That’s what the Swedish Islamologist Jonas Otterbeck would have us believe.
Below is an article about Dr. Otterbeck that was published yesterday in Sydsvenska Dagbladet, adapted from a translation that the Anti-Islamist posted this morning in our comments:
“Eurabia” is compared to conspiracy theories
By Niklas Orrenius
Western Europe is threatened by a Muslim invasion. Muslims come here, give birth to many children and take over Western societies from within. Europe will become undemocratic, anti-American and anti-Semitic. Christians and Jews will be oppressed.
That is the real purport of the Eurabia-theory, which became popular in the U.S. after 9/11.
“The whole idea of Eurabia is a conspiracy theory, there is no doubt about it. It is not at all very credible,” says Islamologist Jonas Otterbeck, active at Lund University as well as at the Malmö University [South Sweden].
He compares the Eurabia theory with old anti-Semitic notions of secret Jewish power networks.
“There are Eurabia books in which Arab ownerships in Europe are listed. That Muslims own department stores in London, for example. The whole idea is so insanely baroque. A unified Arab network that wants to take over Europe? When Arab states does not even manage to stay on good terms with each other?”
In Sweden, no political party seriously has tried to win followers by stirring up fear of Eurabia — until now. “I’m worried about Eurabia,” says Kent Ekeroth, International Secretary of the Sweden Democrats.
Many Muslims are living in Malmö. What is the problem with that?
“A major problem is the growing violence. In Rosengård, in the streets and squares, in nightclubs.”
What has violence got to do with Islam?
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“Often, the violence follows in the wake of Islam. Then there are other things, pork is banned at certain schools. Then I believe many see it as insecure that the city is changing and increasingly is resembling the Arab world,” says Kent Ekeroth.
In Denmark, fear of Eurabia is politically marketable. Islamologist Jonas Otterbeck is not sure of how successful the Sweden Democrats will be when they try to establish the same track in Sweden.
“Concern about Islamization has not been very strong in Sweden. No one has detonated a car bomb in Stockholm shouting ‘jihad!’“ says Islamologist Jonas Otterbeck.
Jonas Otterbeck, PhD, is Assistant Professor of International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Malmö University, Sweden. He has done research on Muslim discourses on Islam in Sweden and on the situation of Muslim pupils in public schools. Presently he is investigating Islamophobia in Sweden, young adult Muslims’ understanding of Islam, and the attitudes of Lebanese and Egyptian Muslim scholars to popular music.
Otterbeck completed his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies in 2000. The dissertation is published in Swedish with the title Islam på svenska. Tidskriften Salaam och Islams globalisering. (Islam in Swedish: The Journal Salaam and the Globalization of Islam. (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International). He has written several English-language articles published in journals and books.