A Swedish Perspective on the Muslim World

Michael Winiarski, a Transatlantic Media Fellow and Middle East correspondent for Sweden’s largest circulating daily newspaper, will become that newspaper’s Washington correspondent in January. Last month he gave a talk at the University of Wisconsin-Madison about the Swedish perspective on the Middle East, and answered a few of my questions. Continue reading

Confusion At Halal-TV

Muslim Talk Show Halal-TV (Image via SVT)

Muslim Talk Show Halal-TV (Image via SVT, Swedish State Television)

Halal-TV, a Swedish talk show hosted by three Muslim women, was the center of a great deal of controversy and confusion recently, resulting from the decision by two of the hosts not to shake hands with a male guest. The guest at the center of the storm was Carl Hamilton, a newspaper columnist for Aftonbladet. Hamilton reacted to the perceived slight with hostility and anger, arguing that shaking his hand was the polite thing to do. According to the transcript of the incident (available in Swedish), Hamilton told host Khadiga El-Khabiry at one point, “The problem is that you come here and don’t want to shake hands, so it’s actually you who are the problem.” It’s important to note here that El-Khabiry was actually born in Sweden.

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