A fantastic Kurdish wedding – but with a question about a bad moon rising
I had a great time and felt very emotional. During the last year I have become very close friends with Sukran (the bride) and Shoresh (the groom), and I really enjoyed all the wonderful traditions and the fantastic Kurdish hospitality. [Thanks for the photo Claes]
It was a great night, and I did not intend to blog about this since it was a nice, private evening. But one conversation I had at the wedding worries me, and made me change my mind. A Kurdish man walked up to me and said: “Are you social democrats ready to handle the Liberal party [folkpartiet] this time? I am sure they will play the race card again and try to get populist votes”.
The history in short: In the election campaign of 2002, folkpartiet put forward a proposal suggesting that foreigners must pass a Swedish language test in order to gain citizenship. A very populist idea, some would say xenophobic, that tripled their share of the votes.
Yesterday, during a televised political debate, the leader of folkpartiet (Lars Leijonborg) got a question from a young man. He asked if his mother, who has been living (and cleaning) in Sweden for some 20 years, must pass a language test in order to gain citizenship.
Mr. Leijonborg said yes, in a roundabout way. That scared me, and I still don’t have an answer to the question I got at the wedding. What do we do when a former Liberal party, like folkpartiet, uses their Liberal credentials to put forward populist proposals that would start dividing people into groups depending on where they are born?
Is a test about Swedish traditions and colonial history their next step? What do we do?