Sweden: The religion of Europe's secular culture

The following is a general translation of an article written by Majna Ciber Mihaljevic. She immigrated to Sweden in 1993, became a practicing Muslim a year later. She is active in Muslim and political organizations.

I was born a Muslim but wasn't always practicing. I grew up in a communist family (and state) where religion wasn't what man strove after or lived with. After I and my family, due to war and the fact that we were Muslims by name, were forced to flee to Sweden, I began to get interested more in religion and existential questions. I took the initiative on my own, it wasn't imposed by my parents or any other adult.

Today, several years later, i am a practicing Muslim. This hasn't made me into a less integrated citizen. On the contrary, i am an active part of Swedish society. I work, pay taxes, vote and in another way an active part of society through various idealistic organizations. in spite of this, the Swedish integration minister compares me with the dark depiction of Muslims that she has.

Nyamko Sabuni says that she refused to accept oppression in religion's name. She talks like politicians have a right to look into the future and claims that all Muslim independent schools are recruitment bases for future suicide bombers. She doesn't have concrete evidence or argument for this.

Nyamko Sabuni wants to legislate how a girl/woman dresses or doesn't dress herself. Isn't it inverse oppression if people can't have what they want or feel best doing? If the state will decide what people may have or not, isn't that oppression? Then people are oppressed in the state's name.

Nyamko Sabuni constantly claims that Muslim parents force their children to go to a religious school in order to control and exert power over the children. You can see one of her latest statements on this on the program "Existens" Tuesday, Feb. 20th, 2007. She claims that the aim of choosing a religious (Muslim) school for children is definitely not education. That only shows how much bias the integration minister has for Muslims. Additionally she says that she is convinced that the majority of Muslims share her perception.

I want to say to our integration minister that I am one of many Muslims who definitely doesn't share her perception. I was brought up in a secular country. The state was free of churches/mosques and education wasn't based on anybody's religious principles. Unfortunately, we don't have that in Sweden today. Though the state is free from churches, education is based on Christian principles.

The law says "do this (mediation of the fundamental values which our public life depend on) in accordance with the ethics which keep with Christian tradition and western humanism by educating individuals to a sense of justice, generosity, tolerance and responsibility".

Why should education in todays secular Sweden need to have religious impact? Why should children in today's secular Sweden have school graduations in churches? Why, in today secular Sweden, aren't schools secular? how can people all think of forbidding religious schools when people don't have a secular option instead?

Remove all religious impact and activities that are associated with a certain religion out of Swedish schools. Remove all religious holidays. Then we can start discussing closing up religious schools too. Otherwise, I will keep them.

I refuse to accept that the state can decide about my children. I, unlike our integration minister, refuse to accept oppression in the state's name. My children's education will be based on some religion so accept that it really exists on its own in such a case.

Source: Aftonbladet (Swedish), h/t FOMI

See also: Netherlands: Promote freedom of religion, Sweden: fight the honor culture

1 comment:

Jens said...

Very true! I agree! I've gone through Swedish school and was always surprised that we had to go to church and that we did not get to choose which religion to study in Religion class in high school!