Is Swedish Democracy Collapsing?
04 May, 2006
A top Muslim scholar said the Muslim minority in Sweden would
abide by Swedish law in confronting a Christian preacher who
insulted Prophet Muhammad, urging his fellow Swedish Muslims
not to take the law into their own hands or commit any violent
acts to avenge the remarks of the Christian cleric. Norwegian
celebrity evangelist preacher Runar Søgaard, in a sermon at
Filadelfia church in Stockholm on March 20, repeated claims that
Muhammad was "a confused pedophile" since his wives included a girl
aged nine years old. Søgaard
is under protection by Swedish
police after receiving death threats. The sermon has
triggered fears of a religious war in Sweden. It is essential
according to Islamic teachings to respond to those who defame
Muhammad. Muslim extremists in Sweden have
urged Al-Qaida's al-Zarqawi to take action in the matter, and
radicals of the Salafyist variety have posted
a very explicit threat to launch a wave of terrorist attacks
against Sweden because of the "insult". The threats were posted on a
number of known Islamist forums and were accompanied by rather lurid
However, Fjordman has documented that Swedish Muslims called for terror attacks against Sweden even before this incident happened. This text was posted on a large Swedish Muslim forum in February 2005: "Wallahi I pray that Allah will severely punish all those who are involved in this war against Islam. And that Sweden will feel the punishment of the Mujahdiin that the USA and Spain and other countries have done for their involvement in Iraq. May Allah punish this hypocrite government, Ameen. Please give me evidence that kuffar (infidels) should NOT be allowed to kill. Why should you not be allowed to call Sweden Darul Harb (the House of War)? Ulama have stated many times that every state that does not judge according to sharia, and does not have a pact with the Muslims or is paying the Jiziya is a part of Dar ul-Harb, which is allowed to attack and their wealth permitted for all Muslims. Why not follow the example of what our Mujahid brother in Holland did with that pig Theo van Gogh? That brother's action really made a difference in the world, and because of it the Muslims now enjoy some respect and eminence among the kuffar. Sure, Muslims enjoy "protection" in Sweden as citizens. So what? There are Muslims in the USA and Israel, too, getting "protection". What difference does it make? Allah made Jihad compulsory. A Muslim has to enter fully into Islam, not just ignore issues as he feels like. This is Islam, not a lunch buffet."
Muslims have been spreading extremism and hate in Sweden for some time. Journalist Salam Karam had on several occasions visited the large mosque on Medborgarplatsen in Stockholm. The aim was to compare the Imam's speeches in Arabic with the interpreters Swedish translations. His report showed that the violent attacks against USA and the West were never translated. The largest mosque in Stockholm was spreading double messages. What the Imam said in his speech in Arabic didn't match how the text was interpreted in Swedish. “America rapes Islam,” the Imam roared in Arabic from the platform. The interpreter translated to Swedish: “We condemn USA's torture of Iraqi prisoners.” Adding to sermons such as these, Radio Islam, based in Sweden, keeps Nazi hate literature such as Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" online in several languages, including English. Should a terror attack occur in Sweden, the country may be unprepared for it. An examination of Sweden's preparedness for a terrorist attack by the Swedish Defense Research Agency, FOI, has found the country’s state agencies lacking.
The threats against Sweden should serve as a lesson to those who still claim that Islamic terrorism is caused by "Israeli aggression" or "American foreign policy". Sweden, a retirement home for foreign war criminals and reputedly where Iraqi ex-dictator Saddam Hussein wants to spend his last years, doesn't have a colonial past. Yet it is probably the most pathetic dhimmi nation in the Western world, even if facing some stiff competition for the title. It subsidizes Palestinian terror conferences at a time when anti-Jewish harassment by Muslims is so bad that Swedish Jews sign up for service in the IDF to escape. IKEA, one of its largest companies, censors its own manuals in order not to offend Muslims. A Swedish court recently judged according to sharia. I have earlier read suggestions by a columnist in Sweden's largest newspaper, Aftonbladet, that Sweden should change its national anthem into "something multicultural". Two Swedish girls were also sent home from school for wearing sweaters showing a tiny Swedish flag. The headmaster was concerned that this might be deemed offensive by some immigrants. Sweden crawls to Muslims in every way imaginable, and it still isn't enough. There are still Muslim radicals who want to attack it. How are leftists going to spin it when the terror attacks come? Since Islamic terror is caused by occupation and oppression, which illegal settlements are Swedes going to withdraw from to please the Muslims? Stockholm? They've already de facto withdrawn from Malmö.
