Swedish Christian Democrats to support Al Quida

These days it is very popular to put up statements to prove how daring, modern, and radical you think you are. The next upcoming proof of that is the “A History of Sex”- exhibition in Alingsås, Sweden. I don’t like the “paintings” they present and I think the whole idea is rather silly. But I support it, of course, with all my heart and I only feel sorry for the protesters, choosing to place themselves on the same field of the pitch as Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Al Quida’s Usama bin Ladin. The funniest thing with it all is that they support their comical beliefs with exactly the same arguments.

It shouldn’t be news for anybody that I am a staunch supporter of freedom of speech. In these days this is really needy, because it is more threatened than ever – in the Muslim world, in the last communist countries, but also in our own safe democratic haven. Or so we want it to appear. But the truth is quite the reverse. We have laws that say that you cannot proclaim that you are a Nazi and/or shout Nazi slogans, German uniforms from the Second World War, and denying the degree of veracity in the Holocaust, for instance. But on the other hand we have people denying the existence of Gulag at the very top of one of our political Parties in the Diet, The Left Party. It is OK to wear the hammer and sickle but it is punished by law to wear a swastika? Now, how stupid isn’t that?

But it gets worse! Conservatives who firstly applaud caricaturist and cartoonists mocking Islam and their Prophet and then claim to feel “insulted” by an art exhibition dealing with sex. That’s so hypocritical! They’re all a bunch of asswipe! Either you are pro freedom of speech and democracy and you support people’s right to state opinions and/or perform art, even though these things might not be your thing, or you are against it. What gives us the right to decide what values should be allowed to be heard in our society?

Now the Swedish Christian Democrats have followed in the footsteps of radical Islamic terrorist groups like Al Quida and Hizbollah and other groups that are against freedom of speech. The exhibition in Alingsås, Sweden, will stay, nevermind how much the Conservatives complain. I fail to see why they put so much prestige in these questions. This will only result in them getting less voters and the risk for them missing the 4.0 % entry finishing tape for the next general election 2010. They are already way under it (3.4 %, to be exact). It’s an outrage that the Christian Democrats undermine the non-socialist Alliance’s work as much as they do with their own silly maneuvers. We have to ask ourselves; do we even want these people in the Swedish Diet?

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About tegis

This blog belongs to Carl-Mikael A. Teglund - tegis. Swedish emigrant with a heart for languages, philosophy, history, and politics (classical liberalism in the European tradition). Go ahead and look, read, or listen. I'm sure you will find it interesting.
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9 Responses to Swedish Christian Democrats to support Al Quida

  1. Giulia Guidi says:

    “Conservatives who firstly applaud caricaturist and cartoonists mocking Islam and their Prophet and then claim to feel ‘insulted’ by an art exhibition dealing with sex. […]”

    By the way of focusing on (and making a huge fuss about) secondary, irrelevant non-core questions!!! 😉

    Personally, I did not applaud the Mohammed caricatures, nor would I feel shocked or offended by this particular “sexhibition.”

    As a matter of fact, a couple a weeks ago I watched a well-made documentary about the history of sex and its artistic representation on the Discovery Channel, and it was actually pretty interesting! A critical survey of a culture’s (both beautiful and ugly) artistic representation of sex is very indicative of how sexuality is perceived within that culture, and can ultimately help us understand the origin and development of “prima facie” baffling phenomena such as, for example, the controversial and problematic role of sex within the Arab world (which appears, incidentally, to have been heavily influenced by the Victorian moral code during the age of European colonialism.)

    In Italy we had, by the way, a similar debate regarding a “gay exhibit” in Milan:

    http://artforum.com/news/week=200729

    Note that the organizer of the Milan exhibition, Mr. Vittorio Sgarbi, is not “a priori” anticlerical: He is, instead, a (free-thinking, hot-headed and, in my opinion, very likeable) liberal art critic who even got into a huge and spectacular (and typically Italian 🙂 ) fight on national television in order to defend the Catholic Church and the Christian faith!

    I, too, disliked the specific artworks on display in Milan and I thougt the whole idea of portraying the Pope as a drag queen was, intellectually speaking, quite insignificant, simplistic and “rather silly.” But why make such a huge fuss about it? It only served the purpose of drawing even more attention to the “artworks” on display, while dramatically increasing their commmercial value! 🙂

    “I fail to see why they put so much prestige in these questions.”

