I heard just now about a play being staged at the city theatre in Malmö about religious radicalization – namely Christian radicalization. Newspaper Sydsvenskan reports about one called “Martyrer,” “Martyrs” in English, about a 15-year-old boy displaying “extreme” devotion to the Bible, and the steps the authorities take to “rectify” this “problem.”
You often hear in the news about the alleged problem of Muslim radicalization – how young immigrants are becoming followers of loudmouthed “extremists,” and how worried society is about that. Many of these youngsters also head over to conflict zones in other parts of the world to fight for their faith, perhaps joining such organizations as ISIS in Iraq and similar. I myself don’t have a problem with that, but I know that many do. It’s considered politically incorrect condemning this radicalization though, even if authorities are indeed at work trying to “fix” the zealots. That’s probably why this play is about a Christian youngster, rather than a Muslim, even if it does sound very strange that a Christian would have a problem with girls wearing bikinis, like the boy in the play apparently does.
Sydsvenskan confronts director Olof Lindqvist about his choice of religion. This is what he has to say about it:
The question is if he would have been at all able to stage “Martyrs” if it had involved any other creed than the Christian? If the Koran had been at its focus instead of the Bible? Olof Lindqvist doesn’t believe he would have.
– How much of an atheist I am I can’t rid myself of the heritage of Western Christianity. In a way it had been intolerant to attack Islam. I only have superficial knowledge of it, he says.
The play touches upon something I find very alarming, though – the right the state feels it has getting involved in the lives of young people, merely because they’re considered to have the “wrong” views. I was a victim of such an intervention myself in my youth, almost getting institutionalized without having done anything wrong, just because public authorities didn’t feel their jurisdiction had any boundaries. Those atrocities are what should be addressed, not whether a youngster “is on the wrong path.” That’s simply not for the state to decide.