Hege Storhaug, HRS
When the topic is as sensitive and grotesque as the persecution of a people, one should weigh one words with care. Or perhaps bang the drum with intense passion? In any case, I have a deep-seated feeling that if Europe fails the Jews once again – failing to save them, in this case, from the Muslims who are persecuting them – it is an irrefutable sign that Europe is on the way to a final ideological breakdown. Democracy and human rights are becoming a parenthesis in the old continent’s history.
Malmö’s population is 260,000; 60,000 of these are Muslims. The Jews are a tiny minority of 700. Many of them say that they are under increasing persecution, and if this development continues, the city that saved many Jews in flight during World War II will be emptied of Jews. Like Oslo, Malmö had a Gaza demonstration last year, as NRK reports.
A Jewish father believes that the escalation of the persecution of the Jews began with this demo, in which Nazis, left-wing extremists, and Islamists stood side by side, as I write in my book Rundlurt:
“This demonstration totally degenerated, such that the relatively small Jewish group was attacked and had to be evacuated by the police. It was something that none of us ever had dreamed we would experience in the streets of Malmö,” says the father to NRK.
He doesn’t dare expose his children to what he thinks is an increasing anti-Semitism in Malmö. In one month, the family will leave Sweden for good and move to Israel.
His family fled the pogroms in Eastern Europe for safety in Sweden in 1890. Now history is repeating itself.
Over the course of the last year, hate crime against Malmö’s Jews has doubled. Jews don’t dare to wear yarmulkes downtown. NRK asked what it felt like to hide in a city in which one had been born and grown up?
”It is completely unacceptable. It is a total defeat for the community,” states the father.
Conditions are largely comparable in Oslo, which like Malmö has a tiny Jewish minority of about 700 individuals.
NRK has spoken with many Jewish parents who talk about anti-Semitism directed at their children. None of these parents dared to step forward and identify themselves by name or image, and were therefore presented anonymously.
A Jewish father tells about the time when his son was on the way home from school and was stopped by a gang of older boys:
”They asked ’Are you a Jew?’ and he answered yes. They then tried to grab him and hang him in the woods because he was Jewish. He managed to get loose – to this day he doesn’t know himself how he did it – and ran home,” says the father.
The harassment by Muslim boys got so bad that the family moved from the city and to another place. But even there the children were not left in peace.
We have heard this before from France, Denmark, Britain, and so on: Muslim pupils expressing admiration for Hitler and denying the Holocaust. Many will also recall the comments made last year by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the head of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
”Throughout history, Allah has sent people to the Jews to punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By doing everything he did to them, even if they [the Jews] have exaggerated the matter, he managed to put them in their place. It was heavenly punishment for them, an implementation of the will of Allah. Next time it will happen at the hands of the believers [i.e., Muslims].”
”To conclude my speech, I will say that the only thing I am waiting for now, as my life approaches its end, is that Allah will give me the opportunity to travel to the country [Israel] for jihad and resistance, even if I do it from a wheelchair. I’ll shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they’ll throw a bomb at me, and in that way I’ll end my life by becoming a martyr.”
And many may recall that neither Basim Ghozlan or the Islamic Council [of which he is head] dissociated themselves from these comments, which anyone with the slightest shred of humanism would do automatically. The children, in other words, take their thoughts and attitudes from the adults, including influential participants in the public debate. In addition, fear throws a veil of silence over the situation: neither Jews nor teachers dared to speak out on NRK and recount their own experiences with hate – in Norway, in the year 2010.…
NRK has spoken with teachers from secondary schools with many Muslim students. None of the teachers dare to submit to interviews. They are scared of reprisals from students, and are therefore being presented anonymously.
Teacher 1, woman: ”There is a notorious degree of harassment of Jews. Everything from jokes to open death threats. “It says in the Koran that you should kill Jews, all good Muslims hate Jews. Jews should be killed if they come here to this school,” these students say. Praising Hitler for what he did to the Jews is another recurring theme among students at my school. The worst part of it is that anti-Semitism has become entirely legitimized among large groups of students with Muslim backgrounds.”
Teacher 2, man: ”I see anti-Semitism especially in social studies classes. Students say the Jews run everything, the whole Western world is run by Jews. Many of them also say that they admire Hitler, because he killed Jews. “It was the Jews who were behind the attack on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001.” In my class, if somebody says they support terrorism, somebody will protest. But if someone expresses hatred for Jews, nobody protests.”
Teacher 3, woman: ”Many students sneer when I talk about the Holocaust. A boy stood up and commanded me to stop talking about Jews and the Holocaust. Most of these kids were born and brought up in Norway. I think it is shocking that it is possible to grow up in Norway with such attitudes.”
Teacher 4, man: ”’Fucking Jew’ is a much used term of abuse in the classroom. If I were a Jew, I would feel very offended. These comments are a big problem”:
The teachers NRK has spoken with have the impression that the students in Norwegian schools pick up many of their views from radio and TV broadcasts that they receive by satellite. Well, for my part I think they get their views above all from their families. Alas.
Translated from the Norwegian by Bruce Bawer