Gothenburg City Theatre has defended its decision to continue showing a controversial play, whose writer and director says aims to “humanize” Islamic terrorists after a terror attack struck Sweden last week.
Breitbart Still showing at the theatre, the play Jihadisten tells the story of a young Muslim man in Sweden who heads to Syria to join a terrorist organisation, after being “slowly radicalized”. Its writer and director Johan Gry told SVT last month: “The aim [of the play] is to humanize the terrorist, so to speak, and we are daring to show how he is a human being.”
Going on to equate people who lack sympathy for Islamic terrorists with Islamic State and similar Muslim extremist groups, he said: “For if we are not brave enough to do that, then we dehumanize this person in the same way as [Islamic terrorists] dehumanize their victims. “If we cannot understand, or try to understand these people, we will not be able to do anything about the problem.”
After it premiered in Gothenburg at the end of March, the play gathered criticism from several figures in Sweden. Robert Hannah, a member of Swedish parliament with an Assyrian and Christian Iraqi background, said the play ‘romanticizes’ Islamic terror and makes excuses for genocide.
But despite the work’s controversy, Gothenburg City Theatre’s artistic director Pontus Stenshäll said Jihadisten is more important than ever following Friday’s deadly truck attack in Stockholm, the alleged perpetrator of which had posted Islamic State propaganda on Facebook and ‘liked’ pictures of casualties after the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013.
“Islamic terrorism is a terrible and serious problem that we need to discuss,” he told SVT, confirming the play’s content will remain unchanged following the Stockholm terror attack.
After the truck attack in Stockholm, Greater Gothenburg police chief Erik Nord said Sweden should be able to deport Muslim migrants who vocalise support for “violent extremism”.
But Justice Minister Morgan Johansson slapped down the suggestion and demanded the police chief “explain himself”. Defending the right of extremists to stay in Sweden, the Social Democratic party politician pointed to the nation’s “freedom of speech”, but added that this doesn’t include “hate speech”.
Johansson also warned that Muslim terrorists could risk “persecution” in their homelands, if they were deported.
Interview with a Muslim living in Sweden who supports ISIS and the imposition of Islam, by force if necessary, on every country. Interviewer is an ex-Muslim.