Fred Saberi

Is Freedom of Speech a thing of past?

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Recent events in a rich European Country, Sweden have risen to a question of how strongly a liberal society is moving towards rise of communism or totalitarians. There have been a few events, two of them makes the author wonder if there is a tendency towards extreme socialism;

  1. Aron Flam is a Swedish stand-up comedian, screenwriter, author, television host, podcaster, and actor. He is of Jewish origin and has spoken frequently on this in his stand-up comedy routines. He has recently published a book “This is a Swedish Tiger “. The book takes as it’s starting point the Swedish wartime propaganda slogan “A Swedish tiger,” which is a play on words – “tiger” in Swedish can mean the animal, but is also the present tense of the verb “to keep silent,” meaning that the slogan can also be read “a Swede keeps silent.”. The author explains that the “book reveals how Sweden’s social democrats managed to not only escape blame for its cooperation with Hitler’s Germany during the war. But also, how they got away with the gold, re-established contacts with other former allies of the Nazi’s, and silently rebuilt the world to suit their ends.”. The entire stock of the latest edition of the book was seized by prosecutor in Stockholm in the police raid, from the offices of the publisher Samizdat. In total some 2,200 books were seized, amounting to nearly 1.5 tonnes of printed material. The prosecutor claims the book is in infringement of copy right. This has been disputed by the author. Extractions from The Jerusalem Post. What does this really show? Sweden, a promoter of freedom of expression and human rights, who annually issues several declarations against violation of freedom of expression and human rights for other countries, and is one of its own critics of censorship and anti-freedom of expression. How is it possible to be both for and against of freedom of expression? According to many fans of this book and its author, this is a move against human rights and freedom of expression. A country that violates freedom of expression, does not have the authority to designate and issue a freedom of expression statement for other countries.
  2. On the other hand, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Linde, a feminist and Social Democrat strongly criticized Israel and continually preaching against Israel. She emphasised that The European Union’s response to Israel’s accession plans has been strong. But she does not want to address what the EU’s actions may be related to. The criticism has been met with mixed political reactions from Israel’s ambassador to Sweden and a number of high-ranking Swedish politicians. The question is why Ms. Anna Linde, when the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with its proxy forces, provided financial and missile assistance to the terrorist groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah in Lebanon, her political and feminist sentiments were not hurt and did not raise the issue in the EU?
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Just using these two events, it illustrates we are on a slippery slope, in a so-called liberal democracy society like Sweden. At this juncture of time and place we are gradually being dragged into a totalitarian society, whilst we think we are in a liberal democracy. Are there forces pushing our western society and values towards an extreme socialism / communism, without realising. Are we living in a world the anti-Semitism becoming a norm and politicians scoring points by populist criticism of state of Israel with or without any bases and logic? We in a free society need to question our politicians and some of the far-left media, which hold a lot of power with a sinister agenda. Freedom of speech is a right to any citizen of free world.

About the Author
Fred Saberi is a Swedish political analyst of Iranian origin interested in Middle East affairs.