Swedish state-run TV won’t air a new documentary about anti-Semitism and jihad in case it offends the ever growing Muslim population in Sweden.
“Watching the Moon at Night” is a new documentary largely funded by Swedish state broadcaster SVT and tries to tackle the looming questions of anti-Semitism among Muslims and its links to terrorism.
Though the television channel has largely funded the creation of the documentary they are now refusing to air it on Swedish television because critics say they fear a potential backlash from Muslims and the politically correct establishment, reports Danish national paper Berlingske.
Created by acclaimed Swedish film makers Joanna Helander and Bo Persson, “Watching the Moon at Night” has so far seen limited theatrical release in six countries, including numerous film festivals.
It has been described as a film that takes a long, hard and serious look at the methodology and origins of anti-Semitism and terrorism. The documentary proves that there is a link between terrorism and anti-Semitism and that Jews have often found themselves at the mercy of Islamic terrorists as was the case in Paris and Copenhagen.
The move to not show the film is usual for SVT, who almost always broadcast projects that they have financed. SVT declined to purchase the rights to show the film in Sweden, followed by two Swedish film festivals who also opted to drop the production.
Marianne Ahrne, former film consultant at the Swedish Film Institute who initially green-lit public funding for the documentary, stated that the production met with trouble from the very start. She claims that the funding was approved and then made subject to conditions saying that SVT put in “one formal obstacle after another”.
Director Bo Persson confirmed the claims of Ms. Ahrne, stating that it was the SVT project manager Lars Säfström in particular who was making obscure demands in order to secure the funding.
Mr. Persson said that Mr. Säfström wanted the documentary to be more anti-American and anti-Israeli saying: “He tried to influence the film’s content,” and that “for us it was totally unacceptable that he should interfere in the content”.
Axel Arnö, head of SVT’s documentary department, fired back at accusations made by the pair claiming that the documentary was dropped because it didn’t fit in with their standards saying that the production was more of an essay than a piece of serious journalism meaning it was attempting to prove a point rather than document reality.
Several critics in the Swedish media blasted the comments from Ms. Arnö and SVT accusing them of bowing to political correctness. Erik Helmerson from the newspaper Dagens Nyheter wrote:
“Islamophobia is feared more than showing that terrorism is committed in the name of Islam. Therefore, I think that a film like ‘Watching the Moon at Night’ creates nervousness and unrest.”
SVT has been the subject of accusations of progressive left wing bias before after a handbook was leaked showing how journalists in the company are supposed to act to fit a progressive narrative.
The handbook encourages journalists to avoid words like “immigrants” and call migrants “people on the run”. One SVT journalist took the narrative so far that he was arrested for smuggling a migrant into Sweden earlier this year.