Hos skandinaver og mange andre europeere har det gjennom flere tiår vært en utbredt forståelse at Midtøsten er et urolig sted — av og til farlig. Dette i motsetning til våre egne samfunn. Selv ikke 22/7, selvmordsbomberen i Stockholm eller terrorplanlegging ser ut til å forandre vesentlig på dette.
Kan det gjøre noe med vår realitetsorientering og selvforståelse når noen snur på flisa?
Sist november tildelte den svenske komiteen mot antisemittisme den såkalte ELSA-prisen til den unge muslimen Siavosh Derakhti i Malmø for hans utrettelige innsats i organisasjonen Unge muslimer mot antisemittisme.
I en kommentar til Times of Israel sier han følgende:
Derakhti, 21, acknowledges that the road he has chosen is not the easiest. “I know what I’m doing is dangerous, but I know it’s also good, and receiving the Elsa Award helped confirm this,” he told The Times of Israel by phone.
A lifelong resident of Malmo, Derakhti was shocked when he first learned about anti-Semitism in the city, Sweden‘s third-largest and the site of regular anti-Semitic attacks and intimidation.
With an estimated 1,500 Jews among an overall population of 300,000, Malmo has also gained a reputation as the scene of some of the most hostile anti-Israel demonstrations in Europe in recent years. The city’s mayor, Ilmar Reepalu, has been criticized for blaming Jews for attacks against them, saying they must distance themselves from Israel. He was also forced to apologize for claiming, perversely, that they have ties to the country’s anti-Semitic far right.
“I found out Jews are fleeing Malmo, that they feel scared and unsafe on the streets,” says Derakhti, who is studying to be a youth worker at Malmo University and Folkhögskola Hvilan college, both in southern Sweden. “And then I thought that something needs to be done. We can’t keep on letting this happen — not in a country like Sweden, and not in my hometown of Malmo.”
For en israelsk avisleser kan det altså være Malmø som får den tvilsomme æren av å fremstå som farlig, takket være en observant og kommunikativ person på stedet som bruker både øynene og hodet — og aksepterer risikoen.
Man får ellers enda en bekreftelse på at mennesker i Vesten ikke nødvendigvis er de flinkeste til å dra kjensel på truslene mot friheten og innse at disse er uakseptable:
“My parents fled from dictatorship so their children could grow up in a peaceful place and experience democracy, and then to come to a country where there is hate, discrimination and racism on our streets, this is not acceptable. Something must be done,” Derakhti says.
Derakhti decided to educate his fellow Swedes about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust after learning not only how little his high school classmates knew, but that his school, Malmös Latinskola, was not trying to change the situation.
“In 25 years, they hadn’t invited any Holocaust survivors, and then they wonder how there are so many people who deny the Holocaust or don’t know a lot,” Derakhti says.