Andreas Malm and Torsten Kälvemark on Islamophobia

After a tip from our Swedish correspondent LN, and at the suggestion of Fjordman, our Swedish correspondent CB has translated a lengthy book review that originally appeared in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

The book is by Andreas Malm, and is reviewed by Torsten Kälvemark. Both the reviewer and the book’s author have undertaken the important task of exposing and fighting European Islamophobia, particularly in Sweden.

Needless to say, they are opposed to blogs like this one, and to people like you, the readers of this blog.

CB included this introduction to his translation:

As you can see from the information I found about Torsten Kälvemark, he’s not just anybody. He has held important positions in Swedish society, and thus wields some authority when he writes, at least among certain people in Sweden.

I have not read Malm’s book myself, so I can’t pass any judgment on it, and therefore it’s hard to know if this review reflects Malm’s book and writing style, or is in effect Kälvemark writing after reading Malm’s book. But judging from the content of the review, this will become some kind of “bible” for Leftists and other Islam-enablers in Sweden.

Andreas MalmAndreas Malm himself can be found on the Left in Swedish politics, and is a syndicalist who has given his support to Hamas and Hezbollah. It has also been proven that he has disseminated serious misinformation about events in the Middle East conflict. One example is his statement that he saw hundreds, thousands of dead in the Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Afterwards it was shown that the actual numbers were 23 dead Israelis and 56 dead Palestinians, mainly armed men. I have personally heard him on national TV and radio exaggerating the events and their death toll.

The review is an example of pulling the shopworn Nazi-card. It tries to stop all serious criticism of political Islam, and is therefore, in my mind, an absolutely worthless attempt to warn against perceived Islamophobia.

It’s always easy to find people making senseless statements about a whole group of people, in this case Muslims. But that doesn’t change the fact that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have nefarious plans for the West, clearly state them, and control ever more mosques in the West. Along with Wahhabis and other merry people of the Religion of Peace. These facts Kälvemark doesn’t reflect on!

It’s notable that he talks about dangers facing the West and Palestine. Ooops! Where did Israel go? Well, everybody can make mistakes. And how about the famous t-shirt that nutcase ordered? That apparently makes the case for the Islamophobia in the Middle East as a danger to life and limb. Bad, bad Israelis, we are to believe. How about the daily Arab incitement to kill Jews — nothing to mention, just a natural expression against the racist Jews, right? No?

The people he seems to abhor the most are Christians who see Israel as part of the apocalyptic future in the Middle East. Why not the Muslims who do the actual killing, and boast about how many more they will kill in the apocalyptic wars? Him being a Christian himself…

Andreas Malm’s book is a warning bell.

And now for CB’s translation of the book review:

A hatred without limits

Torsten Kälvemark on the West’s shocking contempt for Muslims

We can never pinpoint the twilight to a certain stroke of the clock. It creeps up on us, and the only thing we know is that the darkness grows more dense. That’s how it is with the twilight of cultures. We can’t tell exactly when it enters, but only observe in retrospect that it has descended on culture and society. When did race biology and contempt for weakness lead to the great catastrophe: 1920 or 1933? When did anti-Semitism that historically was a religious prejudice become a racist ideology of holocaust? No one knows exactly when.

Now a new plague is moving across the West. It is the contempt for Muslims. Many might want to use (using the Anglo-Saxon example) the word hate, but perhaps the terminology makes no difference. Hatred is a feeling that’s easier to identify and easier to fight. Contempt is more treacherous. It can be hidden in an insidious manner in rewriting and political rhetoric or lack of resistance. But in reality it’s more dangerous.

Andreas Malm has chosen to name his book The Hatred against Muslims. That’s what it describes. But it’s also about contempt, which so often is expressed indirectly, in media stereotypes or lack of sympathy when Muslims happens to become victims. This is a contempt that is still accepted, because it can so easily be hidden in discussions about terrorism and integration in editorials and debate articles. It can take subtle forms, such as when someone indirectly weighs human value and “cries blood” over demonstrations in Malmö but, apparently without tears, points out that “one can be indignant” over the killings in Gaza.

Can one be indignant?