    Well, it might all come down to financing and funding!

    As a general rule, I would wholeheartedly share your bewilderment, but the main difference between the Mohammed cartoons and, for instance, the Milan exhibition lies in the origin of the money used to fund it: The Danish newspaper is privately owned, while (if I am not mistaken) the Milan exhibition was (at least in part) publicly funded.

    Who funded this “sexhibit” in Alingsås? Who organized it? In what sort of building is it held?

    I am asking these questions because all publicly funded exhibitions and events featuring non-traditional artists or themes (anything more recent or less-established, than, say, a Basquiat or a Keith Haring, and all politically hot contents) are inevitably bound to arouse bitter controversy.

    Debating the allocation of public funds (and, hopefully, limiting their use when unnecessary) is always interesting, important and never useless – especially for a fiscal conservative like moi! 🙂

    My humble conclusion: Long live all private art foundations and the patrons of the arts! 🙂

  2. Johan says:

    “irrelevant non-core questions”

    Excuse me? This is not irrelevant, it is highly topical right now in the municipalities where this art is being put up. It risks to damage the whole non-socialist coalition where the social-liberals have been fighting really hard for it to be there and the Christian Democrats have been fighting against it.
    It SHOULD be irrelevant, and it surely is for most of us, but it seems that conservatives like to put their chubby fingers in the jar of jam as much as socialists do. Why can’t they just leave people alone and let people do what they like? If they don’t like it, then so be it, they don’t have to look?

    Yeez …

  3. tegis says:

    Good point taken Giulia (I almost wrote Giuliani there once hehe, hope you don’t mind?)! Everything that goes inside of a museum in Sweden is either owned by the state or propped up by state money.

    I’m not sure if you are as radical as me when I say that we should privatize this sector as much as possible. What we have now is a situation where the state has sole right on writing world history.
    We need more alternatives …
    I like your thinkin’ 😉

    hugs
    C

  4. Giulia Guidi says:

    “I’m not sure if you are as radical as me when I say that we should privatize this sector as much as possible.”

    Yes, I totally agree: Just look at most government-funded European movies! 🙂

    The only problem is that, for obvious historical reasons, most European countries have a virtually nonexistent tradion of privately patronizing the arts… unfortunately!

    Johan:

    Yes, I meant that it SHOULD be irrelevant! 🙂

  5. Värnar du yttrandefriheten genom att påstå att kristdemokraterna stödjer terroristorganisationen Al Quaida ENBART med utgångspunkt i att båda organisationerna försvarar en marginell men viktig uppsättning värderingar om värnandet av moralen i samhället?

    Jag har aldrig applåderat Muhammed-karikatyrerna, och jag finner dem lika idiotiska som bilderna på den nakne, homosexuelle Jesus i den pornografiska Ecce Homo-utställningen i Uppsala domkyrka. Skillnaden jag för min del gör är att jag finner det senare direkt anstötligt. På samma skala, fast inte lika höggradigt anstötligt, spelar den utställning du här nämner.

    Och när jag yttrar min moralistiska uppfattning så kallar du det att jag stödjer en terroristorganisation. Det är INTE att värna yttrandefriheten i samhället, det är att undergräva den. Det blir extra absurt när du bokstavligen avslutar ditt inlägg med att önska bort oss kristdemokrater ur Riksdagen PÅ GRUND AV våra åsikter. Kamma dig.

  6. Giulia Guidi says:

    “Och när jag yttrar min moralistiska uppfattning så kallar du det att jag stödjer en terroristorganisation. […] Det blir extra absurt när du bokstavligen avslutar ditt inlägg med att önska bort oss kristdemokrater ur Riksdagen PÅ GRUND AV våra åsikter. Kamma dig.”

    Well, of course this is a very good point as well! 🙂

    The reason I did not comment on this specific comparison is that I did not take it too literally: I just interpreted it as a mild and rather innocent provocation. 🙂

    I personally find the Mohammed cartoons, the sculpture of the gay Pope in Milan and the “Ecce Homo” exhibit in Uppsala to be far more controversial and potentially offensive than the naked, sex-related pictures on display in Alingsås, the reason being that the latter do not seek to offend or damage anybody in particular (except perhaps the clothes industry, given the lack of garments seemingly displayed by the subjects of the paintings!) 😉 A human body and some sort of sexual life are something that we all share, so this “sexhibit” does not target anybody in particular.

