Sweden’s Government in Denial

The Swedish government has been on the defensive since President Trump referred to a mini-documentary, published by the Gatestone Institute on May 30, 2016, that reported the problem of overrepresentation of Muslims in crime, violence, and unrest in Sweden. The government has sought to change the impression left by the Gatestone Institution in a GOS report published yesterday. However, belying its framing, the report’s own facts, along with other well-known facts, contradict the impression the government wishes to leave with its audience.

The Swedish government cites the 2010 Stockholm bombings (December 11) as the sole example of Islamic terrorism (Iraqi-born Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly is suspected of carrying out the bombing). However, in 2011, police thwarted a terrorism plot targeting an art festival in Goteborg and a planned stabbing of artist Lars Vilks, who, in cartoons, depicted Islam’s pedophile and mass murder prophet as a dog. In 2016, Swedish authorities thwarted another terrorism plot involving ISIS devotee Aydin Sevigin. Kudos to the Swedish police for preventing these attacks. Shame on the Swedish government for failing to mention these plots in their report.

As for crime generally, up until recently, Sweden enjoyed the historic decline in crime and violence statistics that all Western countries have enjoyed over the last several decades. Sweden continues to enjoy these declines among the native population. However, more recently, violent crime has been rising in Sweden. In 2015, incidents of lethal violence were much greater than they have been for years. Shootings rose 20 percent between 2006 and 2014. The number of people killed with firearms doubled between 2011 and 2015. And the statistics also show interpersonal crimes have generally increased. The Swedish media downplays stories of “no-go zones,” electing to call these “vulnerable areas.” But their descriptions of the circumstances belie (Orwellian) euphemisms.

But it not just spin. The Swedish government has attempted to downplay the overrepresentation of Muslim immigrants in official crime statistics. It initially did this by dropping demographics from its reporting (a practice that forced even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones to scold the Swedish government). In the latest report, the GOS has admitted that people from foreign backgrounds are suspected of crimes more often than people from a Swedish background. In fact, according to the most recent study, people from foreign backgrounds are 2.5 times more likely to be suspected of crimes than people born in Sweden to Swedish-born parents. But the government has not provided a comprehensive study of demographics and crime since 2005, when they found that the foreign-born presence was four times more likely to be involved in violent crime and four and as half times more likely to be implicated in sexual assault.

In denying the claim made by Swedish police officers that there are no-go zones in Sweden, the Swedish government has had to admit that, in a report published in February 2016, “the Swedish Police Authority identified 53 residential areas around the country that have become increasingly marred by crime, social unrest and insecurity.” Government officials also admit to the problem by reassuring the public that they have restricted immigration because of security measures and changes in the law. “In 2015, almost 163,000 people sought asylum here. The measures subsequently taken by the Government, including temporary ID checks and border controls, and the new temporary asylum legislation, have led to fewer people now seeking asylum in Sweden.”

The need for these restrictions is supported by recent riots in an immigrant suburb of Stockholm. Only a few days ago Muslim gangs looted businesses and burned police cars. A news photographer was hospitalized and a police officer was injured. The neighborhood, Rinkeby, has been the scene of previous riots in 2010 and 2013. The report fails to include such mass criminal events.

Finally, the Swedish report is marred by the use of the propaganda term “Islamophobia.” This is an effort to smear those who are concerned about the effect of Muslim culture on Swedish society by suggesting they are bigots and racists. The problems Sweden is facing is not just terrorism, violence, and unrest. Immigrant women, who should be enjoying Sweden’s legacy of vastly superior gender relations, are trapped in Muslim communities where they suffer the humiliation of being viewed as having less value than men. This is shameful in light of Sweden’s history of enlightened feminism. Apparently, Sweden’s multiculturalist practices trump their legacy of upholding human rights.

Sweden’s practice of permitting the existence of Muslims enclaves, its failure to assimilate Arabs and Africans into mainstream society, represents a great injustice to individuals escaping these backwards cultures. Multiculturalism and political correctness are barriers to Muslims leaving behind irrational and oppressive religious beliefs. Given the widespread atheism in Sweden and its benefits, this is a missed opportunity. The Swedish government is not helping anybody by trying to downplay the incompatibility of Islam with Swedish society. Hopefully, they will drop the public relations piece and deal honestly with the problem of assimilation in Sweden.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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