Wednesday, October 18th | 28 Tishri 5778

Close

Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

Subscribe
October 15, 2013 2:42 pm

Christian Reporter Disguised as a Jew in Malmö, Sweden: Wearing Kippah Made Me Fearful

avatar by Zach Pontz

Email a copy of "Christian Reporter Disguised as a Jew in Malmö, Sweden: Wearing Kippah Made Me Fearful" to a friend

The synagogue in Malmö, Sweden. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Malmö, Sweden has become a hotbed for anti-Semitism.

In 2010 the Simon Wiesenthal Centre  issued a travel warning for Malmö urging “extreme caution.” A year later a Hollywood film company scrapped plans to shoot a Jewish themed movie in the city because of concerns about anti-Semitism there. In 2012 Swedish police recorded 60 hate crimes against Jews, up from an average of 22 in 2010 and 2011, and during the first six months of 2013, police reported 35 such attacks in Malmö, putting the city on pace to break last year’s record.

All of this, plus a letter to the editor from a Jewish reader in America, expressing hesitation over visiting Sweden because of its much reported anti-Semitism, inspired a Christian reporter at Sweden’s The Local newspaper to spend a day in the shoes of a Jew , wearing a kippah and exploring the Muslim-populated immigrant neighborhoods of the city.

“The idea,” journalist Patrick Reilly wrote in The Local, “was to go about my normal day and also visit places which a potential tourist may go to, albeit with one major difference – the kippah clipped to the back of my head,” while avoiding more dangerous flashpoints on the outskirts of the city.

Related coverage

October 1, 2017 8:23 pm
7

Catalonia Independence Activist: Jewish Community Split Over Secession Vote

The Jewish community in Catalonia is “heavily split” on the question of possible independence for the region of northeast Spain,...

Before embarking on his quest, Reilly sought advice from chef Shmuel Goldberg, who, as a kippah wearing Jew regularly exposes himself to possible violence.

“Don’t do anything you wouldn’t ordinarily do. Be careful as at times it can be unpleasant,” he advised Reilly.

Reilly’s first stop was MöllevÃ¥ngen, “the bohemian quarter of Malmö with a bustling fruit and veg market manned largely by immigrants by day and pubs serving cheap beer by night.”

“On several occasions people stopped and looked back at me with a mixture of disbelief and menace,” Reilly reports.

One vendor laughed at Reilly on two separate occasions, going so far as to invite a colleague over to observe him.

Reilly’s friend who he employed to shadow him in case of escalation reported that a gang of men were “staring solidly at [Reilly] for 30 minutes.”

“After a while I began to forget I was wearing the kippah until a burly man walked aggressively in my direction and mouthed ‘f*cking Jew’ to his friend. It was a reminder that making your Jewish identity in Malmö obvious carries its own risk. Frankly, it was a relief to take it off,” he wrote.

“As an Irish person abroad,” Reilly concludes, “I’ve never felt remotely threatened but wearing the kippah for a few hours was enough to instill feelings of fear. Even when I didn’t feel afraid I was made to feel different and unwelcome.”

Yet, Reilly notes that the city does not lurch silently on an inexorable path towards another Kristallnacht.

“But it would be wrong to leave with the impression, as many on the other side of the Atlantic seem to have done, that anti-Semitism is going unchallenged in Malmö. Indeed, the reports of anti-Semitism have led to much soul-searching,” he wrote. “‘Kippah walks’ involving hundreds of Malmö residents and other Swedes are held on a regular basis to show support for the city’s Jewish community, which is estimated to have dwindled to 600 people.”

He also writes that new Malmö mayor Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh “said she was keen to mend relations with the Jewish community and promised to do more to tackle hate crime.”

“I think we started a debate which is very important by focusing on hate crime. Even a single one is one too much,” she said in a previous interview with his newspaper.

“Let’s be clear. Beyond stares and a mindless insult, nothing truly serious happened when I wore the kippah for a few hours,” Reilly writes. “But enough unsavory incidents have occurred in Malmö to suggest that something could have happened.”

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • Fred Phelps

    GOD HATES MALMO

  • Breivik

    It is horrible what is happening. The only solution is to take everyone living in Malmö and stuffing them into the gas chambers! HEIL!

  • Daisy cortez

    I worked i Israel for almost 6 years and i dont think Jewish people deserve to be harass in Malmö. I cannot understand why those muslims are acting like they own the place (malmö) despite they know that most of them are just supported by swedish govt. They act like they can do what they want they so arrogant.

