of choice.

But denying others the choice to make their own personal decisions, well, that's the problem in a nutshell isn't it for the Muslim in Muslim-dominated countries today?
He or she is part of a religious culture that continues to deny personal choices and freedoms and micro-manage all aspects of someone's life.

That sort of attitude is anathema to most Swedes, who, thanks to several well-chronicled exploits of several Muslim troublemakers, have in many cases largely given up on the idea that most future Muslim immigrants will do the right thing and assimilate.
Which, logically, is why some ask, Why not just turn off the faucet to the Middle East?

Meanwhile, over at Romesnsko.com...


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