    It would only be legitimate to discuss whther it is justified to invest public funds in this kind of event.

    “I almost wrote Giuliani there once hehe, hope you don’t mind”

    I actually feel honoured by your comparison to Giuliani, although my personal favourite has always been John McCain… and now also Rudy has offcially endorsed him! 😀 YAY!

    Have a great weekend in beautiful Iceland!

    Ciao ciao,

    Giulia 🙂

  7. tegis says:

    Nej Jakob, jag menar att ni star för samma principer, och i förlangningen att ni för samma kamp mot yttrandefrihet och frihet i det stora. Ni ar bada fiender till fria individer som vill klara sig sjalva, ni bara för er kamp pa olika satt och rattfardigar den olika, men resultatet blir det samma.
    Det ar ju ganska talande att du staller dig pa skaggtomtarnas sida ang Mohammedteckningarna …
    Jag önskar naturligtvis att alla som hade kollektivistiska asikter inte skulle fa sitta i beslutsfattande position, det ar val inte sa konstigt? Ni ar kollektivister, precis som SD, SAP, VPK och diverse Mohammedanska intresseorganisationer.
    Jag kan inte saga att jag stodjer nagon av er, ej heller vill jag se er i Riksdagen. Vill du se VPK i regeringsposition? Lika dum fraga 🙂

  8. tegis says:

    Hi Giulia (again) :).

    That’s NOT a very good point, read my answer above. Of course you’re right in that the “Ecce Homo” exhibit and the Mohammed cartoons are far more controversial than this, but you see how these people react? They react totally in the same way ratifying their actions with saying that it is for defending the “moral” of the society (whatever that is).
    Point being that in a democratic and free society you have to be aware of that people CAN criticize you, your opinion and your belief. That’s democracy for you! If we do not accept that, we have to accept limitations of freedom of speech and limitations of our democracy.
    Democracy and freedom can be said to be for the strong who dare to take this risk, Censorship being for the weak who are afraid of getting their believes questionized. 🙂

  9. Patrik M says:

    Hmm,

    Interesting opinion. As a Conservative / Christian Democrat AND a fierce opponent of Al Qaeda and all nutters allied to them, I find myself just a little bit provoked by your drastic deductions, which of course you are within your right to make.

    Let me first say that I firmly believe in the principle of freedom of speech. Even so, unlike the most radical liberals, I aknowledge that this freedom brings some moral dilemmas.

    Freedom of speech means that I have the right to say what I like. This means that I can verbally abuse you, I can lie about you, I can mock your most sacred beliefs in words and pictures, and so on. Should that be legal? My answer is Yes it should!

    But let me frase antother question. Having been given these freedoms, would it be a nice thing to do for me to use them to the extent of the law? This time my answer is no.

    Just because something is legal, this does not automatically mean that it is morally right. With freedoms comes a responsibility. Ok, I have a right to abuse you verbally. This does not meen that I must abuse you. This does not meen that if someone critized me for abusing you that person wants to limit my freedom of speech. He just exercises HIS freedom of speech, telling me that I am a jerk, because I behave badly towards you.

    Now, I am not all that certain about the circumstances around the exhibition discussed here, and who said what, but let me make my position clear.

    1. The “artist” is fully whitin his/hers right to display horrible and distasteful pictures. That is freedom of speech.

    2. Politicians, whether liberal, conservative, or what, are fully within their right to have an opinion, and to express that opinion, about the pictures. That is also freedom of speech. They have, and should have, no right to ban the exhibition based on that opinion, though. Unless…

    3. If the exhibition is publicly financed, the politicians responsible for deciding wether to release funds to the exhibition, should have a right to withhold money if they don’t like what they see. Now it is not a matter of freedom of speech, but a matter of public economy, the politician trying to use public money in a way his/her voters would prefer. (I agree with Tegis and Giulia that public funding of these activities should be kept at a minimum. Then this problem would not arise)

    Thus, as long as a politician only says “this is disgusting” or “I don’t want to use taxpayers money to exhibit this muck” I don’t see that as censorship or disrespect for freedom of speech. That is exercising freedom of speech. If the politician says “I don’t like it, at it should be prohibited in law, to make such pictures”, than of course it is matter for concern.

    All the best 🙂

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