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Agneta Pleijel: Stand up for Sweden to be a nation of culture

What is culture? It contains more than how the word is often defined. Culture is our human relationships, our attitudes, our actions. Care is culture. How to look at the refugees, how to treat children belonging to the culture. Art is culture.

But culture is also in law, in business ethics and in view of the religion. I claim that the perception of what culture is is weakening in Sweden. We have freedom of speech. Human rights are included in the culture, them, we pay tribute to. But how I treat my neighbor is also culture. Culture is talk, we need to discuss in order to get the view of ourselves.

the Culture's ultimate basis is the approach to the other.

The French philosopher Lévinas uses the image of a face to denote the other. A face is sacrosanct, he writes. It must not be exposed to violence, abuse and disrespect. The face is a border which must not be breached.

It is the core of western culture and democratic view of the individual. The word comes from the Latin word individuum, which means indivisible. On it rests the UN rättighetsdefinitioner to protect the individual against abuse of power.

All communities, contains violence, and my question is which violence we see and which for various reasons is obscured for us? If women demonstrating outside the royal dramatic theatre in protest against a husband's assault of a woman, it is a deeply known reaction. A kvinnoprotest – but it is also a cultural protest. It is based on violence will not be allowed.

A violence that is largely hidden is the violence against refugees. It is almost invisible. It has to do with a linguistic slippage: the conversation about the dignity of the political language increasingly byråkratiserats, degraded and lost its saltiness and substance. How such a change goes to, you can see from the German-jewish a keen traveler, Victor Klemperers diaries, 1933-1945, ”till the end, I want to testify”.

the rise of the nazi way to prepare for the holocaust. I just want to point out how human beings of flesh and blood are made invisible by the asylum policy language.

even before the deporteringarna of the young afghans was the uncertainty that they had to live in this deep mental degradation. They came here with the images on the retina of the a long flykts atrocities and the loss of their nearest and dearest. They had been in leaky boats, and gone on foot, and most had been assaulted and raped on the way. Staying here meant continued destruction. They had to live in an uncertainty that often made suicide a better option. Sweden defended themselves with that they were many.

And with that we surprise.

But now they are for god's sake here!

In four-five years, the authorities have been doing to separate the chaff from the wheat. Who should stay, who is deported to a country that is considered to be the most dangerous in the world? The age determinations used, recognized capricious and unscientific, you were fourteen or seventeen when you came? Many Swedish families see these young people as members of the family and are doing everything they can to save a cherished life. Them you will listen to not to.

The only thing reasonable is to see their arrival as a historical fact. As when Sweden in 1943 received the Danish jews but to distinguish one from the other.

to Sweden on 24 november 2016 changed the perception of asylum. Begränsningslagen introduced when provides in most cases only a temporary residence permit in 13 months. Family reunification is not allowed. Humanitarian reasons were deleted from the law. It created a bureaucratic and completely non-humanitarian framework for them.

this is really a kulturfråga.

Begränsningslagen was called temporary, but is extended continuously and will now apply at least two more years. It affects many more than the afghans.

People who have lived in Sweden for seven, ten or fifteen years, supported themselves, raised children and paid taxes, and adapted to Sweden, during the begränsningslagen not feel safe. An employer may, in the retrospective proved to have paid any hundralappar for a bit in the employer's contribution for a given month for several years ago – it can suddenly become the reason for the expulsion.

Many expulsions is literally meaningless – for all. They are counter-productive, an ejecting of fellow human beings who are making efforts here. They performed, however, under excessive bureaucratic zeal. Here is a family where the father is engaged in a profession which is needed in Sweden. The immigration services decides that his working wife should be deported. His daughter, about three futures finished with his exam in a högutbildat profession, utvisningsbesked.

political persecution in his home country, where none of them can take the risk to return. Many years of phenomenal adaptation to Sweden without a residence permit, the daily anxiety that they and others been exposed to – it is the torture and abuse of human life. There are no other words.

What a country is called that takes to itself the right to separate spouses? To divide families? To ignore the Swedish fosterföräldrars the efforts of them young, and to tell single mothers with children who become ill by the suspense here? It can't be called a nation of culture. Begränsningslagen leaves zero room for empathy. Humanitarian concerns are no longer in it. The rules – a hjärtlöst the chewing apparatus – are so hard that they would push every american into need of care.

Begränsningslagen – which, according to a flyktingarbetare should be called for bekämpningslagen – has the sole aim to prevent people at all take the hit.

Refugees demonstrate against deportations to Afghanistan. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

is managed by those who are protesting. Those who do not want to see people treated like cattle. We live in one of the world's richest countries, our authorities don't understand that culture because is the second. What you do for one of your least brothers, do you not for you but for your community.

It is the driving force of theatre, literature, film, music, opera and painting. The mechanics of the asylum policy language also is not able to distinguish terrorists from others. This means that Sweden's politicians leaves a humanity built on humanity. Sweden is governed by nervous politicians who don't see the difference on the consumption and human dignity.

Sweden's politicians are using asylum law to domestic policy. As if we had not signed international conventions: the geneva convention (1949), the european Convention on human rights (1950), the convention against torture (1987) and the crc (1989). Them, Sweden has signed. They are pushed without embarrassment to the side in avslagsbesluten and replaced by the rules in the Swedish self-interest.

We must insist that the signed conventions are followed. To humanitarian grounds in the act. To authorities does not split families for their life need each other. It will stop the senseless deportations of people who have been here a long time and done right. That will jiddret with costly deportations to Afghanistan. And to permanent residence permit immediately be given to children with uppgivenhetssyndrom and their traumatized mothers – instead of as today, children without hope shall be sondmatade for years.

människokärleken of those who defy the policy by caring about their fellow human beings. It is to learn of the outstanding artists of Sweden, Mats Ek, Barbara Hendricks, Goran Sonnevi, Suzanne Osten, Kjell Espmark, Sara Stridsberg and others, whose spirit in the work is just there: what you do for others you do for your community. Stand up for Sweden to be a nation of culture, which presupposes a different view of the other person than the one who is governed by the asylum policy language.

It permeates everything like a smelly fog. Culture is empathy with people who are just like us – with the same needs of respect and empathy that we. How are we going to fight the human rights violations taking place in Europe and in the us? Not least, it must be through, to widen the consciousness of what culture actually is.

Read more: Agneta Pleijel: never let go of the idea of a rational and human world

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