Sweden: Prime Minister calls on companies to offer Muslims services

The Swedish Prime Minister spent the first day of Ramadan learning more about halal products. At the slaughterhouse in Johanneshov Fredrik Reinfeldt spoke of how important multiculturalism is for Sweden.

The moderate fight for freedom must also be about empowering New Sweden, supporting integration and getting rid of a lot of unnecessary regulations that create value clashes in Swedish society. This is a task for the government, said Frederik Reinfeldt when he visited Qibbla Halal Kött i Johanneshov. A 30 [ed: meant 13] year old company with 26 employees who work with different halal products produced according to Muslim traditions and which get go-ahead from the Swedish authorities.

With this Reinfeldt started off the fall visiting tour where he would especially meet and speak with immigrants about discrimination and value questions. In the past he had similarly gone about the rest of the country and visited small businesses, employment services and met with women in the public sector.

Both Diler Mustafa Taher, one of the company's founders, and IT-manager Namir Zetali, tell of their quick success, they sell their meat products all over Sweden, Finland and Denmark. They have gotten one of the biggest chains, Coop, to sell their halal meat. On the other hand, several other chains have declined.

"They are concerted of losing their regular customers as it's called and line up a large problem. They don't seem to understand that instead they'll get many new customers," says Namir Zetali.

In the more than an hour long talk Fredrik Reinfeldt addressed the same subject.

"It's very strange that large companies don't look for their own best interests. Here we have over 40,000 Muslims who live in Sweden and as orthodox Muslims want to have their halal meat. There is certainly a demand and money to be made, but they do not take advantage of it because of ignorance or in the worst case prejudices."

To see to it that there room for prayer in the workplace and not to unnecessarily create prohibitions on wearing a headscarf if it's not clearly inappropriate, are examples for efforts to minimize the value clash.

"Here people show in practice how to build integration. We must show more respect for other cultural traditions, they almost never threaten any Swedish values, they can be side by side," says Fredrik Reinfeldt.

He also believes that the debate about the honor problem dominates too much at the expense of tolerance issues.

"Discrimination must be fought on many levels, but mostly through disseminating knowledge. It's only in this way that we can increase tolerance and therefore we mustn't only end up discussing honor violence."

Source: SVD (Swedish)

See also: Sweden: Halal slaughtered chickens


Mark Tapson said...

Sweden is doomed.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting (and very sad) to watch Sweden become less like Sweden and more like Lebanon.

Hopefully others will learn something from their naive and foolish cultural death wish.

Unknown said...

On the contrary, our economy and Europe's in general is in need of influx of people to boost our economy. Especially in an era of globalization and internationalization, we should be open to change and especially to something that is inevitable- multiculturalism. If we be in our small Swedish bubble and not be inclusive of people from other cultures, we might lose out on the action that will shape tomorrow. In addition, I think it would be great if we share our Swedish culture with fellow citizens from diverse backgrounds.