– – – – – – – –

Malm’s book is white, but could take after a noted example and be called “The black book of Islamophobia”. I notice that Kommunismens svarta bok [The Black Book of Communism] was 778 pages, while Andreas Malm reaches 747. The size is both a weakness and a strength. The strength is in the overwhelming documentation and the worldwide reading. The weakness lies in the plethora of facts from history and the present that threatens to confuse.

Most important is that it has been released. Here it is substantiated with more than two thousand footnotes that the line of dignity has been breached over and over again in the critique of a historical religion that has, like Judaism and Christianity, been a creator of culture and an oppressor, but still a faith that has millions of peaceful humans as adherents.

Or, isn’t it a religion? Lars Hedegaard, a leading figure in the Danish Trykkefrihedsselskabet [Free Press Society], denies this. He says “Islam is NOT a religion. Islam is a totalitarian worldview, an ideology which contains a religion, you could say. It’s a political philosophy which is comparable with Nazism, Stalinism, and other known totalitarian ideologies”.

As a historian of ideas Hedegaard is a charlatan, but that does not prevent him from being invited to the prestigious “Engelbrektsseminariet”, arranged by the family Ax:son Johnssons foundation that also funds the paper Axess.

The quote above is also beloved of Swedish racists, and is reproduced like a quote from the Bible on the right side of the Islamophobic site I mitt Sverige [“In my Sweden”]. This is a forum that among things helps the surrounding world to know which companies support the Islamisation of our country. Kronfågel (you saw rightly!) [an allusion to the crown/kron of Sweden as the seal of the state], Fonus and Folksam [companies in funeral and insurance business] are pointed out to be weak on Muslims. Commentators on the site are happy to have guidance on how to avoid companies who might bend their backs to the foreign sub-humans [an allusion to the Nazis untermenschen]. “Best to boycott everything connected to mussar [derogatory for Muslims, roughly “muzzies”]. If you don’t want rats, you don’t feed them”. Translated to German the slogan would of course carry more punch: “Kauft nich bei Muslimen!”

Andreas Malm enables me to surf around in this shadow world that daily has thousands of visitors in Sweden and many more times that in the rest of Europe. If the Muslims are not seen as rats there, there are other animals to which they are likened. One writer has a radical suggestion to revoke the franchise from Muslims, and continues: “As long as these apes rather choose to devote themselves to the disease Islam they should be confined to a geographically enclosed quarantine”. Yes, that’s how it’s written! Thus, concentrate this contagion in a camp. Have we heard it before?

To read the Islamophobic sites is like reading Radio Islam [a radical anti-Semitic local-radio station, convicted in the courts], in reverse. Here it’s not the Jews who are hated any longer. On the contrary: “I’m a proud friend of Israel” is to be read on the blue-yellow blog [the colours of the Swedish flag and a way of labelling nationalists] right under the quote of Lars Hedegaard. In the comments Israel is praised “for taking the bull by the horns” and gives cowardly mussarna what they can take.

If they talk about hooked noses, then it’s certainly not in the traditionally anti-Semitic usage: “The f****** nose is bent so he can fit in behind the dude when he licks the prayer rug…or sniffing his butt…it is well known that these people have a predilection for orifice no. 2.”

Andres Malm’s coverage of the racist underbrush is shocking, but the reality is even more upsetting. He doesn’t give much space to contemporary Christian anti-Muslims, but they are more numerous than one might believe, especially in those groups who view the Middle East as the place for the final battle before Jesus’ return. The Christian website Sanningen om Islam [“The truth about Islam”] knows how things are: “The fact is that a prayer of a whore who comes to God in the name of Jesus has greater power and effect than the combined prayers of the entire Muslim world for a thousand years.”

And if this is not enough, one understands why the Muslims of the world are one big pack of highwaymen: “Muhammad encourages his followers to kill, lie, commit adultery, to steal and plunder booty from its rightful owners… the lie becomes a matter of pride, lust becomes dignity, and aggression an ideal.”