Few areas in Sweden are worse hit by the current troubles than Malmö, the nation's third largest city. According to some estimates, the rapidly growing Muslim immigrant population may turn Malmö into a Muslim majority city within about ten years. It will be the first major Scandinavian city to enjoy this honor, although perhaps not the last. Native Swedes are leaving the city in droves, as crime is rampant and the police publicly admit they don't control all parts of the city. There are now gangs in Malmö specialized in assaulting old people visiting the graves of relatives. Robberies have increased with 50 % in Malmö only during the fall of 2004. The city is descending into general chaos. Fights in the city's movie theatres have become a recurrent problem. Numbers released in January 2005 indicate a sharp rise in the number of rape charges in Malmö. Thomas Anderberg, responsible for statistics at the Malmö Police, says there was a doubling of the number of reported rapes by ambush in 2004, following what was already a decade of steadily increasing numbers of sexual crimes. "I think that’s great news," says Anna Gustafsson, head of the Domestic Violence Unit at the Malmö Police. She suggests that the increase is due to the fact that women who otherwise wouldn’t press charges for rape now choose to contact the police. In other words, Gustafsson claims that we are dealing with a “technical” increase, not a real one. However, national statistics reveal that reported rapes against children have almost doubled in Sweden during the past ten years. The number of rape charges per capita in Malmö is 5 – 6 times that of Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is a larger city, but the percentage of immigrants is much lower.
Malmö has recently taken another logical step towards its Islamization: Starting from the fall of 2005, the district of Hyllie will begin education in Arabic only for groups of immigrant preschool children. The idea is that once the children learn the language of their parents, it will become easier for them to learn Swedish as well. So the Swedish state paying for educating Swedish citizens on Swedish ground in Arabic is somehow supposed to increase integration. On the other hand, perhaps being good dhimmis and teaching in Arabic can stop one of the latest fads in Sweden: Burning schools. At least 139 schools in Sweden suffered arson attacks during 2002 alone. Such as a recent incident in Malmö, where three schools were put on fire during one night. "Teenage boys" are suspected to behind the arson. Björn Vinberg from the fire department in Kroksbäck in the Malmö area says it's humiliating and degrading to put out fires again and again in the same immigrant areas, with school kids laughing at them and lighting a new one just afterwards. His colleagues have been to the same place no less than twenty times, all totally unnecessary.
While Malmö may be an especially appalling example, instability is spreading to most of Sweden's urban and suburban areas, and now permeates all levels of society. Street violence of all kinds is soaring on a national level. Private security companies are in great demand in major Swedish cities, as a serious lack of police to combat rising crime has made many citizens tired of being robbed. Amnesty International concluded that acts of violence against women had spiralled upward in Sweden in the last 15 years, a jump that could not be explained away as merely a greater willingness by women to report the incidents. A large majority of Swedish Members of Parliament, but even many politicians on lower and local levels, say they experience threats or violence. Many of them say the harassment is so bad they consider leaving politics.
In Husby, a Stockholm suburb, gangs of immigrant youngsters are harassing other visitors who come to use the swimming pool. A Swedish school class was attacked and robbed by a large group of teenage boys shouting "Swedish bastards! (Svennejävlar) You don't belong here!" The police in Husby are aware of the problem, but say it is an integration problem that the police can't solve alone. In another case, some twenty youths armed with iron rods and chains smashed the Hjulsta school in Stockholm. They also threatened and attacked several of the pupils. Neither the students nor the teachers dare testify to the police about the incident. Their fears are well-founded, as threats against witnesses in Swedish court cases have quadrupled between 2000 and 2003.
