A story quite in the spirit of Stevens Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde took place in Sweden. Famous film producer Sam Klebanov wrote about her on his blog:
“Here in Sweden an amazing and instructive story happened today. We have such a person - Hamid Zafar, known simply as Rector Hamid. He moved to Sweden as a refugee from Afghanistan as a child (now he is 37), and to this day it was one of the most striking success stories. Zafar received a pedagogical education and became famous throughout the country when he was able to put in order the most problematic school in Gothenburg in a very dysfunctional area, where he was appointed rector, and dramatically improved academic performance and discipline there.
Last year, he received the prestigious Swede of the Year award from Focus magazine. In addition to teaching work, he was a popular columnist in one of the largest newspapers in the country - Göteborgs Posten, was very actively involved in public and political life, spoke a lot on integration issues, constantly appeared on radio and TV, where he recently starred in a popular reality show, participated in as an independent expert in the commission for the integration of migrants of one of the largest parties - moderates. In general, he was a popular and respected person, the personification of the image of a successful and well-integrated immigrant.
And suddenly today it all ended - the newspaper Dagens Nyheter conducted an investigation and found out that "Rector Hamid" for many years had been writing spiteful anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist and sexist posts on various Internet forums under a pseudonym. What the press quotes is really quite unpleasant. Today, he lost everything overnight - his job as a director of education in Mulsjo commune, a columnist position in the GP and an expert with moderates, SVT has already announced that it is filming a reality show with his participation, and it is clear that this is his whole wonderful career and the success story ended, as did his media and socio-political activities.
I myself regularly read it and follow it on Twitter and it always made a very sane and reasonable impression. And suddenly this. It is clear that living in Sweden, he could not but know how his views would be perceived - it was not for nothing that he wrote on the forums under a pseudonym and did not allow anything even remotely similar to this in his public life. I don’t know why he did all this, but it’s probably very hard to live like this - to say publicly the right things, to adapt to the norms of society and at the same time secretly express his sincere feelings and his hatred in anonymous forums..."
However, many commentators of this publication urged to treat the story of Rector Hamid more attentively, and not to immediately label him as a fascist and homophobe, even if he really professes these views. For example, here is what the writer, journalist and teacher Sergei Kuznetsov, who lives in Paris, writes:
“I’m not sure if we should cancel a person based on what he wrote anonymously five years ago. If he was the headmaster and everything was fine at school, what difference does it make what he did five years ago?
Despite the fact that his views expressed five years ago are never close to me, there is a serious question. We have a school director. This is a school in a difficult area, as I understand it. The director is obviously a good director also because he is the flesh of the flesh of the area, in the sense that he understands this culture.
Here we learn that the director five years ago had the usual prejudices in this area about Jews and gays in his head. Well, that's bad, yes. But what should interest us is whether these prejudices affect the work of the school? Or is the school okay on this issue?
Because if you send me as a director to this school, who certainly has no prejudices, I will not be able to cope with this school. Because the local community will not be happy to see my Jewish face at all. And if I were not just not homophobic, but also left-left, then they would be sick of my rhetoric and the fact that I would start asking their children whether they really feel like boys or girls, respectively.
Why am I writing about this?
I have people working in my school, with whose political views I strongly disagree. I discussed these issues with them, we realized that our differences would not affect the educational process and we work calmly. Can anti-Semites and homophobes work for me? Well, I think not, but because it will be difficult for them with us. But if they are ready to suffer and not show their anti-Semitism and homophobia, then I see no reason to fire them.
But people who wrote anti-Semitic and homophobic on the forums, of course, can - because, well, as I wrote above, you never know what people write on the forums.
A cat, as Mao said, can be of any color - the main thing is that it catches mice.
Of course, if a teacher spreads his views of this type in school, he must be driven away with a filthy broom, there is no conversation.
To be honest, I don't know what a person who writes anti-Semitic posts anonymously thinks. I didn’t anonymously write a monstrous amount of different garbage - sometimes in the heat of an argument, sometimes to tease the interlocutor, sometimes to bring the logic of the conversation to the point of absurdity.
In order not to go far, one day I joked something in the genre "are Russians a great people? Even their bible had to be written to our boys!" meaning to parody the type of a xenophobic Jew, and also to laugh once again about the fact that anti-Semites are very often Christians / Muslims, that is, people whose religious canon is based on the Jewish five-book.
So what do you think? Three months later, this quote, taken out of context, surfaced at some nationalist forum with the postscript "that's what ...you think about us Russians"
That is, the texts written anonymously can be anything, including therapeutic work with the stereotypes that exist in his family.
That is, yes, most likely he is a homophobe and anti-Semite, but... um... it seems to me that there is a kind of stereotyping in this, because deep down we tend to believe that most Muslims do not like Jews, and most migrants from conservative-patriarchal countries do not like gays. This is so-so logic, to be honest.
I've seen a lot of anonymous accounts where people did not write what they really thought. At the same time, as an Israeli and a Jew, it is rather difficult to suspect me of anti-Semitism. Believe me, I don't have homophobia either.
But I do not like it when people are fired for their views..."