  • TO: PETER ROSSLER THE REASON THEY ACCOMMODATED THE GERMAN YOUTH WAS AND IS BECAUSE THE SWEDES , THE AUSTRIANS , NORTHERN ITALIANS, AND OTHER SURROUNDING COUNTRIES ARE OF GERMANIC ANCESTRY AND THEY WELL KNOW IT ,QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN WAS AUSTRIAN SAME PLACE HITLER CAME FROM SHE INSTITUTED THE SPANISH INQUISITION, HITLER THE THE ATTEMPTED EXTERMINATION OF US.GO BACK IN HISTORY TO WHEN EUROPE WAS MADE OF THE TEN TRIBES SPOKEN OF IN THE PROPHESY OF DANIEL AND REALLY FIND OUT WHO IS WHO.. THE ROMAN EMPEROR CONSTANTIN IN THE 4TH CENTURY, {THE FIRST SELF APPOINTED POPE}CALIGULA {LITTLE BOOTS} WHO LIT ROME WITH THE BODIES OF JEWISH CHRISTIANS WAS GERMAN. ETC.ETC.ETC.. HISTORY ALL THE WAY BACK IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT TO OUR YOUTH . TRANSPARENCY TO THE FULLEST CAN BE UNSETTLING TO MOST .THAT IS WHY THE POE IS GUARDED BY SWISS GUARDS WHOSE ANCESTRY HAS TO CLEAR OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF BLOOD PURITY AND ARE DISGUISED AS SPANISH SOLDIERS.JOKE IS ON THE WORLD MY FRIEND….

  • The Swedes should do what the Danes did in WWII. They all wore yellow stars to protect the Jewish citizens there. Every Swede should wear a kippah and tell the Muslims to assimilate or go home.

  • RMM

    To DJ:

    You gotta lotta courage, pal! Please be careful: Jews still get hit on th’ head for wearing kippot in “public”. (It depends on where you live!) Just don’t risk your life!

    But hey…THANK YOU!!!

  • RMM

    -Are there no “reasonable” Muslims in the world? Are they all anti-Jew, anti-Christian, anti every goddam thing except their own MUSLIM RELIGION?

    A lot of people are getting pretty FED UP with all this “LOOK AT MEEE…PAY ATTENTION TO MEEE…I;M MUSLIM!!! WE HIDE OUR WOMEN BEHIND VEILS.

  • Ethan Coane

    Is it any wonder that even in the famously open and tolerant cultures of Scandinavia and the Netherlands the influx of immigrants from Muslim cultures has introduced not only violence towards Jews but also to any Muslim who deviates from Islamic orthodoxy. Should anyone be surprised at an anti-immigrant backlash that has arisen in those countries as well as Great Britain, France, and Germany, and other European countries where these immigrants have settled?

  • RMM

    This is truly scary as hell. Where do G-d-believing people: Christians, Jews, and every one else who still, in this lunatic world we live in, believe in a God – whatever HIS/HER/ITS name is, go to live in peace and security? I, too, an American Jew, naively thought that Sweden was safe for EVERYone. ..even Jews.

    Guess i wuz wrong.

  • Nat Schmelzer

    Recall that when a Swedish daily published an article accusing Israel of kidnapping Palestinian children and selling their organs, a spokesman for the Swedish Embassy in Israel offered a rebuttal. Soon after, the Swedish foreign minister retracted the rebuttal and asserted that the the original report was correct.

    • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

      Israel would never under any circumstances kidnap children and sell their body parts on. However, I wouldn’t put it beyond the Arabs – if there is money in it they will do it. And why, because an infadel’s child is worthless, under the Ottoman Empire Islam kidnapped both women and children for the Harem the children to do the menial work the Arabs would not do. Is this not where Molech comes from?

  • arnold powell

    First the Jews, the belle weather of democracy, then the Christians and homosexuals, then the majority of more moderate muslims followed by Sharia law, women banned from education, and a Talleban ban on civil liberties, even music etc.
    Sounds very familiar doesn’t it; so reminiscent of the Nazi rise to power in the 1930’s with a vast moderate majority looking on and doing nothing until it was too too late. When will we humans ever learn to identify where the path of racial intolerance leads?

  • DJ

    Excellent idea by my fellow Irishman – I wish more of our Western European media would highlight the unacceptable face of Islam. On a personal front, I occasionally wear an Israel T shirt at a gym in my part of Dublin which has a high Muslim population (It’s a Nike T shirt with the word “Israel” on the front). I wear it to show my solidarity with Israel (I am not Jewish). However I get some shocked stares from the Muslims who frequent the facility. Well, they need to know that Israel does have some friends. A Swedish friend has invited me to visit his country. I hope that time will permit me to do a kippah walk in Malmo!

    • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

      DJ As an Italian married to a Swede living in Ireland I am proud to read an Irishman has undertaken this research. The last article I read about an event in Sweden referred to a Swedish Mother of two raped by 12 Afghani Muslims six men at a time plus two others treating her head and face as a urinal and ejaculation. The last line in the article stated ‘If we deport them we will be accused of being racist’? Sweden has a lot to learn about radical Islam. Sweden values are not Islamic values and the two will never exist simultaneously in Sweden. One of the reasons I have moved to North West Republic of Ireland bearing in mind all of Ireland’s problems, is in Ireland the population is mostly Christian Catholic and I feel safer here than in UK, Sweden or many other parts of Europe with a high Islamic population. Sadly the SFR have just funded a 45 million Islamic complex in Northern Dublin to accommodate 60,000 Muslims a high % in a population of 4.5 million Catholic and Secular Irish residents.

  • Hatred by Muslims cannot and should be called ‘anti Semitic’ BUT ‘anti Jews’ because many of the Muslims are Arabs who themselves are SEMITES!

    Their hatred is NOT based on knowledge, logic or experience with Jews but only on the hundreds of anti Jewish (as well as anti Christian) verses that fill the pages of the Quran
    For those who do not know read Quran chapter 9, verses 29, 30, 31 as well as many others.

    Muslims are taught in their mosques and their schools (Madrassas) to HATE all those who are NOT Muslims.

    They are taught NOT to accept any Western law or constitution because it is not from Allah and hence not Sharia

    This WHY Muslims must not, cannot and will not assimilate and or integrate in ANY western society

    They are the enemies WITHIN!

    IQ al Rassooli
    Kafir & Proud!

    • A Zionist

      Oh dear! The statement that as Arabs are Semites they cannot be anti-semitic! It was the anti-semite, Wilhelm Marr who wanted to make Jew-hatred intellectually respectable. Although he failed, the term went “viral”. Anti-semitism, therefore, is not hatred of “Semites”, but hatred of Jews, that is, the Jews-in-fantasy of the anti-Semite. The definition of anti-Semitism is the irrational hatred of Jews.
      Hitler recognised the difference between hatred of Jews and hatred against Semites by making sure their Arab collaborators knew that the Nazis were anti-Jews. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini was a guest of Hitler from 1941 in Berlin where he met Hitler, Himmler and Eichman. Together they worked out a plan to exterminate all the Jews in the Middle East. The Arabs also ensured that the British prevented Holocaust survivors from landing in Palestine.
      Thus claiming that Arabs cannot be anti-Semitic because they are also “Semites” is a piece of semantic nonsense that is much employed today, along with the fatuous claim that Israel was created as the result of Western “guilt” over the Holocaust.

      • MARK BRECKER, ESQ.

        “Anti-Semitic” is a term I’ve objected to for reasons contained both in Mr. Rasooli’s and “Zionist”‘ posts. [I don’t think the former was stating that Arabs, being fellow Semites, could not hate Jews.] But given that Arabs constitute 80% of the Semitic population of the world, using that broad brush term leads one to fall into a trap [Jews and my fellow Ethiopians constitute the other 20%.]
        EQUALLY/MOVEOVER, the sanitization of Jew hatred by referring to it as Anti-semitic behaviour diminishes its nastiness as well as the moral imperative to fight it.
        Musa el-Mousaouis

      • RMM

        To “A Zionist” for his historical and clear reply. I was just a child in the early 30’s but remember Hitler, the ANTI JEW very well. Though my family were American-born for over three generations before me – on both paternal/maternal sides, I remember anti-Semitism (anti-Jewish) attitudes very well even when I was young as seven years old. We even discussed it and what was happening in Europe in my public school in Philadelphia, in 2nd and 3rd grades.

