Gay opera tenor is beaten up in Sweden. It’s the second time, he says.

Rickard (Rick) Soderberg, a well-known rainbow activist, was pelted with stones and eggs  on Friday night after a rehearsal at Malmö Opera. Rick says it was in the same area as he was first attacked four years ago and it follows a rising tide of incoming hate mail on his social media. Report here (in Swedish).


rick soderberg

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  • Is this the same Malmo from which record numbers of Jewish persons are fleeing for their lives from increasing attacks (verbal and physical) directed against them from recently arrived, young Islamic fanatics?. Is this the same Sweden which was once known for it’s easy-going, tolerance of difference and inclusiveness of minorities, the same Sweden that accepted and protected Jewish refugees who had been saved from the nazis by an equally tolerant and civilised Denmark.?

      • In principle no, but an earlier contributor was promptly hinting at young radical Muslim groups with antisemitic tendencies. So yes young radical Islamist groups or individuals might be behind it, although I doubt whether they care much about individual opera singers. However, until now usually the problems came from white Neonazi hooligans. And the newly upcoming white populist nationalist rightwing anti immigrant parties and sections not seldomly appeal to groups that before recently would be categorised as almost fostering Neonazi sympathies. While such parties suddenly say they sympathise with Israel’s rightwing policy. Look at the switch that was made in France from father Le Pen with outright antisemitic stances to daughter Le Pen who sees Israel as an ally, inside the same party. And I often wonder what Dutch Wilders really has in mind with his Israel sympathies.

  • Well. “Radical” Islamist groups may not “care” much about opera singers.But I imagine that they do “care” about homosexuality. I believe that many muslims care very much about homosexuality to the point of regarding it as a crime worthy only of a summary death sentence. I’m not sure about the neo-nazi attitude to homosexuality.It’s probably OK except if it’s “Jewish” homosexuality.In the case of Wilders, perhaps his pro-Israel stance is simply because Jews are not muslims?But, it’s probably more complicated than that.

    • Thanks. Yes, exactly because of such complex connotations I would like to know more about the culprits. Apparently the singer was beaten up outside the opera house. Usually opera houses are not close to the parts of town where immigrant communities live. Of course by all means it is a shame that this happened.

      About the neo-nazi attitude to homosexuality: look at the skinheads in Germany and the radical nationalist ultras in Russia. And most ultrarightwing political parties have an anti homosexual stance too, including Vlaams Blok, and even one of the advisors of Wilders, who tries to propagate his party as a foothold for homosexuals against homophobic immigrants, is a very conservative Belgian catholic who is anti-homosexuality and anti-abortion.

      ‘Homosexuals are perverse and due to abortion our nations are now filled with immigrants,’ is the view of this advisor to Wilders.

  • Actually, you are right. Perhaps it would be wise to find out exactly who the culprits were. It might have just been an unfortunate random attack.Here in Australia there has been a rash of unprovoked attacks on some young men (some fatal) by drunken, violent hooligans. Not motivated by anything in particular.Just random violence.But in the case of Rick Soderberg it does seem like a targeted, co-ordinated attack and it most probably IS motivated by homophobia. I think that I recall reading somewhere that the Mayor of Malmo is not particularly protective or supportive of the Jewish victims of islamic violence in his city. This is truly shameful.And it saddens me that this is happening in Sweden.

  • I think that it is more than embarrassing. It is criminal, vile,and fascistic.What has happened to dear Sweden?. This is not the image I have always held of Sweden from far away Australia. It is just so sad.

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