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Moira Uggla: ”Sometimes you have to make a choice”

Just think how many times you make choices every day. It starts as soon as you wake up - should I get up now, or should I lie for just another few minutes in my cosy bed? It can be hard to choose on a dark winter morning!
Kristianstad • Publicerad 20 februari 2023
Detta är en personligt skriven text i Mosaik Kristianstadsbladet. Åsikter som uttrycks är skribentens egna.
Moira Uggla, översättare, krönikör mm Kb Mosaik
Moira Uggla, översättare, krönikör mm Kb MosaikFoto: Victor Lindstammer

Then you have to choose what to wear - that nice sweater that isn't really warm enough, or the old thick one that keeps you warm even in a cold, draughty room? Once you're dressed, you must decide what to have for breakfast - a proper meal with yoghurt, an egg, some toast, and fruit, as recommended by the experts, or simply a quick cup of coffee? Should you listen to the radio while you eat, or watch TV, or read Kristianstadsbladet? So many choices already, all before you've even left the house. And so it goes on, all day.

From a broader perspective all these choices are fairly trivial, even though they are important for the individual. And you can change your mind as often as you please. You may get a sour comment that your sweater and your jeans don't match - but the choice is yours, and doesn't concern anyone else.

It's more difficult when it comes to the more important questions. There are unfortunately people who imagine they have the right to decide how other people should behave. This attitude arises in questions of language and religion, for example.

How many people maintain, for instance, that if you live in Sweden, you should speak Swedish? No discussions. Then they go off to Spain and live there for a while among other Swedes with a similar outlook , speaking Swedish all the time, living more or less as at home in Sweden, but with a better climate, without making the slightest effort to try to 'be Spanish'. Of course there are exceptions, but too many do not seem to understand that their attitude is contradictory.

The business of learning Swedish is not entirely easy. The language itself is very different from the languages often spoken by immigrants, they have nothing to 'hang up' their new knowledge on, to use as a support in learning the new language.And then there's the alphabet. I'd bet my bottom dollar that there aren't many ordinary native Swedes who can read a text in Arabic without any problems!

Värre blir det när det gäller de större frågorna. Det finns tyvärr människor som tror sig ha rätten att bestämma över hur andra ska ha det.
Värre blir det när det gäller de större frågorna. Det finns tyvärr människor som tror sig ha rätten att bestämma över hur andra ska ha det.Foto: Henrik Montgomery/TT

As for religion, there are very few people who have actively chosen which one to follow. You are born into a family, and are brought up in the faith the family believes in. Quarrelling, or even fighting, about a religion you haven't chosen for yourself is a strange way to express your freedom. And the world's main religions seem to have much more in common than what divides them.

And then we have Rasmus Paludan, who permits himself the liberty of setting fire to what he is unwilling to accept. Who is he to destroy a book that has been, and is, more valuable than anything else to millions and millions of Moslems through the years?

He says he does this in the name of freedom, but his perception of freedom lies far from what is morally acceptable.

He wants to give free rein to his own freedom while curtailing that of others, and that is not what is meant by true freedom.