Different reactions in a changing world

Our world is as so often in turmoil, which has several causes and effects and might be dealt with in various ways. On August 5th I wrote about the violent clashes in the USA and here in Sweden, and this text will also partly tackle these issues, but from some other perspectives. I wish that something can be done to at least prevent or constructively solve as much as possible, even though I know it sometimes is easier said than done.

In July 2012 at least seven people were killed and many wounded in an attack of a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a suburb to Milwaukee, USA. A man in his 30’s first shot a Sikh holy man and then went inside the temple to start shooting, before being killed by the local police force. No one knows yet why it happened, but it sounds likely that it’s some form of ethnic-religious hate crime.

We have had similar deeds here in Scandinavia too. Last summer the Norwegian citizen Anders Behring Breivik killed over 70 people, mostly youngsters, on the island of Utoya outside the Norwegian Capital Oslo and fired off a bomb outside the Government buildings killing some more. He had a profound hatred of the multi-cultural society, and a cold hearted psychopathic personality. Here in Malmoe, Sweden, a serial killer of mainly immigrants a couple of years ago, Peter Mangs, has recently been brought to justice and sentenced in court, but he had a very different personality than Bering-Breivik.

The local Jews in Malmoe are sometimes attacked, mainly with threats, hateful words etc. by groups who hate Jews. In May 2012 I told the Rabbi that I was so sorry about the attacks, which often are aimed at him personally as well as members of his congregation. He smiled when I told him so. Attacks also have been made at the Muslim mosque, and hate crimes such as these are now quite frequent. This has to stop!

Good efforts are made to try and solve hate crimes. Malmoe Municipality where I live has an intercultural-interreligious counsel where representatives from different departments of the Municipality, and different ethnic and religious groups frequently meet trying to find ways of co-operation, education and enlightenment. There are companies, non-profit organizations, theatres, churches, immigrant clubs, cultural/intercultural meetings and co-operations, as well efforts made to get people into jobs and find positive ways to meet down here. All this exists – thank Heavens, in contrast to all negative attitudes, prejudiced notions, and social problems.

Through the media we learn of many dramatic things that happen around the world. Violent fires devastating the central parts of the USA, like Oklahoma, etc. making a great number of people homeless. Here in Sweden too fires have destroyed the lives of people this summer. The civil war in Syria goes beyond description, and Greek authorities have hit down hard on illegal immigrants and refugees, “a necessity for the survival of the nation” according to Greek police. We live in a changing world. We will continue to see violent clashes and uprisings, but I hope from the bottom of my heart that more people will come to their senses. Instead of focusing on our outer differences and animosity at least try to see what we can do to find new jobs and forms of co-operation … For all our sakes. We need it!

//Anders Moberg

November 8th 2012

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