Sweden, only a few decades ago an extremely homogeneous society, has had more immigration during the past years than almost any other Western nation. Two out of three new Swedes are actually immigrants. While political parties in neighboring Denmark quarrel over whether to roll back immigration even further, there is virtually no public debate in Sweden. This despite the fact that Sweden granted 24,553 residence permits under family reunification last year, compared to Denmark's 4791. Danish politicians have justified strict laws as a bid to prevent arranged marriages, or matches coerced by immigrant parents to placate families in the home country. Denmark has also passed a resolution stating that family reunification applications by young people should be rejected if the couple's parents entered an arranged marriage themselves. Sweden's politicians view arranged marriages as a positive tradition: a cultural pattern that immigrants should be allowed to preserve even in Sweden. The Swedish government feels that interfering in arranged marriages is an encroachment upon private life. In addition, immigrant couples can apply for family reunification in Sweden even if they've never seen each other before. The nation's liberal reunification laws have led to almost double the number of immigrants in Sweden as in Denmark.
This massive, uncontrolled immigration is starting to take its toll. The number of ghettos, a phenomenon that until recently was unheard of in wealthy and egalitarian Scandinavian nations, has been increasing explosively. 14 years ago, there were only 3 such areas in all of Sweden. Today, there are 136. Stockholm politician Annika Billström warns against the dangers of creating ghettos in Sweden. Rock throwing and attacks against buses and trains are increasing problems in some suburbs. In Malmö the bus lines in the area of Rosengård have been cancelled. In Stockholm, the authorities went even further and stopped both the bus traffic in the Tensta suburb and the train to Nynäshamn. Head of the bus company in the city of Uppsala, Claes-Göran Alm, is considering doing the same, as the harassment is costing too much money and is putting their employees at risk. Benny Persson is selling window glass in the areas south of Stockholm. According to him, they sometimes have to jump into the car and leave the spot, as they are met with the harassment that some of the bus companies in the suburbs are experiencing: Stone throwing and threats. The same thing is reported from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. The company Hemglass are now attempting to run double crews in their cars to face the problems, but they still have had to completely abandon an area outside Södertälje. If you get stuck in an elevator outside Stockholm, you risk staying there for a long time. The repair personnel now demand security guards present when they arrive, since several of their employees have been physically attacked. The most serious problem, however, is the delay of ambulances and the fire department. According to the Emergency Central, attacks against them have become commonplace in the cities. Every Saturday, at least five to ten times emergency personnel are asking for police escort to be able to do their job. The segregation in the worst hit areas of Sweden has not been broken, despite many attempts. This according to a new study that has followed about 270 000 persons that have lived in 20 of the worst hit areas of the Stockholm region. Researchers Roger Andersson and Åsa Bråmå have followed all the 270 000 persons during the 1990s. These areas have received billions from different funds designed to prevent segregation. But the percentage of persons with non-Swedish ethnic background has increased from 57 to 73 during this period.
How can all of this be allowed to unfold in a seemingly civilized country? Jonathan Friedman is a New York Jew now living with his Swedish wife in the southern Swedish city of Malmø where he teaches socio-anthropology at the University of Lund. As an outsider he is able to comment candidly on issues which native Swedes would be quite unable to for fear of retribution for overstepping the invisible PC bounds. "No debate about immigration polices is possible, the subject is simply avoided. Sweden has such a close connection between the various powerful groups, politicians, journalists, etc. The political class is closed, isolated. And add to that, that the Social Democrats have had something like near monopoly on the power. The elite, in their isolation and due to their isolation, has become more and more scared of the people and what they might think and believe. Jonathan Friedman thinks circumstances in Sweden are special also because Sweden has a long tradition of maintaining a correct surface. "Bergman's movies weren't about anything else. It was all about demons hiding under the dry and correct surface. The Swedish supreme court has in a ruling in principle made clear the fact that racism is something which is done by Swedes and not anyone else. This despite many of the gang rapes, wherein by the way immigrants are massively overrepresented as perpetrators, have clear racist traits. But this they don't want to know, and this we are not allowed to know." "Sweden has lots of conflicts and a rising insecurity. We have witnessed several incidents of what I would call classical racist nature, wherein two groups of people violently clash. Crime is going up. The newly arrived are largely unemployed, and this costs the welfare state much money. The welfare state is based on a closed system, it can handle a limited group of people. It can't in any way deal with an open society, but this kind of insight is too much for politicians in general. When voting in Sweden you pick your voting card from the political representatives outside the voting booths, and then walk across the hall to the voting booth and select which candidate you want to vote for - only there inside the booth where you select the party candidate are you hidden from view. This means everybody can see which party you are going to vote for, and in a society like Sweden where social control is very widespread this creates an atmosphere where certain political parties are heavily discriminated against.
