The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Sunday, June 23, 2024 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Column: Muslims for Sweden’s bodyguard


Mejs Hasan

When I was little, I lived in Sweden, but don’t worry! This won’t turn into a tortuous Twilight-inspired love triangle in which I end up liking Sweden more than North Carolina or anything crazy like that.

But since I now live in the U.S. and (try to) do nice things for the U.S. every day, I have to devote my virtual efforts to loving Sweden. I tell everyone on Facebook and Twitter who listens about how beautiful Sweden is, about golden slopes of sunshine over Stockholm, about the happy regularity with which the Arabic news says something lovely about Sweden.

“Swedish society is humanity,” says a woman who moved from Iraq to Sweden, alone, at age 15. Sweden is the best country for press freedoms, declares a report. “I am in Sweden, thank God,” says an Iraqi refugee.

I’ve discovered that when Taylor Swift lyricizes her love story, she’s actually singing about me loving Sweden. And poetry that speaks of mothers’ love is actually about Sweden loving me. I couldn’t keep this sweetest of discoveries to myself, so three years ago I started making animations in which Sweden and Muslims tell each other “You belong with me” and “Don’t be afraid, we’ll make it out of this mess” and “I will love you deeply with an infinite love that asks for nothing.”

The thing is, in a world where Muslims are obliged to hate the West and the West has to hate all Muslims, Sweden is so good, so sweet, so precious, that we cannot allow that hatred to touch her. We have to do something, and we have to do it now.

Help me take over Sweden’s official Twitter account. This is neither far-fetched nor illegal. Sweden rotates its Twitter account from person to person, one week at a time. You just have to be nominated and chosen. It’s the most democratic national Twitter account in the world! For two years, I’ve asked my dad, my sister, my old boss in Maryland, friends in Chapel Hill, random nice people, even my brother’s bandmate to nominate me, and all Sweden gives me is a cold shoulder.

But if they would just pick me — if I could just tell all of Sweden for a whole week how much we Muslims love, adore and pray for her, how we’d do anything to keep her safe, protected, warm and happy — maybe good things will happen. Unlikely, but I want to try.

Faced with utter rejection, someone suggested that I start loving neighboring Norway instead, but I happen to know Norwegians are big, bratty snots, and nothing “can ever dissever my soul” from the winged lightness of Sweden’s soul.

My fellow 20,000 UNC students: Please go to, nominate me and tell Sweden to get Sweden’s act together and to pick me already! All you need is my Twitter handle, @lilagardiner. On my Twitter page, you can find my animations. If you don’t like them, too bad: I get an A for effort. (You’ll also find a video of Death-Eaters taking over Student Stores).

Let’s experiment to see if love really can heal all things.

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.