New Dissertation makes the news

When Mosa Sayed, researcher at the Faculty of Law at Uppsala University, defended his thesis, “Islam och arvsrätt i det mångkulturella Sverige. En internationellt privaträttslig och jämförande studie” (“Islam and inheritence law in multicultural Sweden”) it was spoken about as controversial already, and as a result the hall was packed and had to be guarded by watchmen. Even so the disputation ran without interruptions.

Dr. Sayed himself says the dissertation is to be considered a contribution to the debate of multiculturalism in Sweden.

In a response, well known debater on Islam related subjects Dilsa Demirbag-Stan says Sayed is pleading for the introduction of Shari’a inheritance laws for Muslims in Sweden – and this, she states, would give women half the inheritance of men. “Eager to express their sympathy for multiculturalism, the faculty of law in Uppsala have let Sayed’s sniper-shooting at the Swedish constitution and the citizen’s equal rights pass as law.”

In a response to Demirbag-Sten, Torbjörn Andersson – Dean of the Faculty of Law at Uppsala University – states that “Sayed’s thesis is a pioneering work in a field in need of exchange of opinions and research, but which also is charged with political tension. To discuss multi- and mono-cultural value structures, equality issues, and people need to be able to arrange their family affairs in a predictable way, requires nuance and objectivity. Sayed shoulders his responsibility.”

Muslim stereotypes in Swedish media

In Dagens Nyheter (independent) journalist and writer Dilsa Demirbag-Sten claims Swedish media is promoting stereotypical representations of Muslims, and confusing Muslims and Islam. Islam gets to be represented by what she says to be “Islamist” images, because “secular, cultural and atheist Muslims don’t show enough an interest in religion”. By letting Islamists represent Islam – Swedish politicians and media help empower non-democratic forces within society – Demirbag-Sten claims.

The same day Svenska Dagbladet (independent moderate/conservative) published a feature on Muslim diversity in Sweden. Ten Muslims of different denominations (Sufi, feminist-atheist, convert, secular, traditionalist, etc.) talk about their relations to Islam.

Svenska Dagbladet acknowledged the problem, and states that Muslim diversity needs better representation in the daily news.