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Swedish theatre continues running play that ‘romanticizes’ Islamist terror and 'humanizes' terrorists after Stockholm attack
by Virginia Hale
Gothenburg City Theatre has defended its decision to continue showing a controversial play, whose writer and director says aims to “humanise” terrorists after an Islamist attack struck Sweden Friday.
Still showing at the theatre, the play Jihadisten tells the story of a young man in Sweden who heads to Syria to join a terrorist organisation, after being “slowly radicalised”.
Its writer and director Johan Gry told SVT last month: “The aim [of the play] is to humanise the terrorist, so to speak, and we are daring to show how he is a human being.”
Going on to equate people who lack sympathy for Islamic terrorists with Islamic State and similar violent groups, he said: “For if we are not brave enough to do that, then we dehumanise this person in the same way as [Islamic terrorists] dehumanise their victims.
“If we cannot understand, or try to understand these people, we will not be able to do anything about the problem.”
After it premiered in Gothenburg at the end of March, the play gathered criticism from several figures in Sweden.
Robert Hannah, a member of Swedish parliament with an Assyrian and Christian Iraqi background, said the play ‘romanticises’ Islamist terror and makes excuses for genocide.