August, 2023. On several occasions during the past summer and spring, as well as during the run-up to the previous elections, various individuals have sought attention by burning the Quran. This has sparked an intense debate in Sweden and even abroad as well.
These events have also led to polarization, with one side advocating for a ban againstthe burning of the Quran, while the other side considers it to fall under freedom of expression. This situation has, furthermore, become entangled with Sweden’s NATO membership application, with Turkey being one of the countries that has reacted strongly to the Quran burnings.
Communists do not choose one evil over another
In this polarized situation two main arguments stand in opposition to each other: one arguing for a ban and the other claiming freedom of expression. Wealign ourselves with neither side and consider both to be wrong.
Provocations like these must be condemned. They aim to put pressure on a group of people who are already vulnerable within Swedish society and to use this for political purposes. Behind the burnings are various sorts of fascists and right-wing extremists who, as always, seek to build their politics on incitement to hatred. However, far be it from us to call upon the bourgeois state, the ruling class’ state, to crack down on our opponents. The state under capitalism is the capitalists’ state, and the oppressed have nothing to gain from it. Were we to call on it in this situation, we would be creating illusions about the bourgeois state as a tool in the hands of the people, when reality is the exact opposite. Therefore, we say that all provocateurs and fascists must be isolated by the people themselves, that they should not be granted any platform for their provocations.
On the other hand, we do not recognize religion as a positive worldview but instead see its function within class society as a bridge between classes, as a veil over class contradictions. Our party’s ideology is based on science and materialism, not on faith and idealism. We do not share the worldview of the religious, but we assert their right to their faith and their right not to be harassed on account of it. Instead, we want to unveil reality for them, in which the ruling class always stands against the oppressed class, regardless of religion. We also want to join forces in struggle, regardless of religion.
The contradiction that is now being constructed further serves to obscure the class contradictions, which are then forced into the background, behind the contradiction between Muslims and non-Muslims. This only serves one group: the respective countries’ ruling classes. When the working people of one country see the working people of another country as their enemy, they do not see their real oppressors. Thus, what is happening now serves an important function and acts as a diversion, as while this happens the deterioration of ordinary people’s lives continues in all the affected countries.
We also clearly see how the Quran burnings are used by Swedish politicians to further restrict people’s rights. The government seeks to amend the Public Order Act so that the police must consider Sweden’s national security in assessing whether a demonstration should be authorized or not. This way, they can put a stop to the Quran burnings, but also gain a tool for future use. The changes to the Public Order Act are not unique and have been preceded by restrictions on journalists’ activities in Sweden and the new anti-terrorism laws. Thus the Quran burnings become a pretext for further restricting the rights of the working people of Sweden.
As communists, we assess all issues in relation to the class struggle and the struggle for socialism, and this issue is no exception. We do not accept the alternatives offered to us, where one side represents provocation and incitement, and the opposing position becomes the means to further attack our rights. We chart our own path based on the interests of the working people in Sweden and other countries, and we condemn all incitement and discrimination, as well as all attacks on our rights!
Communist Party of Sweden
Communist Youth of Sweden