Monday, November 12, 2007

Swedish Post Office Refuses to Handle a Modoggie

Ted Ekeroth is a party leader of a local branch of Sverigedemokraterna (the Sweden Democrats, an anti-immigration political party). He just sent me this translation of an article from today’s edition of Sydsvenskan:

The Post Office refuses to deliver party paper

A ModoggieThe Post Office refuses to deliver the Sweden Democrats’ party paper in Svedala [outside Malmö]. The reason is that Lars Vilks rondellhund is pictured in the papers. The Post Office fears that the mailmen could be threatened.

“Pathetic,” says Tom Thörnqvist, the Sweden Democrats’ chairman in the municipality.

4,200 units of the paper SD-Kuriren should be delivered in Svedala as one step in a election campaign. SD in Svedala is first in line and more SD-departments are to follow.

Tom Thörnquist contacted the customer service of the Post Office and was informed that one example of the paper had to be sent to the main office so that the content could be approved.

Today, Monday, he was informed that the Post Office is afraid that employees could be threatened or assaulted because a drawing of the rondellhund by Lars Vilks is printed on page 5.

“The Post Office is bowing down to Muslim extremists when they are too afraid to hand out a paper that is approved in Sweden. The next step is for us to deliver it ourselves,” he says.
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As a rule, the Post Office will always hand out political material when there is no racial incitement or other law-breaking content. The Justice Chancellor Göran Lambertz has said that Vilks drawing is not even a borderline case of hets mot folkgrupp [incitement to racial hatred].

But the Post Office has nonetheless made the judgment that it could be a security risk to deliver the paper.

“We are careful with our employees’ safety. This drawing has triggered reactions that have led to death threats,” says the press spokesperson for the Post Office, Per Ljungberg.

He also says that the decision should not be interpreted as a ban of materials from the Sweden Democrats in the future. But this number of SD-Kuriren with the Vilks drawing will not be delivered as unaddressed direct commercial.


For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.

7 comments:

Alien Anthropologist said...

Surely for the Post Office to claim that Muslims are so violent that merely seeing a cartoon could cause them to murder postmen is an 'incitement to racial hatred' (since Islam is now apparently a race)?

Paul Green said...

This is not the first time Sverigedemokraterna has gotten crosswise with the Swedish government over caricatures of “The Prophet.” It will be recalled that during the Motoon affair last year their Web site was shut down at the behest of the SAPO security service, and the Swedish foreign minister later had to resign after lying about her involvement in the matter.

carpenter said...

Paul Green:
You're partly right
Laila Freivalds, then foreign minister, sent a letter to Yemen's government, in which she apologized over the publication, but the letter was made public long after her resignation. She also had a role in the closedown of Sverigedemokraterna's homepage.
That is of course reason enough to resign (imagine if the U.S. equivalence Condoleeza Rice had done the same thing!) but the more decisive reason for Freivald's resignation was because of her extremely bad work on the Tsunami-catastrophy three years ago (in which over 600 Swedish tourists in Thailand died.) Her bad work had been debated for over a year. And at last, she couldn't remain foreign minister.
She has also had the post as minister of justice, a post she had to resign from in 2000 because of her conversion of a flat from a right of tendancy into a tenant-ownership (which by them, and still at present, is against the Swedish Social-Democrats' policies)
Thus, she is the only one in Sweden's history who has resigned from a minister post twice.

Laila Freivalds, dirty social-democrat and part of the sosseadel (sosse=pejorative abbreviation of socialdemokrat, adel=nobility)

Kafir Canada said...

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." But fatwas on the other hand...

Paul Green said...

Carpenter:

Many thanks for your elucidation. Always glad to learn more about European matters, which too often are somewhat opaque to us on this side of the pond.

tacky said...

as a postal worker in Sweden I would not feel comfortable in delivering unaddressed mail with this content. And considering that the Muslim population in city in question is slim to none I really do not see Muslims as the problem. There are a great deal of opinionated people around, who will scold you or God forbid even do something worse for this kind of trespass.and you cannot tell a person's opinion in the matter by looking at the colour of their mailbox.

Magnus Andersson said...

tacky: So we actually are in a position in Sweden where criticism against Islam can't be delivered?!

The freedom of speech don't exists anymore?!

I think this is a new situation (maybe gradually since about a decade ago?) and has to be challenged with good example, even if it's takes some courage. (The situation will only get more and more serious if nothing is done.)

According to our (formal) freedom of speech (the law!) I think the Swedish Post Ofice shall do anything in its power to fulfill our law -- our democracy.

But I guess a problem can be that Muslims in the local Post Offices may be aggressive about criticism on Islam. But efforts from the Swedish Post Office and/or the authorities to fulfill the delivery duty of our democracy should be made!! I'm afraid there's no one suggesting such efforts. After all we Swedes has become a people without spine.