    • Vivienne Leijonhufvud

      My first trip to Sweden was 23 years ago. Muslims were in the minority many from Iraq and Afghanistan and all with small children from zero up to ten on average? There was possibly one Mosque in a rough suburb of Stockholm. On driving through the suburb one could see who inhabited the neighborhood judging from the filth, litter and left over food on the streets,and vermin. Sweden promotes hygienic standards of living, offering twice the facilities in Public lavatories to wash ones hands. The toilet cubicle provides a small hand basin and the main cloakroom area larger washing facilities. 1992 People were well and clean! Malmo was a port across to Denmark as Stockholm is to Russia and the Baltic nations. Gotteburg primarily commercial. Jewish Swedes have always considered themselves Swedish first, Jewish next. Jews of Sweden are proud of our beautiful synagogues built in the Sephardic style as above, in this article. Jews have lived in Sweden for more than 300 years, largely coming from Russia, Lithuania, and other Baltic nations. The one thing I will say about modern Sweden today is the self righteous arrogant attitude of the generation born from 1939 onwards. Certain Swedes hold grudges i.e. among the aristocracy – a Bernadot (French Napoleonic period) was killed in Israel before Israel was formerly founded. The Bernadot’s are now the Swedish Royal Family. It was muted around this time that Mozambique might be offered to the Jews rather than Israel? So I sincerely hope the occasional Swede sees this comment and thinks about how the grudge of the aristocracy has brought upon Sweden the scurge of Islam. Sweden’s greater population grew tired of the stranglehold of the aristocracy. A quiet revolution has led to the ridiculous situation in Sweden today. God help the LGBTI community in Sweden in the coming years with such a high concentration of Islamists growing all the time.

    • Carl

      Agree with your main points. However, the term “anti-Semitism” refers exclusively to the hatred of Jews. It has nothing to do with Semitic people in general. For the record, many Jews are not Semitic (Scandanavian Jews residing in Sweden who are the subject of this article, for example).

  • Peter Rossler

    I am Prague-born Jewish Holocaust survivor living in Australia; I was happily married for 40 years to Pauline, a wonderful non-Jewish lady, now deceased. She had told me about her experience in Malmo, which she visited with her sister in 1950.Thy tried to spend the night in the local youth-hostel, they told them they were Australian. “Sorry, we are full”. Next they noticed that they readily accommodated German youth.
    In desperation they called the local police and a kind policeman invited them to spend the night in his house.
    It is strange that Malmo is anti-Semitic today, was anti-Australian and pro-German in 1950 – probably just a coincidence.

    • E. Dacey-Fondelius

      I have made reservations at youth hostels. Perhaps the Germans had made reservations. Clearly the police opening his home to strangers in need is as much an indication that Malmö was not “Anti-Australian”

  • vivarto

    “wearing a kippah and exploring the Muslim-populated immigrant neighborhoods of the city.”

    Should be
    wearing a kippah and exploring the Muslim-infested immigrant neighborhoods of the city.

  • martin

    when the Muslims come,The mosques go up and the bombs go off!..thats the simple facts of life..

  • Pat Bresler

    Dear Zach, my daughter moved from Houston, Texas to Stockholm in 1998. I have been there many times to visit. My interest was peeked by “The Local” because it was published by ex-pats in English and it was a way for me to keep up with news in Sweden. I am very aware as to how badly the Jews have been treated in Malmo. Many Jews have been driven out of the beautiful city.
    What you failed to mention was that it wasn’t the Swedes that put Patrick’s life in jeopardy or at the very least uncomfortable. I will say it for you. It was the Muslims that are anti-Semetic.
    BTW, Malmo is pronounced as it looks. If you put the two dots over the o it becomes Malmuh. No need for the dots.
    Shalom,
    Pat

  • Ben Dover

    Mr Reilly had a taste of being in “the sights” of Jew-haters. In Melbourne, Australia, one of our rabbis encouraged his congregation to wear a kippah in the street. A wonderful idea to show you are Jewish! However, there are some no-go areas here; caution is better than making the news. Like the rest of Europe, the local Christian populations will taste Islamic hatred but, it will be too late for them also.

    Ben Dover

  • aviwen39@gmail.com

    It’s the same all over

  • Wayne G

    Why the anti-Christian spiel?

  • artcohn

    Malmo is the location of Lund University, an outstanding university. What has been the response of the academic community to this disgusting hate-Jew behavior?

  • Fred

    Yes, sadly Sweden used to be the salvage island for Jews during the NAZI period. Now like many other European countries a haven for Arab & Middle Eastern hate mongering “welfare refugees”.

  • Efram Paul

    60 hate crimes out of a population of 600? 10% hate crimes?

  • Ronit Fraid

    It doesn’t matter…because it will be a Muslim state within a short while, there will be no more Jewish souls there..and the Swedes have really brought it upon themselves. Good-bye Europe, hello Eurabia.

    • Steve Marks

      Yes. Bye bye Europe. Hello Eurabia. Damn sad that Christian Europe has become a an Islamic haven.

  • Anthony dayton

    Courageous reporter deserves thanks

Algemeiner.com