Separate but equal: Swedish Muslim edition

As usual nowadays, it’s the minority group that’s in favor of the idea and the majority that’s opposed.

The Swedish Muslim Association, which represents around 70,000 Muslims in Sweden, has sent a letter to all Sweden’s main political parties suggesting a number of reforms, SVT’s Rapport programme reported.

The proposals include allowing imams into state (public) schools to give Muslim children separate lessons in Islam and their parents’ native languages. The letter also said that boys and girls should have separate swimming lessons and that divorces between Muslims should be approved by an imam.

“Segregation” is an ugly word, so naturally they’re calling it “freedom of religion” instead. And if all this sounds familiar, it should.

The Swedish integration minister says no way no how no chance will the SMA’s request be granted. And, to their credit, the Swedish Muslim Council — the umbrella organization to which the SMA belongs — is reportedly opposed to the idea, too. Which is in keeping with the community’s track record: last year, when a Swedish Christian preacher accused Mohammed of having been a pedophile, the head of the country’s council of imams explicitly warned Muslims not to respond with violence. Because, after all, they could just sue the preacher instead.

And if that sounds familiar, it should.

I won’t belabor the usual points about the dangers of non-assimilation, topical though they are; Mark Steyn writes about them every week, and there are plenty of worthwhile books on the subject. The point is, it is a danger — for all concerned:

Among Swedish Muslims, 39 percent displayed systematic anti-Semitic attitudes as opposed to five percent in the general Swedish population.

In order to compare attitudes toward other religious minorities, some questions in the poll were about Muslims, the largest religious minority in Sweden. There are 18,000 Jews in Sweden and 350,000 Muslims. The poll showed that the intolerant attitudes towards Muslims were higher than those towards Jews.

Two percent of Swedes supported discriminatory measures toward Jews. Only 2.9 percent of Swedes think that there are too many Jews in Sweden, while 24.1 percent feel there are too many Muslims. 6.7 percent also feel that “Muslims ought not be allowed to vote in political elections.”

Emphases mine. The Swedish government is paying attention.

Update: A lot of attention.