Most of us are familiar with the mindset of the monoculture that is Islam, so there is no new story to be told there. One can already predict what will happen when a camera is placed before some Muslims who want to share all about Islam. You get a load full of fluffy PC stories that show just how wonderful life is, in the religion of the madman from the Arabian desert. Move on.
The Local reports on Halal-TV, and the controversy surrounding the commentators in the program. But I believe the most interesting part in the story is about the journalist sitting on the couch, Carl Hamilton, a columnist from the Left-wing rag, Aftonbladet, who got a rude awakening from his hosts of the show. Two of the women the columnist tried to shake hands with refused his outstretched hand.
“In one of the segments, Awad and El Khabiry refuse to shake the hand of Aftonbladet newspaper columnist Carl Hamilton, electing instead to greet the guest by putting their hands on their chests, leaving Hamilton’s extended hand hanging in the air and prompting a sharp exchange.“I’m sorry, you ought to shake my hand,” said Hamilton, according to a transcript published in the Expressen newspaper.“That’s something I decide,” replied El Khabiry.“No, I don’t think so!” Hamilton shot back.The war of words escalated when Azzam Kassem then asked Hamilton what he thought a Swede who had converted to Islam ought to do.“He should shake hands when in Sweden. If he can’t manage that then he can go live in a cave and be a hermit,” said Hamilton.“It’s about how we live as Swedes. That’s how we socialize, we shake hands. It’s not we who are the problem. The problem is that you come here and don’t want to shake hands, so it’s actually you who are the problem.”“We didn’t come here. I was born here,” El Khabiry reminded Hamilton.Writing about the incident on Tuesday in a column in Aftonbladet, Hamilton asked, “Is it racist to want to shake hands with a Muslim?”He further vented his frustration at not being told at the time that the exchange had been recorded, highlighting what he saw as the central issue behind the handshake controversy.“Who should adapt to whom? For the hosts of Halal-TV, the answer is obvious. The handshaking majority in Sweden should adapt themselves to the Muslim-believing-non-handshaking minority,” he writes.“I don’t have a problem with faithful Muslims or others who don’t want to shake hands. On the other hand I have a hard time understanding people who think that I’m discriminating against them because I want to greet them as most people are greeted in Sweden.”