Norwegian journalist and member of Human Rights Service Hege Storhaug puts it this way: "Is Swedish culture worth keeping?" I put this question to Lise Bergh, the Swedish government representative of immigration policies, on the Nordic conference on immigration in Stavanger [Norwegian city] April 7th. "What is Swedish culture? And then I suppose I have answered the question" answered Berg without trying to conceal her cultural-self disparagement in either words or facial expressions. As you make your bed so you lie [what goes around comes around] as they say. In Sweden, the leadership seems to show Europe's most extensive cultural self-denial, or rather -- a deeply felt self loathing, which many feel is the perfect recipe for driving a peaceful nation to destruction. My question to Lise Bergh was far from randomly formulated. Half a year ago, from a pulpit in a Mosque belonging to the Kurdish Organisation, and "respectfully" veiled, the former minister for integration. Mona Sahlin, said that many Swedes are envious of the immigrants because they, unlike the Swedes, have a culture, a history, something which ties them together. The Swedes only have some foolish anniversaries and such folly. As the former Danish minister for integration, Karen Jespersen, commented: "Cultural self-denial hardly gets any more disgusting or scary"
During the second half of the 20th century Sweden used to be called "the middle way". This meant something between capitalism and communism, a controlled market economy, a welfare state with social security for all its citizens. It also stood for certain values, like democracy, peace and solidarity. Now there is no more of that. All of its neighbours are in a better position than Sweden. They have stronger economies, a higher standard of living, better social security and less crime. This includes Finland, a country that was devastated by war. Sweden today is still remarkable - though in quite a different way. Today Sweden might rather be called "the extreme way". In both Scandinavian neighbouring countries there are big opposition parties, but none in Sweden. How come? Norway has Fremskrittspartiet, headed by Carl I Hagen. Denmark has Dansk Folkeparti, headed by Pia Kjersgaard. Both have quite a few seats in their respective Parliament. In the Swedish Parliament there is no such party. Still Sweden has had, all through the 90's, roughly twice as much immigration - even per capita - as Norway or Denmark. Consequently problems connected with this immigration have shown up in Sweden to no less an extent than in Denmark and Norway. Today, out of a population of 9 million people, about 1 million are born outside Sweden. This constitutes 11% of the population. If we also include their children born in Sweden, the figure rises to nearly 20%. This goes for the country as a whole. As the immigrants tend to concentrate in some areas, like Stockholm and Malmö, the percentage in those areas is considerably higher. Added to this is the fact that fertility is high among new immigrants. The effect of all this is that in some schools and in many classes native Swedes are in a minority. There are even cases where almost all the children have foreign background. Swedes are now in many ways treated as second-class citizens in their own country. The very word "Swede" has been given a negative connotation. This kind of project has now been introduced all over Western Europe. Sweden is still a special case. In no other country has it gone that far. One factor may be Swedish mentality, connected with a long period of peace and welfare. This has bred an urge to be good and at the same time a notion of being able to achieve anything. Part of the Swedish mentality is also an unwillingness for conflicts, we rather step aside.
An important part of the explanation is the role of mass media in Sweden. Not a single TV-program, radio program or big newspaper would give space to critics of the multicultural project. "Sverigedemokraterna" - a party outside the Parliament - can seldom hold meetings without being hassled by political hooligans, who make noise, destroy equipment or even resort to violence. There are no reactions to this in mass media, nor from the police. As Helle "Hamas" Klein, political editor of Sweden's largest newspaper Aftonbladet, boasts: "If the debate is going to be about whether there are problems with immigrants, we don't want it". Welcome to Sweden, the country where the media doesn’t even pretend to champion freedom of speech, but openly brags about censorship. At the same time, leading media figures could even voice sympathy for the terrorists who slaughtered at least 150 innocent children in Beslan. Hans Bergström, former editor-in-chief of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, worries that Sweden has become "a one-party state". An examination of the selection of books bought to Swedish libraries showed that literature with a leftist perspective outnumbered books with a conservative or right-wing perspective four to one. The Nyköping branch of the Swedish National Labour Market Administration, the catchy English designation for the dreaded job centre, decided it would get its job-seekers out of the house for a while. Using an old trick beloved of authoritarian states such as Cuba, the Administration told unemployed construction workers that if they did not attend a demonstration in favour of collective agreements, it would assume they were in gainful employment and their benefits would be duly withdrawn. "Attendance at the meeting is compulsory. If you do not attend, I will take it for granted that you are fully occupied and no longer seeking employment through the Labour Market Administration. You will be removed from the unemployment register and your unemployment benefits will cease."
