Self-flagellation is a strange Scandinavian cultural rite. To prove their strength, these sub-Arctic peoples like to show how much pain and discomfort they can tolerate. In Sweden, many people feel that this fetish went too far when Gävle chose to use a local hijab-dressed Muslim woman Suzan Hindi as a “poster girl” on the welcome sign at the county border.
Gävle county said that it was a gesture of tolerance to celebrate the diversity in its 100,000-strong community, most of which are still ethnic Swedes. However, others believe that the tolerance has gone too far, experiencing it as a denigration of Swedish culture and a celebration of a symbol of female oppression.
Sweden Democrat Roger Hedlund said that “one should think what this is signaling. Some indeed use this garment, the hijab, voluntarily. But not everyone. For millions of women around the world, it represents a lack of freedom.”
Sweden was one of the pioneer countries in women’s liberation. Even before the modern age, it granted women far more rights than most other cultures. The negation of Swedish values as exemplified by Gävle is no coincidence but the result of a concerted effort over many decades to eradicate every sign of the native people and their culture.
Consider what former Vice Prime Minister Mona Sahlin told an audience of immigrants in 2002: “Swedish culture doesn’t exist. I think that this makes many Swedes jealous of immigrant groups. You have a culture, an identity, a history, something that binds you together. And what do we have? Cheesy stuff like midsummer night celebration.”
More than hatred of Swedish culture, this attitude represents progressive hubris. Unlike conservatives, progressives think progress comes easy, and therefore any achievement of the past is not worth preserving or defending. The reason they can flaunt the hijab on road signs and radically change the demography of Sweden without concern for the future is that they believe that Western liberty is indestructible.
Tower of Babel
So far, Sweden has been a warning sign to many other countries in Europe, becoming a progressive tower of Babel destined to collapse under the weight of its own arrogance. Denmark, for instance, is wedged between two of the great multicultural failures of Europe, Sweden and Germany, and has chosen a different path. Recently the Danish parliament legislated a “paradigm shift” in immigration policy to make it easier to send refugees home.
It is still too early to know whether Sweden will survive, but the stellar rise of immigration-skeptic parties such as the Sweden Democrats signals that many are willing to fight for their own culture and people before they are gone. During the 2018 election, Sweden Democrats got 17.6% of the votes, but despite the majority voting right, they ended up with a left-wing government.
However, despite the lack of political power, cultural self-denigration by the political elite like that seen in Gävle county seems to be waking up the survival instinct of this people who have not experienced war for 200 years.