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Erik Helmerson: criticism of religion must not turn over in the prejudices

The anti-semitism that we now see in France is the worst I've seen in my lifetime. And I am convinced that it will get worse.

the Words come from the jewish French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut, who is interviewed in the latest issue of the magazine Axess.

some time after the interview, the world can concretely see what Finkielkraut says. In a widely distributed film seen the author respond to demonstrators from the so-called " Yellow vests in Paris. He is curious and approaches them but is met by hatred: ”Go, dirty zionist!” ”Go back to Tel Aviv!”

paints Alain Finkielkraut up an extremely pessimistic picture of the future for France's jews. He puts a large part of the blame on the immigration of muslims and multiculturalism, which ”contributes to a France in the resolution”. But he puts the blame also on the left who have given up basic values of secularism and gender equality:

”(This left) is not capable of an analysis which said that immigrants at the same time that they are poor or live vulnerable lives are also anti-semites and also in some cases the direct perpetrators.”

One can reasonably argue against the Finkielkrauts opinions and choice of words. But it is difficult to find more striking examples of anti-semitism than to a French jewish commentator requested to return to Israel.

has anti-semitism been high on the political agenda. Jeremy Corbyns Labour burdened with legitimate accusations of anti-semitic structures and manifestations. A sort of climax was reached recently when several members of parliament left the party in protest against, among other things, anti-semitism in the party.

In Sweden, we have also seen many examples of both anti-semitism with a background in the Middle east, trends from some of the left to smooth over. Thankfully, awareness of the dangers of anti-semitism and extremism in the name of islam increased substantially in recent years, but much remains to be done.

There are questions about existence that are neither physicists or neurobiologists can answer satisfactory.

Protests against the state of Israel is not automatically anti-semitism, the fight against islamism is not islamophobia and criticism of religion is often justified. But there is a grey area where concepts merge. Together, it makes religious swedes will be under pressure from several quarters, that the tolerance to live religiously restricted, the gudstroendes surfaces becomes increasingly clipped.

to represent the municipality at a photo exhibition ended up several of the advertising and information boards. One of them was a muslim teacher in hijab, noticed that she continued to work hard for their students despite a serious illness. The criticism quickly took off on social media, with the epicentre at the extreme sites, and it didn't take long until the sign with the woman has been punctured.

In the debate, it highlighted the fact that the woman is active in Gävle, sweden, mosque, playground for several scandals as suspect financing, a celebration of ICE and threats against journalists on the Gefle Dagblad, as reported on the mosque. But, she has extreme views? Not that anyone has been able to demonstrate.

She has written a chronicle – about his illness – the controversial educational association Ibn Rushd. In an interview she justified that women and men pray separately. All of this, we can and should discuss. But the massive hatred in the social media, which results in her image being vandalised? It is clear that it is the veil itself and the religion it represents, which kicks in once the anger of many.

”an abrahamic hybrid”, a ”moskégoga” (a combination of the mosque and the synagogue)? It claimed recently Devin Rexvid, phd at Umeå university and debater in hedersfrågor. The reason is that Timbromedarbetaren Eli Göndör long time ago, in defending muslim women's right to wear the hijab.

”Göndör turn on secularity and shed crocodile tears for hijabbärande but there are jewish symbols on the children and in the government service as he actually defends,” writes Rexvid in a osande Facebookinlägg. The text is interesting in several ways, not least for its uncompromising resistance to the people's right to wear religious symbols.

It is an expression of a seemingly increasingly common, hard-nosed secularism that puts the equal sign between religion, superstition and oppression, and do not make difference between a voluntary religious applicants and militant trosförtryck and tvångsmissionerande.

but religion refuses to surrender. There are questions about existence that are neither physicists or neurobiologists can answer. Man will continue to stretch his hand toward the invisible – and must be given the right to do it, so long as no one else takes damage.

Believers, just like other people are treated as individuals. To point at, for example, a muslim woman in a veil and say that the clothes we wear, by definition, stands for the oppression of women is rather the definition of a prejudice.

It is important to monitor the gudstrons backsides. But every time the criticism of religion, intolerance, prejudice, kristendomsförakt, islamophobia and anti-semitism go hand-in-hand ringing dangerous alarm bells.

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