How does the Swedish political elite respond to their largest cities breaking down? By pretending there is no problem. The media elite shares the same contempt for and fear of the common people, and has largely played along. Some Swedes have compared Swedish media to Pravda in the old Soviet Union. Cracks are beginning to emerge, though. This article in the newspaper Expressen about Prime Minister Göran Persson's visit to Malmö during May Day is brimming with sarcasm, presenting him as a modern Swedish version of clueless Marie Antoinette:
Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson, surrounded by a dozen body guards, took part in the May Day demonstrations in the city of Malmö. "It is a splendid celebration, a manifestation of freedom and security", Persson says. Meanwhile, a couple of blocks from there, a handicapped man is beaten to the ground by a group of thugs. The victim was about to demonstrate under the slogan "Welfare is most important". Now he is kicked in the face and the chest. When two of the assailants are finally taken into police custody, the man is terrified and suffering from severe pains. "This is one of Sweden's finest meeting places," says the Prime Minister as he enters the platform after listening to Socialist anthem The Internationale. "In a Malmö I love. Sweden's face to the world." Persson doesn't notice that the police are taking action against a neo-Nazi counterdemonstration nearby. "Open to the winds of the world lies my fair country," says Persson. "There is no greater freedom than security. A society with clean air, clean water and safe people, open to the world.". It's 3.3o pm and a police patrol is cutting down a doll resembling a politician being hanged, carrying a photo of Malmö's Mayor Ilmar Reepalu. The Prime Minister has just promised improved dental care for young people, and concludes: "Look up! The fabulous fact is that the sun is breaking through." The police and the fire department get an alarm. The Örtagård school in Rosengård, an area of Malmö with close to 100 % Muslim immigrants, is burning yet again. Several police patrols are called out. But Prime Minister Persson has already been escorted by special security police into his bulletproof Volvo, on his way back to the Cabinet's private jet and out of Malmö.
Rumor has it that Socialist PM Göran Persson is pondering a premature exit, at a time when his Social Democratic party is struggling on the opinion polls ahead of the national elections in 2006. Likely successor and thus potential PM may be senior member of Cabinet Mona Sahlin. She is known for gems of wisdom like this one: "A concerted effort that aims at educating Swedes that immigrants are a blessing to their country must be pursued, said Sahlin, stressing that her compatriots must accept that the new Sweden is multi-cultural, and that discrimination must end. "Like it or not, this is the new Sweden".
Only a couple of generations ago, Sweden was talked about with respect, and the "Swedish model" referred to as an example to follow by other countries. Some of this may have been an illusion. A significant number of the problems we are witnessing now have their roots in the ideology of the all-encompassing state, the generous welfare system and the long period of Socialist dominance that has crippled a genuine political debate. Education teaches people to respect the consensus, and not sabotage it. As Roland Huntford demonstrated in the book The New Totalitarians, Sweden is a "peaceful utopia" totally controlled by a bureaucracy which actively discourages all signs of individuality and dissent. Sweden hasn't been involved in war since Napoleonic times. It managed to stay out of both world wars, was neutral during the cold war and has never experienced invasion or occupation in modern history. In short, there are few if any Western nations less suited intellectually to deal with the Islamic challenge than Sweden. It shows.
Sweden is already a banana republic, perhaps on its way to becoming an Islamic republic. Swedish culture is disappearing with astonishing speed in front of our eyes. If the trend isn't stopped, the Swedish nation will simply cease to exist in any meaningful way during the first half of this century. The country that gave us Bergman, ABBA and Volvo could become known as the Bosnia of northern Europe. The "Swedish model" will no longer refer to a stable and peaceful state with an advanced economy, but an Eurabian horror story of utopian multiculturalism, Socialist mismanagement and runaway immigration. Sweden has national elections in 2006. This will be one of the last opportunities the country has to resolve its towering internal tensions in peaceful and civilized ways. Some fear it's already too late.
Fjordan is based in Norway. He contributes in Brussels Journal, Gates of Vienna and Faith Freedom International amongst other Websites. His personal blog (currently inactive): www.fjordman.blogspot.com