Terror attack in Sweden

There was a “successful” terror attack in Sweden yesterday (Sweden Begins Terror Inquiry After Bombing in Stockholm – NYTimes.com). Sadly, a man was killed, but the goal was obviously to do far more harm, so in the grim calculus of these things I guess we must be quasi-thankful.

You really have to wonder what kind of twisted fantasy land such “Muslims” must live in to imagine such an action could somehow help anybody or any cause. Well other than, say, demagogues like Geert Wilders–or, more immediately, his just-out-of-diapers Swedish opposite number, Jimmie Åkesson–at the head of Muslim-baiting hordes that are laying waste to the Continent’s political traditions like modern-day Visigoths.

A recorded statement was emailed to a Swedish newspaper–considerately provided in English, Swedish and Arabic–claiming the collective punishment was earned by Sweden’s having allowed the Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks to publish his offensive caricature of the Prophet in 2007 and by its being involved in the war in Afghanistan. I don’t appreciate Viks’ vile, childish scribblings anymore than the next guy–not that I find them particularly threatening or in need of censorship–and fully realize that a lot of outrageous, counterproductive, monstrously expensive and otherwise stupid things are happening in Af-Pak* but what kind of irresponsible fools could imagine an act like this could improve things for Muslims? The idea that bombing Stockholm will stem denigration of Islam and the Prophet, or weaken the resolve of Western hawks to “stay the course” in Afghanistan is foolish in the extreme.

When the Swedish Democrats slithered into parliament for the first time ever  recently, Swedish political leaders across the spectrum vowed the country would not to follow in the footsteps of neighboring Denmark, where the political system has been held hostage by the once-ignored-but-now-kingmaking far-right Danish People’s Party (or “DF” for Dansk Folkeparti) for the last decade.

(This party’s influence was a key, generally unacknowledged, factor in the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy (a topic I’ve blogged quite a bit over the years) going to Hell in a Handbasket. As the international controversy started to brew in late-2005, then Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, whose party was in a coalition with DF, flouted diplomatic protocol and common sense–spurning attempts by diplomats from Muslim countries to defuse the crisis–in order to score points with the DF. To be sure, he’s not responsible for overreactions to the cartoons, but in his capacity as leader he basically chose for this otherwise trivial incident to become a flash point between Denmark and the Muslim world.  And this was just the latest example of Rasmussen’s Liberal Party kowtowing to DF’s xenophobic sensibilities. In a sane world, leaders who cyncially pander to bigots and clumsily trigger disastrous international  crises would get demoted to sorting mail; in ours, they become Secretary General of NATO. But I digress.)

Anyway, how long can one reasonably expect Sweden’s political class not to cave into the demands of such benighted but increasingly powerful constituencies when something like this happens?

With “brothers” like these, who needs enemies?

* An excellent source of honest, insightful and un-”embedded” coverage of America’s involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan is, incidentally, TomDispatch.com. It’s an invaluable antidote to the spineless and often Pravda-like coverage of the conflict found in the American corporate media.


Swedish leader urges tolerance after failed terror attack (Washington Post, 12/12/10):

Sweden’s prime minister on Sunday urged the country to “stand up for tolerance” after a botched terrorist attack in central Stockholm highlighted signs of growing Islamic extremism across the usually peaceful Scandinavian region.


Cooler heads seem to be prevailing in Stockholm, for now.

  • anon

    according to Vali Nasr(?–I forget) the Extremists on both sides want a “clash of civilization” scenario—the Muslim extremists have this theory that the more Europe pushes this scenario—the more Muslims will band together precieving persecution and will eventually “rise up’ against Europe—I have little idea for what purpose—I suppose it is meant to serve some politial agenda of the extremists…..
    While I think this “clash of civilizations” agenda is lame-brained on both sides—there is much that we Muslims must/should improve within our Ummah—so if we can unite to become better/make these much needed improvements—it will be good for us……

  • http://www.livingasmuslims.com Ata

    Do you really think this fella cared for the consequences of his actions for Muslims? Al-qaeda, and their cohorts in ideology, are so one track minded that they seem to forget there will be blowback for Muslims, and therefore their harm to their supposed “brethren”, in the long term, is much worse. Of course, they also do not think about the innocent life they take, and in effect ignore every principle of war laid forth by our Nabi (saaws)! In the end, this man was just an ignorant puppet, in the hands of ignorant puppets.

  • anon

    “In the end, this man was just an ignorant puppet, in the hands of ignorant puppets”—So maybe we Muslims should do more dawah within our own communities so there is not so much ignorance anymore?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/sansariwordpresscom Sansari.wordpress.com

    I thought initially that he had acted alone, but apparently he didn’t, as Ata notes. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8205168/Stockholm-bomb-first-in-Christmas-campaign.html

  • http://profile.typepad.com/dbrutus TM Lutas

    From a religious standpoint, it would be helpful to explain where the destination of the soul of this suicide bomber is. If this man is condemned in the next life it would seem to me an obligation of muslims to teach that he’s gone to hell, why he’s gone to hell, and how others can avoid sharing his fate (if I’ve got the wrong labels, please substitute appropriately).
    I’ve heard hints about a muslim theology that places these bombers in hell but were that a genuinely widely and strongly held view I would expect to have heard a lot more about it to this point. Every Islamic figure should start with the plain statement that XYZ suicide bomber is in hell, why Islam says he is there, and explain the struggle to keep more muslims from being tricked into going to hell via explosives.
    There are very well known propaganda principles about how and how often you must repeat a message before it penetrates into a population. In the war between the two memes of suicide bomber going to paradise or hell, your position is losing.