One might think that all these are examples of the lunatic fringe in contemporary political debate, but the seriousness of the situation is that this hate and prejudice are allowed to be rife and unchallenged by media and the opinion-making elite. We seldom see any hard criticism from liberal media like DN, Expressen or Sydsvenskan. Muslim-haters seldom make trouble in the streets. They might throw the random pig head around [I think he’s being literal here, referring to actual heads of pigs being thrown outside mosques, and also ironic], but let them keep to their phobias. And, be thankful, they’re not Anti-Semites anymore!

A certain symbiosis even arises between some editorials and the blue-brown blog-mob. The Islamophobes often and happily link to editorials by employees at Svenska Dagbladet and DN, who have taken to the Middle East as entrepreneurs. Writers who are hugged by this extremism might not be to blame for having so many fans, but given the one-sidedness with which they approach the Arab-Israeli conflict, it’s hardly surprising that they become the favourites of those who see terrorists in every basement premises [here talking about the majority of mosques in Sweden].

That which on the lowest level of argumentation deals with hooked noses and veils becomes in the more sophisticated context conspiracy theories about a Muslim invasion of the West or about Eurabia. Andreas Malm examines the international propaganda of fear that has fixed stars like Mark Steyn, Bat Ye’or and Melanie Phillips in its universe. It has fertile ground in political groups as Dansk Folkeparti or Vlaams Belang or the local Sverige Demokraterna who demand prohibitions against building mosques and the slightest cultural consideration. In many of these circles notions of the Muslim demographic bomb is nurtured. The Arabs are spawning and threaten civilisation, both here and in Palestine. In its worst forms it is shaped as a cartoon of a Muslim woman whose swollen belly is a ticking bomb.

The parallel is further to be found in the t-shirt an Israeli soldier recently ordered on which one sees a rifle-sight pointed at a pregnant Arab woman. Under the picture it says: “1 shot 2 kills”. Naturally, he who hates a group of people doesn’t want them to spread their genes.

But, the Middle East aside, is Islamophobia a danger to life and limb? Andreas Malm reminds us about dark facts. Why were 8,000 men and boys murdered in Srebrenica 1995? It wasn’t because they differed much culturally and ethnically from their executioners, but for an entirely different reason: They were Muslims.

A creeping nationalistic agitation of the type we now see in Sweden was transformed into action when circumstances allowed. Are we sure that one could not bring forth a number of Swedish men who would take it upon themselves to lessen the discomfort induced by “the sick strangers” in our midst?

Andreas Malm will certainly be the target for innumerable attempts at character assassination for his book. If you write over 700 pages, there are obviously things to make remarks about. Personally I think it should have been edited down. Particularly the parts about the history of ideas pertaining to Byzantium or the medieval period are fruits of reading that perhaps aren’t fully digested. Surely there are many problems around Islamism, terrorism and immigration policies that can be discussed in more analytically sober terms. But once again: The important thing is that it has even been released as an alarm against a cultural twilight that many want to ignore just because it disturbs their supposedly liberal worldview.

Imagine that somebody had released a similar book about the creeping racist danger. Then, perhaps, we might have avoided the Uppsala students’ xenophobic resolutions and racist immigration policies. Maybe Torgny Segerstedt wouldn’t have been alone on the barricades while most of the editorials kept silent [this is about the period leading up to the Second World War].

What is living history in reality? Is it not to learn of yesterday’s shameful mistakes?

— Torsten Kälvemark

This is what is written about Torsten Kälvemark at the Academic Cooperation Association:

Torsten Kälvemark is a former Senior Adviser at the National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) in Stockholm, Sweden. He has worked with central government agencies in the field of higher education since 1972. Between 1989 and 1992 he was serving as cultural attaché at the Embassy of Sweden in London. In 1993 he was one of the founders of ACA. He was a member of ACA’s Administrative Council 1993-2006 and also served the Association as a Vice-President. With Marijk van der Wende he edited the book National Policies for Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe (1997). This book was a result of cooperative work within one of ACA’s working groups.

He retired in 2007 and is now an independent consultant in the field of higher education and research. He is also chairing the Board of the Swedish Archeological Institute in Athens.

CB says that he also found out that Prof. Kälvemark is a theologian and a member of the Orthodox Church.