A political activist in Sweden wants to draw attention to rising anti-Semitism—by filing for asylum in her own country.
Jewish-Swedish advocate Annika Hernroth-Rothstein, a mother of two, says moves like increasing neo-Nazi marches, a ban on kosher slaughter, and proposals to outlaw ritual circumcision have garnered a hostile environment for her nation’s Jewish population.
Hernroth-Rothstein shined light on the problem by filing for asylum in the Swedish courts on Monday.
In an article for Mosaic Magazine, the 31-year-old explained exactly why she made the decision.
“Absurd? No doubt. I can only expect that my application will be summarily dismissed. But the situation is beyond absurdity, beyond op-eds and strongly worded letters of protest. The situation calls for action. I would like to think that in making this statement, I am fighting on behalf of Swedish Jewry as a whole for the right to live a religious life, to preserve our cultural identity, and to be who we are without fear of persecution—the same rights enshrined in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed in the Swedish constitution. Is Sweden, is Europe as a whole, truly no longer willing to enforce its own standards of justice where European Jews are concerned?
“A month ago, I sought out the parliamentarian responsible for the latest anti-kosher bill and others like it. Feeling at once sad, lonely, and furious, I told him that instead of churning out all these different measures, each one aimed at outlawing yet another aspect of Jewish life, it would be much easier to write a single bill outlawing Jews. At least that would be honest. When he protested, I ended up arguing with him over the kashrut bill for almost twenty minutes, giving him the facts until, unable to refute me, he turned bright red in the face, leaned in, and said: “Well, you know us. This thing you call multiculturalism. All of that. We don’t want it. Not here. Not in our country.”
“I was startled, but also relieved. Finally, some truth.”
Read Hernroth-Rothstein’s full op-ed here.