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The burning of a Torah in Stockholm with the Police’s approval



By cantor Paul Heller

The controversial freedom o expression seems not to collide in Sweden against the attack against minorities. All efforts are done not only from the Jewish side but also from Ministerial calls to prohibit the burning of sacred books, which has sparked outrage as you might have followed in the press in the Arab world against the Swedish diplomatic corps.

It seems unreasonable since the timing coincides with the approval of accepting Sweden in NATO.

The Muslim world has been burning flags of countries without any police or political interference since several years. There is now a difference when it comes to holy books, and there is no law in Sweden specifically prohibiting the burning or desecration of the Koran or other religious texts. The person creating this chaotic situation is a christian ex-militia leader apparently with illegal resident status, that wants to stir up the muslim world, but would be outraged if a crucifix would be burned. Paradoxically a non Swede that has been able to put Sweden into a very difficult situation not only politically but also putting at risk it’s so very neutral status in managing the refugees problem of which it has been it’s champion in spite of it’s naïveté. This just exemplifies it. It was with consternation and sadness that we received the news about the police’s approval of the burning of the Torah in Stockholm on Saturday, July 15. (the burning was cancelled by whom had called attention just to say it is not OK to burn holy texts) As a people of the book, the Torah is our most sacred treasure of moral codes and ethics that have changed the world we live in. Our tragic European history links the burning of Jewish books with pogroms, expulsions, inquisitions and the Holocaust. The Jewish Central Council continues to condemn the abuse of freedom of expression that takes place with the aim of sowing hatred in society. Burning holy books, be it the Koran, the Torah or the New Testament, are hateful acts that we perceive as direct threats to the societies that value them. After the Koran burnings, we support the Muslim community in Sweden, express our gratitude for their strong stance and condemnation, and sincerely hope that this and all other burnings of holy books will stop.

And I wonder where in Sweden goes the limit between freedom of expression and incitement against an ethnic minority?

And what needs to happen for Sweden to realise its mistakes accepting all kind of criminals to walk freely in their streets?

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