Antisemitism in Sweden
I lived in Stockholm close to eight years (“No injuries in Malmo bombing,” Oct. 4). The Swedish government liberated my mother from a concentration camp in December 1944. The Swedes and Danes saved quite a few Jews from Denmark and Norway. In 1948, I found out that my mother was alive and living in Stockholm. The Swedish government gave me a visa and a permit to reunite with my mother, and allowed us to settle in Sweden. We had a good life in Stockholm. I had a good job, went to school and made a lot of Swedish friends. Antisemitism existed but to a minimum. After seven years, I became a citizen. I can’t describe how happy and proud I was. I did military duty, too.
When the Cold War broke out, I had received a lucrative contract from a company in Malmo, and at the same time, my visa for Canada came through. I didn’t want to remain in Europe any longer, worrying if there would be a World War III. In 1954, I immigrated to Canada. When I was asked where I came from, with pride I answered, “Sweden.”
Now I am ashamed to answer Sweden to the question. Now I say I’m from Poland. It’s hard for me to understand how a country can change like that. Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, has been the site of some of the country’s highest-profile attacks on Jews in recent years. I was planning a trip to Stockholm, but I made a promise to myself never to return there. My best decision was to come to Canada.
* * *
Racism in the EU
The majority of Roma live in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria – all members of the European Union (“Roma centre distances itself from anti-Israel protest,” Oct. 18). The European Union budgeted 227.5 million Euros ($290 million Cdn) in aid for the Palestinian Authority in 2012. Why instead of disagreeing with our friend, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, doesn’t Bernie Farber, ex-CEO of the now-defunct Canadian Jewish Congress, make an issue with the European Union about the fact that vast amounts of money are not spent by the EU on improving the life of the Roma. Why doesn’t the EU forcefully condemn the racism within EU countries, instead of condemning the settlements in Judea and Samaria and the building of houses in Jerusalem? There is no doubt that the Canadian government is taking the correct step by not letting Canada become a dumping ground for made-in-Europe problems and allowing for easier extradition of failed refugee applicants to Canada.
Tibor Anshel Martine
* * *
Muslim leaders should condemn girl’s shooting
The shooting of 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai and two of her schoolmates by the Taliban is as disgusting an act as has ever been committed by Muslim extremists. Yousafzai was shot for speaking against the Taliban and for promoting education for girls. I know that once again, Muslims will say that the act was committed by radicals and does not reflect mainstream Muslim thinking or Islamic law. If the shooting is as abhorrent to Muslims as it is to others throughout the world, why have there not been statements from more Muslim leaders condemning the shooting or even a resolution brought by Arab states before the UN Security Council condemning the Taliban for this act and other outrageous attacks. The western world has a strange ally in Pakistan, which allows the Taliban and Al Qaeda to move about freely and, of course, even allowed the leader of Al Qaeda, the now-deceased Osama bin Laden, to live within a mile of a military base for five years. It’s time for Muslim religious and political leaders to once and for all, unequivocally, condemn as anti-Islam so-called religious riots and oppression of women, including forcing them to be circumcised and denying them an education. Then and only then will it be clear that mainstream Islam supports freedom of religion, freedom of choice and equality between men and women.