søndag, februar 05, 2006

Islam on the Outskirts of the Welfare State

from New York Times:
In few places on earth is the air fresher than in a Swedish housing project. Take Bergsjon, which sits five miles from the center of Sweden's second-largest city, the stately Dutch-built port of Gothenburg. Home to a Volvo plant and some of the world's biggest shipyards, Gothenburg was long an industrial powerhouse.
Bergsjon was built between 1967 and 1972 to reward the workers who made it that. Bergsjon resembles the places Swedes love to retreat to in midsummer — quiet, pristine, speckled with lakes and smelling of evergreen trees — but it is only a short tram ride away from the city's giant SKF ball-bearing plant. The center has no cars.
Its 14,500 people live in apartments set within a lasso-shaped ring road, on grassy hills that climb toward the country's rustic uplands. As Asa Svensson, a municipal coordinator for the development, notes, "It was planned for people who like to be in the country."
Swedens terra incognita
There are places like Bergsjon ringing the major cities across Sweden. They are all terra incognita to the vast majority of native Swedes. It would be wrong to overdraw the picture. Svensson, who has been working in Bergsjon for 25 years, says she has never been attacked or felt insecure there. The public spaces are clean, and the apartments are large.
In the wake of last fall's riots in France, journalists from France and Germany visited Sweden's public housing, and some hailed it as a model to be imitated. But clearly, various experiments close to the heart of Swedish democracy and Swedish socialism have gone wrong. Swedes pride themselves on the success of the cradle-to-grave welfare state they developed over the last 70 years. For its foreign defenders throughout the cold war, it was an ingenious way of avoiding the pitfalls of both American-style capitalism and Soviet Communism, of achieving both equality and prosperity. But neighborhoods that were built to keep citizens close to nature now keep them far from the job market. Policies meant to protect people from persecution now expose them to neglect.
Swedes have begun to use a word — "segregation" — that they used to employ only when lecturing other countries.
A sobering realization is beginning to spread that the Swedish system cannot be easily adapted to a society in which a seventh of the working-age population is foreign-born.

"We should be kind to islamists"
Swedish minister of integration, Jens Orback in a SR interview on the 9. of november 2005:
"We should be open and generous towards islam and muslims, because when we become a minority we would wish them to be likewise to us"

"Chop danes to pieces"
"Islamic army" in Iraq treathens to attack danish interrets in the middle east.
"Beacuse of the humiliating pictures we shall hit danish, french, dutch, norwegian and spanish targets"
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